April 27 - Man’s Voice or God’s Voice
We hear human voices all the time, in restaurants, listening to radio, watching TV, on the subway or buses. The people of Ephraim voiced out their dissatisfaction on being overlooked during the battle, they went to Joshua with much anger but were pacified by words of affirmation. In a democratic society, people’s voice is to be valued. Governments operate along the line of popular opinion, ruling by the people and for the people. Do you know that this type of voice had sent Jesus to the cross?
Despite the rulings by Herod and Pilate that Jesus was innocent and did not commit any crime deserving death, the people disagreed. They kept on insisting with urgent, demanding and loud cries that Jesus should be crucified. Their voice prevailed and so Pilate decided that their demands should be granted. Releasing the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but delivered Jesus over to their will. The will of the people prevailed!
In another story, Gideon led the Israelites to a victory over the Midianites simply by listening to the voice of God. The voice of God went against popular opinion about how to win a war, which is: the more the better. God told Gideon the opposite was true, He did not need number to achieve a victory. Actually, more is not better but worse. He told Gideon to weed out the fearful and the careless. He told Gideon what to do in selecting the right people for the war ahead by the way they drank from the river. When he obeyed God’s instruction and went to the camp of the Midianites, he heard that God had already spoken to his enemy in a dream. That dream strengthened his hand and he worshipped God right there. So the battle cries were: “For the Lord and for Gideon” and “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”
Because of the voice of God, the hand of God was at work, strengthening the hands of Gideon. It is always God first, His will go above our human wills and His voice covers human voices. When we listen to the voice of God, His hand comes to accomplish His will. So the cause is God’s, although through a human instrument, Gideon. The sword is God’s sword, although in the hand of Gideon. This is not man cooperating with God but God taking over man for His victory. So no one can take any credit and steal God’s glory. The psalmist asked God to go with their army to war but fully realizing that human help was in vain. We have to fight hard but it is God who tramples over our enemies. This is the key to spiritual warfare.
Are you feeling weak in fighting your enemies right now? Are you discouraged and losing strength? Your enemies are those people or things that may cause you to sin and be defeated. Listen now to the voice of God and refuse the voice of man. Obey God’s voice and your hand will be strengthened. Victory is at hand!
Ps 60:5-12 Judg 7:1-8:17 Luke 23:13-43 Prov 14:7-8