• Amber Albee Swenson

I'm ready for some foolishness in my life right about now

I've got a situation. In truth, I've got a couple of them. These are situations that are out of my control, and from the outside it's not looking good.

When Gideon faced the coalition of forces ruling Israel he got to take 300 men with him, all armed with a trumpet and a jar. Do you know how big the army was they were facing?

Judges 7:12 tells us, "The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore."

Did I mention Gideon was their leader? By his own admission his "clan [was] the weakest in Manasseh, and [he] was the least in [his] family" (Judges 6:15).

"When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled..." (Judges 7:22).

If that situation wasn't foolish enough, consider Naaman. Naaman's wife had a servant girl. She was taken from her home as raiders from Aram pillaged Israelite land.

A girl stolen from her parents and forced into it.

When this girl noted Naaman's leprosy she nonchalantly mentioned how unfortunate it was that Naaman wasn't near the prophet in Samaria who could heal him.

So this commander of the army of Aram (Naaman) went to the king and relayed the message of this young girl.

Are you catching this? Two powerful men--the commander of the army and the king--discussing the words of a small child.

The king of Aram writes a letter to the king of Israel asking him to heal Naaman.

Wait a minute. Weren't the men of Aram looting Israel and stealing their sweet, precious children, forcing them into slavery?


Oh, and could I add that tension would be even higher, given the fact that the people of Aram were the ones responsible for the previous king of Israel (Ahab's) death?

The king of Israel reacts as you might expect: "Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me."

Elisha hears what's going on and sent a message to the king of Israel: Send him to me.

So the great and powerful commander of the army in Aram shows up at Elisha's door and Elisha sends a messenger out to say go dip in the Jordan seven times and you'll be healed (2 Kings 5).

That's a lot of foolishness.

As foolish as a vast number of slaves standing at the edge of a sea with a powerful army pursing them (Exodus 14).

As foolish as sending ten thousand men up a mountain so their enemies with 900 iron chariots could surround them (Judges 4).

As foolish as an entire army sitting on the hills quaking at the sight of a large, heavily armed giant spewing threats at them...and a little shepherd boy going to meet him with a sling and a stone (1 Samuel 17).

As foolish as telling an experienced fisherman who has caught nothing all night that he needs to put his net on the other side of the boat (John 21).

The apostle Paul puts it this way: "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him" (1 Corinthians 127-29).

So whenever you're to the point of feeling helpless and completely unable to do anything to remedy any one of the situations before you, feel free to go to God with a prayer something like this:

Lord, I'm weak. I'm without a voice. My hands are tied. From every human standpoint I've got absolutely nothing going here. That's why I'm coming to You. For Your sake and Your renown, please act. And do it in the most foolish way possible, so there's never a doubt I, or any other human, had a thing to do with it.

And all God's people said...Amen.

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