STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS - December 4, 2022
Sunday, December 4th
Advent Devotional #8 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton
STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS
To read today: Isaiah 9:2-7
Of the greatness of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
How would you describe mighty? Does a weightlifter come to mind? A mighty military going to war? The roar of a raging waterfall? Lightning strikes of a powerful thunderstorm or wind gusts blowing off the summit of a snow-capped mountain top? The crash of waves against a rocky coast? A swaddled baby in a mother’s arms? One of these descriptions is not like the other.
This week we will focus on the second title Isaiah ascribes to the “Child of Promise” – Mighty God.
Consider the words of Matthew 2:1, “… Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod…” There is so much packed into this brief description. Think about the mom who recently brought her newborn to small group, a holiday gathering, or to the church nursery. What do we do when we see a newborn? We stop. We pause. We lower our volume. We draw close and smile at the little one.
Babies are the most vulnerable and yet most powerful little forces on the planet. What could arrest the attention of grown men and women like a newborn? We coo. We talk baby talk, gibberish, and a mix of other babbling that would not be appropriate in any other setting. Imagine trying to talk to your boss or stand before a judge like you would a baby. It is not going to go well.
Think about it. God the Father sent a helpless baby who would need to be carried by a father, nursed by a mother, and loved by a family. The Creator of the universe was cradled in a feed trough. The Mighty God lay in a manger of straw.
It is just like God to turn our expectations upside down and inside out. The Jewish people of the first century were expecting a great government to arise and overthrow Herod. Yet, Matthew recorded Jesus was born in a humble town called Bethlehem which the prophet Micah called “small among the clans of Judah.” (Micah 5:2)
Paul helps us to understand how God works by using the foolish, weak, and lowly things of life to confound the wise, mighty, and flashy (1 Corinthians 1:27-28). He tells us that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). God works in strange and unusual ways.
You may feel foolish, weak, and lowly, but those are exactly the qualifications of the kind of people God uses. God used a baby to undo a cantankerous, prideful, and paranoid King Herod. God used that baby to bring His salvation and ultimately turn the world upside down. That promised child was and is the Mighty God!
Today: Thank God that when you feel your weakest and most unprepared, your Savior is your Mighty God.