Mere Vessels

15 Mount Bashan, majestic mountain,
Mount Bashan, rugged mountain,
16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain,
at the mountain where God chooses to reign,
where the Lord himself will dwell forever?
17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands
and thousands of thousands;
the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.
18 When you ascended on high,
you took many captives;
you received gifts from people,
even from the rebellious—
that you, Lord God, might dwell there. Psalm 68:15-18

Between Mounts Bashan and Zion, Bashan was the larger and more grandiose of the two, but God chose Mt. Zion to be his “dwelling place.” It’s not an insignificant point. In fact, it’s a thread woven through the Old and New Testaments, and is found in 1 Samuel 16:7 – “God does not see what man sees, for man looks at the outward.” That verse in particular was a reference to God choosing David over his brothers to be king.

The examples in the Bible are numerous:

  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace
  • David against Goliath
  • God choosing Moses to lead the people of Israel
  • Joseph rising from prison to be a prominent ruler
  • Gideon’s 300 men against several hundred thousand Midianites
  • Jonah
  • God choosing the tiny nation of Israel
  • God choosing Bethlehem
  • Everything about the birth of Christ (manger, virgin birth, Bethlehem)
  • God choosing fishermen to change the world

With a little more thought and cross references, the list could be 10 times what it is now. When God wants to move in history, he doesn’t choose the great and mighty. He chooses those whose hearts are sold out to Him. Now you and I may not be world famous televangelists or world-renowned scholars, but He still can – and does – use us.

“But but but…”

Forget the buts. Those examples above, all of the people either said or implied that they were unworthy of the task that was before them. Some, like Moses and Jonah, dreamed up every excuse in the book NOT to obey, but God used them anyway.

The key thing to remember is that we are mere vessels. The moment we begin thinking we’re “the cat’s meow” as they say, He can certainly use that CAT instead of us (recall He used a donkey in the Old Testament).

It’s perhaps the greatest paradox of our lives. It’s not about us, though He chooses to use us. When He uses us, it’s not about us; it’s about Him.

God chose Mt. Zion over Mt. Bashan for a reason; He chooses us over the wealthy or well-connected for a reason.

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