Friday, December 05, 2008

Utterly Dependent

Excerpt from The Issac Factor by John Piper


You recall from last week that God's purpose was to give the Midianites into the hand of Gideon. Gideon had an army of 10,000 men. Arrayed against him were Midianites and Amalekites as numerous as the sands on the seashore. So God did something very typical for God and very atypical for man. "The LORD said to Gideon, 'The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, "My own power has delivered me"'" (Judges 7:2).

It already looked impossible for Israel to defeat the Midianites with only 10,000 men against so many. But God said, "Ten thousand is too many." Why? Because my purpose is to display my glory, and help you see how utterly dependent you are on sovereign grace.

This is the purpose of God in all that he does in creation and redemption. God's purpose in all that he does is:

To magnify his sovereign grace And keep us in our humble place.

And one of the central beliefs that we have as God's people is that this is good news, not bad news. It is good news because God himself, known to us in Jesus Christ, is more valuable and more satisfying than anything we could ever be or do in our own power. The most loving thing that God can do for us is to make himself indispensable to us. The most loving thing God can do for us is not to make much of us, but to work by his sovereign grace so that we can enjoy making much of him forever. So, if he would love us, he must exalt his sovereign grace and keep us in our humble, happy place.

That's the point of the Gideon Venture. That is why God over and over and over again in the Bible does things in a way that makes us utterly dependent on God for what is humanly impossible - to magnify his sovereign grace and keep us in our humble place.


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