What to do with weakness

Some preachers and missionaries hate to show weakness. They apparently believe it undercuts the message of God’s power in the gospel. They give the impression that they have arrived, in the spiritual sense, that they are nearly perfect, all the while using language of humility about how we are all sinners.

Perhaps they fear for their “jobs.” (Some people in full-time ministry are lackeys; some churches like lackeys.) Perhaps they fear showing vulnerability. Whatever their reasons, they do their Lord a disservice. They provide bad examples, because they put forward a false front. Continue reading “What to do with weakness”

Failure as the price of partial obedience

Forty years in the wilderness didn’t teach much to the people of Israel. After the initial successes under Joshua in conquering the land of Canaan, Judges registers their failure to exterminate complete the pagans in the land.

But you have disobeyed me. Why would you do such a thing? At that time I also warned you, ‘If you disobey, I will not drive out the Canaanites before you. They will ensnare you and their gods will lure you away.’
Judges 2.2b-3 NET

“The consequences of partial obedience are seen” (C.E. Amerding, “Judges,” International Bible Commentary, F.F. Bruce ed. [Zondervan 1986] 315). To the Lord’s question, there is but stony silence. The people have no defense. If he has been and continues to be faithful to the covenant, how can they dream of infidelity to the Lord? Continue reading “Failure as the price of partial obedience”