It’s About God, Not Personalities

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, April 12, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“But when the judges died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshipping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.” ~Judges 2:19

In April of 1997, the legendary golfer Tiger Woods won his first Master’s at the age of 21 years old. With his success, he brought thousands of new fans to the world of golf. Rarely had such a dominant force arisen in the world of professional sports, and Tiger Woods’ fame rose to unspeakable heights. In 2009, it was discovered that Woods had been engaged in numerous extramarital affairs and his career suffered. His fame was greatly diminished and many fans that he had attracted to the PGA would never tune into professional golf again. People loved the player; they did not love the sport.

The people of Israel had developed an unhealthy attachment to the various judges that were sent to their nation. These prophets were mighty in word and in deed. They not only deserved the respect of the people they led, but they were appointed by God to positions of authority. But the problem with their popularity among the people of Israel was that it seemed as though they did not think they had to follow God’s rules all of the time, only when a good judge was placed in authority over them. This is a normal, sinful human tendency.

In years past, great preachers have come and gone. Charles Spurgeon, John Whitefield, Charles Wesley, Martin Luther, Billy Graham; all of these men were great preachers. Now, as the days of the humble Billy Graham dwindle away, people are asking, “What are we going to do?” A man of Graham’s great preaching ability has not yet arrived on the world stage. He has impacted the lives of perhaps millions of people across the world. But was it really Graham? If you find yourself asking, “What are we going to do?” maybe you have fallen victim to the charisma of his personality. Perhaps you loved the preacher and have forgotten his God.

Jeremy Camp sings a song called Same Power. In this song, he sings,

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us…
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us…
He lives in us…

What is Camp’s point in this song? Why do we fear the dark powers in the world? The same power that drove Jesus’ ministry and rose him from the grave is the same power that empowers us through faith. Billy Graham, for instance, did his part in being a faithful witness. Paraphrasing a friend of mine, Christianity did not begin with Billy Graham and it will go on long after Billy Graham is gone. Maybe there will not be another preacher like him… maybe there will be tens of thousands of Christians preaching the message of the Gospel to crowds that pale in comparison to those of which Graham drew. But maybe they will reach more people in total. Or maybe not. But God’s purpose will be accomplished nonetheless.

Turn your focus to what matters. Like everyone else, I love it when a preacher faithfully delivers God’s Word. But it is wise to remember that the messenger is an imperfect vessel, chosen by God, to deliver HIS message. It’s easy to criticize the Israelites for lacking faith in God when their beloved leaders passed away. They probably felt no different than we do when our best preachers near their last days.

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