But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.—1 Corinthians 1:27
When we think of Elijah, we generally think of powerful miracles. No doubt he was one of the greatest miracle-working prophets of all. He raised the dead. He stopped the rain. He called fire down from heaven. (I think he’d be a great guy to have at a barbecue.)
The Bible tells us that Elijah was a Tishbite, from Gilead. That means very little to us, but it’s important for us to know that Gilead was east of the Jordan River. The people who lived there were roughhewn, tanned from the sun, and tough. He would have dressed in animal skins. We know Elijah as a man who was bold and courageous. He was fearless.
When we hear a story like Elijah’s, we might ask, “What does this have to do with me?” Yet the Bible tells us in the book of James that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours” (5:17). The New Living Translation says, “Elijah was as human as we are.”
Sometimes Elijah seems like he was a superman, but he wasn’t. In fact, he had moments of great fear. At one point he was so despondent that he wanted to give up and die.
Have you ever felt that way? Here is the good news. God can use flawed people. God can use imperfect people. God can use people who have weaknesses. In fact, it seems as though God goes out of His way to find people like that.
Why? Because if God only used supertalented, beautiful, handsome, people, we would say, “There is no hope for us.” But when God uses the person who is pretty much like we are, we know there is hope.
“God has chosen the foolish things of the world,” the Bible says, “to put to shame the wise.”