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  • Writer's pictureTim Adams

Why God Uses Flawed Leaders

April 23, 2022

“Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, ‘If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.’” Judges 11:30-31

This last week I have been reading through the Old Testament Book of Judges. One of the questions that this book addresses is why God uses leaders who have such obvious character flaws and weaknesses? Judges such a Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson displayed some astounding failures, as well as successes. The answer to this is that as long as God chooses to use people, He will end up using people who obviously have great weaknesses. Not even one of us falls outside of this category of people. You see God uses people for His purposes despite our failures and weaknesses.

This truth, however, does not excuse the sins of a leaders. For example, Moses gave up his opportunity to enter the Promised Land because of his angry and disobedient outburst in Numbers 20. Jephthah made a rash vow for which his daughter had to bear the primary consequence here in Judges 11. It is not so much these leaders’ weaknesses, or even their great accomplishments, but it is the fact that they remained faithful to God despite their failures.

When we read the Book of Judges and study the lives of the judges, we are looking in the mirror. The shared victories, defeats, mistakes, and the right choices form a common experience across all these thousands of years and turn our attention to God who worked in their lives and works in our lives. If we, like the ancients, are to live boldly for God, then we will discover as they did the immediate presence of God that was such a part of their experience.

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