I was born in a very small, remote mining town in the middle of the African wilderness. Recently I tried looking for my childhood home on an internet map and even I struggled to find it! When I was growing up our house had seemed so large and so beautiful but when I found the old run-down dwelling on a dusty street it was very different to how I had imagined it. I am a nobody who came from nowhere and yet God took that small girl born into a rather disadvantaged family and He has used her to speak for Him to even some of the most-powerful people half the world away.
Though I might find that surprising, the truth is God delights in doing things like that! He has often used the most unlikely messengers who come from the most obscure places. Elijah, one of the most dynamic men of the Old Testament who spoke God’s message to the most powerful leaders of his day, was according to 1 Kings 17:1, a Tishbite – presumably someone who came from an unknown town of Tishbe in Gilead. Finding his ancestral home on a map today would be even more difficult than finding mine! Yet he was the man God chose to use!
The first people God used to announce the birth of the Savior were shepherds taking care of the flocks in the fields surrounding Bethlehem. In those days Shepherds were some of the lowest people in society. Their word was considered so unreliable that they were not even allowed to give testimony in a court of law and yet how fitting that God chose these men to announce the birth of Christ, who would later be called the Lamb of God, without spot or blemish!
The first disciples were fishermen. Jesus could have called those who lived in King’s palaces. He could have called the most gifted scholars in the land but His first choice were these rough men who toiled through the dark night to provide food for the people. He made them fishers of men and they in His power would go on to turn the world upside down! One of my favorite verses in the Scripture is Acts 4:11-13. Peter and John had been brought before the Jewish religious leaders for preaching about Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. People were flocking to hear about Jesus and so these two fishermen were called to give an account. So, Peter filled with the Holy Spirit said to them: 11 Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” God used mere fishermen to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the greatest theologians in the land! And their response? Verse 13 tells us: “13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
God consistently uses the nobodies of this world to proclaim His message! He delights to use people out of obscurity because then the glory really does go to Him for the only explanation for their power is that they have personally encountered the Living God. He has used me and He will use you too! All that it takes is that we spend time in Christ’s presence listening to His voice!