This passage, I believe, presents to us a picture of a process of holy humbling that God must bring His people through before He is able to use them. We all want to be used by God. We all want to fit into His plan and be His instruments for the fulfillment of His work. But many of us are not yet in the place in our lives where we can be useful to Him. There is still too self-dependency and pride wrapped up in all of our hearts.
Just as we cannot use a tool that has a will or mind of its own, neither can God use us until we have been broken free of our pride and self-sufficiency and our trust in our own strength and resources. He cannot use us until we are humbled and brought to a place of full submission to Him.
Though this is a story of a civil war among the people of Israel, God reveals that it was more about the war that they needed to engage within their own hearts. There were a lot of finger pointing and judging against one another, always looking outwardly, but not one time did they look inwardly at their own sins and their disobedience to God.
It was only when God’s people were truly humbled that the Lord grants them victory. This was another reminder as well that it would be the Lord who would do it - not they themselves. They now were tools in His hand. They were, at last, in a position to be used by Him. We should never presume or assume we know what God wants without really surrendering first our own biases, preferences, and thoughts to God so that we can genuinely say, “Not my will, but your will be done.”
Prayer: Father God, please show us to your ways and your purpose and may not our pride get in the way. Help us to show humility before you so that we can live according to your will and not ours. May we truly decrease so that you can increase. In Jesus’ name, amen.