Is God Attracted To Weakness?
IntroductionI wrote this to address a tendency that I have seen lately in contemporary preaching. They claim God is attracted to weakness. I agree with this principle on the surface. However, some things that are being taught in conjunction with this are not factual, and I'd like to address this. I am not including links to their teachings because I do not want them to gain more popularity.
The ListUsually, this whole "God is attracted to weakness" principle is taught properly. But it often comes with a list of examples in Scripture that are not really weaknesses. They're sins, and I feel that this teaching, when it includes such factors as this, might be teaching (even if accidentally) that God is attracted to sin. Clearly, the Bible teaches against God being a fan of sin.
So I'm going to go through this list of people in the Bible one by one and discuss them.
"Abraham Was Old"This is an example of God doing something in someone's life. Abraham and Sarah indeed seem to have been chosen by God for their age (Hebrews 11). I can agree with this point.
"Elijah Was Suicidal"The problem this teaching point generates is that people assume Elijah was always this way. We simply don't know whether Elijah was suicidal before God chose him or after, etc. The incident being described is in 1 Kings 19. Can God use suicidal people? Absolutely, and God can heal them, too. However, this is a minor theological problem because we don't know if Elijah was always this way or if he became this way due to the threat of Jezebel, his decision to run away, and the guilt with being "no better than [his] forefathers."
"Joseph Was Abusive"I don't find any evidence that Joseph was abusive from Scripture. This is probably a lie. God isn't a fan of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; Isaiah 59:2).
"Job Was Bankrupt"This point is entirely untrue.
First, there would need to be banks for one to be bankrupt.
Second, God said Job was blameless. That strongly implies that he also wasn't weak. And God allowed Satan to destroy Job's wealth, then gave it back to him when Satan was done. Though God knows the future, there's no record of God saying He chose Job because he was poor. Indeed, when God "chose" to speak to Satan about Job, Job was rich and righteous in God's sight. God never says about Job that he is rich, but that he is righteous.
Third, when you read the whole book, some of Job's friends essentially claimed God punished him because of some sin he had committed, which he denied. Ultimately God denied when God said (after answering from the whirlwind) that Job didn't do anything wrong, and that Job should pray to God on behalf of his friends so that God would forgive them for falsely accusing him.
Fourth, if God is attracted to weakness, the story would just end without Job being given back all his possessions and children. Why not keep Job "attractive"?
In the absence of being able to ask God what His motives are, and in the absence of Scripture to prove it, I believe this point is a lie.
Besides, if God is attracted to bankruptcy, why don't we all go bankrupt? It's simply illogical.
"Moses Had A Speech Impediment"Really, the Bible simply says Moses was slow of speech. That could mean he had an impediment. It could mean he stuttered. It could mean he had stage fright. Ultimately, this point is guessing, so it could be wrong, but the main point is correct: Moses had something affecting his speech. I will say this is more or less true.
"Gideon Was Afraid"Given the Scripture on this, I can agree. Gideon was afraid. But probably not after seeing God deliver them. I think this point is true.
"Samson Was A Womanizer"In my opinion, this is untrue.
First, God chose Samson from the womb, and chose him to be physically strong. The Martins Licis of his day and age. God supernaturally made him strong. There is no evidence that this was God's whole reason to choose Samson.
Second, womanizing isn't a weakness: it's an intentional sin. Some may be weak towards sexual immorality, sure, but womanizing is an act of the will.
Third, womanizing is basically what caused his downfall. There was one incident of God (before Delilah) saying that He used Samson's attraction to a Philistine woman to bring about punishment to the Philistines, but the way it is written in the Bible, it seems more likely that God was simply using the situation (and it wasn't womanizing, technically, because Samson married that woman) to punish the Philistines.
So ultimately, given that God never said He chose Samson for that reason, because it's not technically a weakness, and because of the way it is written in Scripture, that it caused his downfall, I believe this point is incorrect.
If the teaching point was that God uses imperfect people, that is true. But in this case, God isn't attracted to sin.
"Rahab Was A Prostitute"Again, this suffers from the chicken and egg conundrum. God used Rahab while she was a prostitute, sure, because at the time she comes into the picture, she isn't saved, nor part of the ancestral line of the Messiah. So first off, it was more that God took her out of prostitution to be a part of Israel, not that God specifically chose her because she was a prostitute (we have no evidence from Scripture).
Second, notice the word "was." God wasn't attracted to sexual sin. Rahab was a prostitute, sure, but I'm sure that by joining Israel, getting married, etc, she probably stopped being a prostitute. But again, we have no scriptural evidence saying she left it behind or not.
God has the ability to use people who are not believers. I don't think we can ever prove that God chose Rahab "because" she was a prostitute.
And prostitution isn't a weakness. It's a sin. And so is consorting with a prostitute. I do not say this to shame or guilt those who are in the industry, as the vast majority (I believe) in this industry are trafficked or forced into it in some way. I'm pointing out that God isn't a fan of sin.
"The Samaritan Woman Was Divorced"First, the Bible doesn't call all divorce sin.
Second, if one reads about the Samaritan Woman (John 4), note that Jesus doesn't guilt her over her sins, but also that He is actually pointing to the fact that the man she is with isn't her husband. She's not simply divorced: she's living in sin.
Third, God isn't attracted to sin.
I believe this point is untrue. People need to understand that Jesus chose to use the Samaritan woman because He wanted her to be saved, and her town. God isn't attracted to divorce, but He can use anyone.
"Noah Was Drunk"First, the Bible doesn't say Noah was an alcoholic. It simply records the incident, which happened after God used Noah during the flood.
Second, it doesn't say Noah got drunk before the flood. In fact, alcohol before the flood isn't even mentioned. Given the water canopy theory, it's possible that the conditions to cause fermentation didn't happen until after the flood. But it could also mean that this wine had been on the ark and fermented: this could be a brand new thing that no one understood yet.
Third, it doesn't say God chose Noah "because" he was a drunk. Indeed, being drunk is a sin (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:21; Proverbs 23:21). Would God be attracted to sin? No.
In light of the absence of evidence, I am convinced that this teaching point is a lie. God didn't use Noah "because" Noah got drunk. And there's no record God used Noah after that point, so one runs the risk of teaching lies (either accidentally or intentionally).
"Jeremiah Was Young"This is true. Also, see Timothy in the New Testament.
However, is simply being young a weakness? When Paul encourages Timothy in the New Testament, he never says it's a weakness.
I get the point, but this point is slightly illogical.
"Jacob Was A Cheater"Jacob was a cheater. And God uses imperfect people.
But cheating others is a sin, so I don't think God chose him specifically for that fact. Indeed, God had made a covenant with Abraham: one could argue that God was going to "choose" Jacob whether he was a cheater or not.
So in the absence of the Bible saying God chose Jacob "because" he is a cheater, I believe this point is basically wrong.
"David Was A Murderer"First, there's no Scripture saying that God chose David "because" he was a murderer.
Second, the murder of Uriah came after God had already chosen David to be king and had done many impressive things through David.
Third, God punished David for murdering Uriah. God is not a fan of sin, and murder is a sin. Indeed, God refused to let David build the temple because of the blood on his hands (both war and murder).
Fourth, given David's life at that point, you could say God began to not use David as much as before, because it was all downhill from there.
In light of Scripture, I believe this point is wrong.
"Jonah Ran From God"First, there's no Scripture saying God chose Jonah "because" he was going to run from what God was going to tell him.
Second, God's punished Jonah when he ran. God had Jonah swallowed by a large sea animal.
In light of these things, I believe this point is partially wrong. God does use people who are sinners, but saying God "chose" Jonah because of his sin is to say God delights in sin, which is incorrect.
"Naomi Was A Widow"First, there's no Scripture saying God chose Naomi because she was a widow. The story of Ruth in the Bible doesn't even focus on Naomi hardly. It's about Ruth and Boaz.
Second, being a Widow isn't a weakness necessarily. The book of Ruth points out that this happened to Naomi. Events beyond your control aren't the same as weaknesses, which are inherent traits (or lack of traits) in people.
In light of Scripture, I believe this point is not helpful. Can God use widows? Absolutely. But saying God chooses them "because" they are widows could imply that God is running around making women widows so He can use them, which isn't very logical.
"Peter Denied Christ"First, there's no Scripture saying God chose Peter "because" he would deny Christ in the future.
Second, Jesus restores Peter (John 21). To be restored and forgiven would imply that if this is a weakness, God basically got rid of this weakness. And it would deny all the times Jesus commended Peter for his faith.
Third, denying Christ was an intentional act of the will on the part of Peter.
Can God use those who have denied Him? Absolutely, and He did. But to say that God is attracted to those who deny Him is a bit strange. This point is basically false.
"Martha Worried"It is true that Martha worried. But there is no Scripture saying God chose Martha "because" she worried. This point is illogical. God can use people with anxiety, but to say that God chooses people "because" of this is not logical.
"Zacchaeus Was Short And Greedy"First, there's no record God used Zacchaeus. They had a conversation. We don't know if God used Zacchaeus subsequently, or that he even followed through with what he had said he would do.
Second, if this statement had stopped with "was short," I could partially agree. But greed is a sin, and God is not a fan of sin.
It was after Zacchaeus repented and vowed to make amends that Jesus said "salvation has come" to Zacchaeus.
So again, I can't believe this point. God can use greedy people, but often He teaches them not to be greedy. God can use short people.
"The Disciples Fell Asleep"Sure, they did. But there's no Scripture saying God chose them "because" they fell asleep.
And Jesus chastised them for falling asleep. Clearly God wasn't a fan of that.
God can use people with weaknesses, but this point is not logical.
ConclusionI know that God can use people with weaknesses and failings. That He uses people with weaknesses is an obvious point.
God is also attracted to weakness, in the sense of what the world things is lame (1 Corinthians 1:27).
God is attracted to humility (James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6).
But God is not attracted to sin, and this list includes sin, not weakness.
That's why I think this line of teaching, when it includes these illogical points, is not helpful. It's harmful.