It had always been drummed into us that “there’s strength in numbers.” The idea of the economy of scale trumps everything else. The world’s economy is certainly a testimony of this. We were told before that a certain country is so huge that there’s no need to go to war, all it takes to win any battle is for each citizen of that country to spit on its enemy and they would be drowned by the spit.
However, with God the reverse is true. God does not depend on large numbers to accomplish His goals. If there’s just one lesson we may learn from how Gideon defeated the enemies with just 300 soldiers in Judges 7, it is that God accomplishes His purpose by a faithful few.
Jesus has told His disciples, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Again and again, our Lord’s assurance is that He is on our side regardless of the numbers. Here, He assures His “little flock” that there may not be strength in physical number but there is definitely strength in God alone to accomplish His purpose.
Today’s world has gone awry. Persecutions in diverse forms are still prevalent in many nations around the world. Churches are closed down, pastors are imprisoned and even abducted, courts have given rights to various forms of unbiblical practices, and believers are being watched and intimidated selectively.
Yet, so often we have been lulled into complacency here in our homeland and probably celebrate without really knowing why.
The Christmas we celebrate today has been deeply influenced by the commercialism and festivities, parties and glittering lights. We often missed how dark and difficult the Christmas story was set in.
It began with an unwed young mother and shielded by a puzzled young man. Babies were massacred. The supposed Child of God could not find a place to be born. Even the shepherds were startled when the angels visited them.
Still, God has only one plan. He sends only one vulnerable baby who was unwelcome by his people. One against the odds of many. It is enough. Just like Gideon and his army, God’s power is sufficient to win against any conflict. All spiritual victories occur because it is God’s power and not ours.
Paul reminded us, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
That power was made flesh by the birth of the baby Jesus on a cold winter night at Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. It is the only reason that we may rejoice this season.