The Runt of the Litter by Pastor Jimmy Tucker

The Bottom Line by Jimmy Tucker


I recently watched the movie “Charlotte’s Web” with my granddaughters. The story begins with the birth of a litter of pigs, and one of them was a runt. When the farmer’s daughter saw the little runty pig, she fell in love with him and promised to provide the special attention he needed to survive. She was true to her word and the little pig thrived on her affection and became famous. It didn’t matter that he started as a runt. It’s not how you start in life, but how you finish. Is it possible for your life story to end well? “…with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 NLT).

In Judges 6 and 7, we learn about a man named Gideon. The Israelites had committed sins and forgotten God, so He handed them over to the Midianites who treated them cruelly. When the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites came in and destroyed them, so Israel was reduced to starvation. Finally, the Israelites prayed to God for help. Then one day the Angel of the Lord came to Gideon and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” (Judges 6:12 NLT). Gideon felt like the runt of the litter, but God called him a mighty hero.

God had a plan that wasn’t based on Gideon’s feelings. The Lord told him to “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I AM sending you!“ Based on the facts, Gideon replied, “My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!“ The Lord replied, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you’re fighting against one man” (Judges 6:14-16 NLT). Your feelings and the bare facts do not faze our Great Creator God. He’ll use you to accomplish His will IF you’ll cooperate with Him.

After Gideon was fully convinced and truly believed that God would help him, he went into action. God gave him an unusual battle plan with specific instructions. Gideon did exactly what God told him to do. God’s Spirit gave him courage and total victory over the enemy.

The meaning of the Hebrew name Gideon is “Great Warrior.” The fact that his parents named him Gideon was no coincidence. Before this child was ever conceived, God knew that he would be a mighty warrior and rescue God’s people from their enemies.

When God needed a man to replace King Saul, he sent the prophet Samuel to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king of Israel. Seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel, but God had not chosen any of them. Finally, Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?” He found out that there was one more son, David, the youngest, out in the fields watching the sheep and goats. David’s own father hadn’t even called for him to be in the lineup! But God knew all about David and had chosen him over his older brothers. The Lord told Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height…The Lord doesn‘t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart“ (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT).

The Bottom Line: If you feel like you’re the runt of the litter or the butt of jokes, God’s not laughing; He’s wanting to work through you!

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