And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. Judges 3: 7

I love the book of Judges. I know that is a little odd because it is full of failure after failure of the Israelites to follow God, and it clearly shows His discipline when we do not follow the Lord’s will. Not only did the Israelites disobey God’s directions to clear the land He had given them of its pagan inhabitants, but they also abandoned the Lord. They had a cycle of falling into worship of pagan gods, becoming slaves to the pagan people around them, and then crying out to God for deliverance. Judges is about people whom God raised up to save His people, called judges. Regular people. Ordinary people.

While the most famous judge is Samson, there were many other people that God used, one of whom was a woman. Below is a simple list of the judges God used to save His people:

Othniel, Caleb’s brother, attacked the enemy and defeated them.

Ehud. It is specifically noted that he was left-handed because that was rare, and God used it to kill an evil king. Left-handed fighters were also more agile and useful because they were more ambidextrous.

Shamgar “…struck down 600 Philistines with an oxgoad…” Shamgar was a farmer. He wasn’t a warrior. He killed 600 men with a wooden ox prod!

Deborah. She was a prophetess and because Barak lacked the courage to do what the Lord commanded, she led the Israelites in battle, and a woman named Jael killed the enemy with a tent peg.

Gideon. He was what we would call a “fraidy cat” and described himself as the weakest man from the weakest tribe in Israel. He asked God for clear confirmation more than once that he was God’s chosen man, and God called him a mighty man of valor. I’m sure Gideon was looking around to see who God was speaking to! He was afraid, so he tore down the pagan idols at night. He started with 32,000 men and ended up being the mighty man God claimed him to be with 300 men that God used.

There are others whom very little is known about; Abimelech, Tola, and Jair.

Jephthah was the son of a concubine and was kicked out of his home. Later the people came asking him to lead them against the people against their enemies.

Next were Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon. Then came the famous Samson.

Even if we feel weak, lacking in Scriptural knowledge, like we are no one special, or that we are not useful to God, He has a purpose for each one of us. A purpose made especially for us and the people we come into contact with, whether it be at work, in our neighborhood, at the gym, at a restaurant, at the doctor, or even at the grocery store. Look to see where God is working and giving you those little pushes to say something about Him and just do it! You never know what He might do with your ordinariness.

From ministry friend Pam Rehbein.