Was it a mistake when Moses killed the Egyptian and had to flee for his life?--Or was it necessary that he had to go into exile to learn the lessons God had to teach him to make him the man he needed to be to deliver his people--totally dependent on God--not himself?
And wasn't that a terrible defeat for the Lord's cause when the Children of Israel turned back at Kadesh-barnea and wandered around another forty years until the whole older generation had died in the wilderness? Was that a setback ?--Or was it ? What if they had tried to invade the Promised Land with all those unbelievers ? What kind of a disaster would that have been? They might have all gotten wiped out! So wasn't it a good thing that God purged them in the wilderness , before they went in on what was going to be the biggest and most difficult testing of their whole history ?
Did God make a mistake when He chose Saul to be king--considering the way Saul turned out? Was Saul a failure?--Or did he accomplish God's purpose in training the king God was really after: David? - God gets His greatest victories out of seeming defeats, and He causeth the wrath of Man to praise Him!
Did God make a mistake when He let David fall for Bathsheba, and fall from grace in the eyes of the Kingdom, fall from the throne at the hand of his own son, and depart in disgrace and scandal to another country with only a handful of his friends? Did David really fall downward--or was this a fall upward ? God loves to do things contrary to natural expectation, because that takes a miracle, and that shows it's God, and not Man! David was humbled and the whole kingdom was humbled, and they were reminded it was only the Lord that made them what they were! From that squeezing and twisting of David's life came forth the sweet honey of the Psalms and the fragrance of his praises to the Lord for His Mercy!--A lesson that's been an encouragement to other great sinners like me and you ever since! "That thou mayest know that thine own arm hath not saved thee, but that I am the Lord thy God, and that it is I that hath delivered thee, and not thyself!"
Was Elijah's ministry defeated when he ran from Jezebel, after his great victory on Mt. Carmel? After slaying the hundreds of false prophets, here he was running from a mere woman! What a picture! The great, brave, statuesque prophet, towering above all the rest in the might and power of God on top of Mt. Carmel, calling down fire from Heaven! --Now running fearfully and ignominiously and disgracefully from that filthy, wicked Queen Jezebel! Didn't this defeat his whole ministry? Didn't this undermine his entire witness? Didn't this prove he wasn't such a great prophet after all? Didn't this cause him to lose his following? Or was God trying to show him something that was going to make him a better prophet? --A humbler prophet, who would come back unafraid, even of the king, much less the queen?
After Elijah found out that God was not just in the fire, the thunder, and the earthquake--this man of fire and thunder became a meek little man listening to the still small voice of God, at the mercy of the charity of the Widow of Zarephath, with whom he had to live in order to survive, until the faith was born in him to call down a rain from Heaven to refresh and revive the land and feed the people! He'd been great on doom and destruction and judgment! Now he was learning the slow, patient, process of feeding and leading the sheep!
It's so much easier to be a prophet of doom, than a healer of wounds and a feeder of sheep, and a grower of lambs, and a teacher of babes! There's so much more glory in calling down the fire of God from Heaven and slaying false prophets!--It's so much more dramatic--more cataclysmic--so much more spectacular!
But where's the big news of the teacher who trudges along day after day, feeding the sheep as they gradually grow to be productive and fruitful in the everlasting Kingdom of God?--the Little People--the ones who stay behind and keep the home fires burning, care for the babes, feed the children, wash the dishes, cook the food, sweep the floor and clean the toilets! It takes the little people to make the others great--and you have to be "little people" first before you can become great--'cause God only makes great people out of little people! "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence."--1Cor.1:27-29.
Abraham had to learn it wasn't Abraham: It was only God! Moses had to learn it couldn't be Moses! David had to learn that he couldn't make it on his own! Elijah had to learn it wasn't Elijah, but God! The list is almost endless of all the people God had to humble before He could use them--before they could stand to be exalted--lest they would have taken credit to themselves and not given God the glory--because it's only Jesus! When He can get you out of the way, then He has a chance! When you become nothing but a tool and a channel, then God can really use you! But He has to break and humble and melt you in the fire. He has to beat the hell out of you till there's none of it left--crucify the flesh till it's dead as a doornail--mortify the mind, till it's almost gone--so that Jesus can live and think and move in you! Did God make a mistake?--Or is all this necessary to make us what we ought to be?
Wasn't it a disgrace for the great leader of the prophets of doom--Jeremiah--to be hung in stocks before the church door--or be dropped in the mud to his armpits by his enemies, so that his dear friend, Ebed, had to come secretly and pull him out? And wasn't that finally the most scandalous of all, that he should land in jail branded a traitor and a criminal, disloyal to his nation and his own people?
Yes, but not to God! It was all a part of God's plan to keep Jeremiah humble and close to the Lord, utterly dependent on God, and not on his family, or his friends, or even his brethren or the king--so God could put him in the safety of the cold storage of prison until he could be delivered by his enemies, and be blessed and protected, and provided for and encouraged, by the ones you would have least expected it from--the cruel, heathen enemies of his people! Was it a mistake? Couldn't there have been a more proper way of doing it?
To Hell with the proper way!... The proper way is of Man! The unexpected and the improper, the unconventional and untraditional, the unorthodox and unceremonious, contrary to man's natural expectation--this is the way God usually works! "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts!"--Isa.55:8,9. Who can know the mind of the Lord, and who can show Him anything?
Who the Hell do you think you are, anyway, to tell God what to do and how to do it?
So quit trying to tell Him how He ought to do it! To hell with the people who don't understand! Your friends don't need an explanation, and your enemies would never believe it anyhow! So why explain? Just trust God that He knows what He's doing! "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."--Prov.3:5,6.
The minute you try to figure it out in the flesh, you might as well quit, 'cause it will probably never work out that way anyhow.' "Lest Israel say, 'Mine own arm hath saved me!'"--Jdg.7:2.
Whoever heard of winning a battle by digging ditches, getting down in the mud and the mire and making holes in the ground?--But that's what God's prophet told Jehoshaphat and his army to do--and God used it in a very strange way to scare the daylights out of their enemies and help him win the battle, almost without firing a shot! Read it! You'll get a kick out of it: 2 Kings 3!
God loves to do things contrary to the way we think ! Is this a mistake? Is God wrong? Did God fail? Why didn't God take Gideon's 33,000 and let them destroy the army of Midian so they could pat themselves on the back and show what a great people they were, instead of having a ridiculous little band of 300 break up the dishes in the middle of the night and brandish the fireworks and toot and yell their heads off--so they scared the enemy so silly, he slew himself!
What an ignominious way to win a battle! What an inglorious way to conquer the enemy: it was stupid, idiotic, ridiculous--but God did it! You could only thank God for the victory, 'cause all you did was something stupid, like breaking dishes, waving torches, and yelling your fool head off, while God did the dirty work!
Did God make a mistake ?
"I am the way, the truth, and the life; and no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. ... Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. ... Many are called, but few are chosen! ... Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and the weak things to confound the things which are mighty. " For He "made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant. ... He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was taken from prison and from judgement ... and He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death." ... "And ye shall be hated of all nations for My Name's sake ... and then shall the end come. ... Because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. ... He that receiveth you, receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.
God doesn't make mistakes, and even the "foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men." There is no other way than God's way: Hear ye Him! "And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they immediately left all and followed Him ... even unto the death of the Cross. Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the Holy Angels. ... Beware when all men speak well of you!"