For much of history the aphorism, “might makes right” has ruled the day. The ones with the strongest soldiers, the most muscle, the greatest firepower have been able to impose their will on other “weaker” opponents.
Though “the pen is mightier than the sword”, may be true, try telling that to a young boy or girl in school getting picked on by a physically more developed peer, and they’ll tell you the strongest among us are often the ones who call the shots.
I suppose we might argue that might isn’t limited to physical strength (hence the power of the pen). I will certainly concede strength comes in many forms. Yet, whatever category we think of as it applies to might, we think bigger, faster, smarter. We think more.
Which is why it always delights me to read of the ways God flips the tables on what we often think of as mighty and strong, using instead the weak and seemingly powerless to demonstrate God’s power.
Think of Moses taking on a pharaoh and his armies.
Think of the shepherd boy David going toe-to-toe with the giant Goliath.
Think of Gideon and his 300 men facing vastly greater numbers.
Think of Elijah squaring off against the priests of Baal.
Think of a helpless infant Jesus overthrowing kings and kingdoms.
Think of story after story where God says something like “watch what real strength looks like”.
Mighty may still be bigger and faster and smarter, but the source isn’t of our own doing, not our own size, speed, intelligence. The mighty are those who make themselves available for God’s power to flow through.
Even Yoda gets it in his own way…
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.” – Yoda