But when they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them. (Judges 3:9)
Othniel was Israel's first judge. Besides having a name that was hard to spell and pronounce, Othniel had other difficulties to face. He not only had to lead Israel to military victory... not difficult at all if you had God on your side... but he also had to lead the people back to God. And that was a challenge!
Othniel had grown up in a good home - the best, as a matter of fact. His uncle was Caleb, a man of unwavering faith in God. (Remember Caleb? He and Joshua were the two of the spies Moses sent in to spy on the Promised Land. These two came back saying God would deliver the land into their hands, while the other ten spies were terrified and advised against it. When the people believed the other ten spies, Israel ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years!) So Othniel came from good stock. Besides having fantastic role models, he obviously had good training. And his leadership brought the people back to God, where they stayed until Othniel's death.
Now when Othniel jumped in and volunteered to lead the attack on the walled city of Kiriath Sepher (see Judges 1:11-13), it took a lot of courage. He had to step out on faith that God would deliver the city into his hands. He was faithful to take a leadership role, and God was faithful to reward him.
Many times, God asks the same kind of faith from you and me. We are in a difficult situation where taking a leadership role could prove a disaster to us socially or professionally - especially if we look at the situation only with human eyes. But God says that He will reward us if we take a stand for Him.
Choose to take a leadership role for God today in all your situations... no matter how small. It may be frightening at first, but God will strengthen you and reward you for your efforts in ways you can not even imagine!
From Newsong Ministries
Used with Permission.