God Loves Misfits, Outcasts and Rejects


The next time you feel unqualified to be used by God, remember this:
He tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal

The quote above comes from Jonathan Hayashi, a former Japanese gang member and drug addict, who now serves Jesus as a pastor. He seems to know what he is talking about! However, his case is not unique at all — we all know outcasts and rejects who have done great things for the Lord; even the Bible tells the stories of such people equipped by God for outstanding service.

King David is one of those. He was overlooked by his family, and hunted by king Saul. While he was a fugitive, running away from the king, a crowd of outcasts gathered to him. A motley crew, of what we would call losers today, followed him. He was already anointed to be king of Israel by that time, but it didn’t look like he was off to a good start.

David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him. 1 Samuel 22:1-2

When God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint the new king, all Jesse’s sons passed before him, impressive looking young men, but David, the youngest, wasn’t called. Then God spoke to the prophet:

So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:6,7

The young men appeared before Samuel, one after the other, but none of them was chosen.

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” 1 Samuel 16:11,12

It didn’t look as if the Lord had His hand on David, especially considering the social standing of the mob that joined themselves to him. But, as we have read above, outward appearance doesn’t necessarily tell the full story. We again read of David’s followers later in his life:

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, chief among the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder. And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. 2 Samuel 23:8-12

Hidden in the hearts of David’s bunch of outcasts were extraordinary mighty men. We find their amazing stories in 2 Samuel 23

God needs no one’s greatness, wisdom or eloquence! He seems to favour the rejects, the outcasts and the misfits to show His glory — and for good reason. When the “unqualified” accomplishes something great, everybody knows it can only be God working through them. The Lord chose Peter and John, uneducated and untrained men, (Acts 4:13) to do the first miracle that shook Jerusalem. The same Peter became the apostle to the Jews — people who were steeped in the law. He also chose Paul, who was trained and highly educated in the law, to be the apostle to the Gentiles.

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

  • Abraham and Sarah were barren and old, yet God chose him to be the father of many nations, and Jesus was born from their lineage
  • Jacob was a deceiver, but he became Israel, the father of God’s chosen people
  • Joseph was rejected by his family, framed by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison unfairly. But he rose to second in command in Egypt, and took care of his family during a long famine
  • Moses was a murderer and stutterer, yet God used him to deliver the law to Israel and Stephen called him “a man mighty in word”
  • Gideon was a coward, but he delivered his nation from the Midianites
  • Rahab was a Canaanite prostitute who got a spot in the genealogy of Jesus
  • Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
  • David was a murderer and adulterer, yet he became the greatest king Israel ever had. At the end of his life he called himself the “sweet psalmist of Israel”
  • Peter denied Christ three times, but he became a great leader and apostle
  • Paul began his life as a Pharisee, then he became a brutal persecutor of the church, but he wrote two-thirds of the New Testament

Unqualified doesn’t exist when you walk with God. Your willingness qualifies you for service to the King. He supplies what you lack. Do you see yourself as odd, or a misfit? Have you been rejected? The Lord is looking for you. Think about the men that Jesus handpicked to be His disciples; not a single one of them had anything special to offer. There was Thomas the doubter; Jesus called James and John the sons of thunder because of their anger issues, Peter always spoke before he thought things through; Matthew was a despised tax collector. All twelve of them were unimpressive nobodies that no one would choose above anybody else for anything, yet their names are recorded for eternity. Except for John (and Judas the traitor), all of them died as martyrs in loyal service to Jesus.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Yes, you can’t, but the Holy Spirit can. He only needs your voice, hands and feet. You were never made to blend in, but to stand out. Take a step of faith and begin, even if you do it alone, all by yourself. His grace is sufficient for you. Become a part of Jesus’ motley crew; a life of adventure awaits you!

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