There has been a huge increase in the last few years of super hero movies, and many have been blockbuster hits. Add to that another genre, spy movies, and a trend emerges – people want to believe that there are those in the world who can overcome anything, defy all the odds, save the day.
Some of the biggest hits have been Batman, Spiderman and James Bond. But no hero movie may ever eclipse the popularity of Marvel’s Avengers. This movie alone brought in over 1.5 billion dollars in box office receipts worldwide. Only a handful of movies can claim to have exceeded that amount.
What is the fascination with heroes? Why do you think they are so popular? Imagine for a moment that you had a say in the next super hero movie –what would it be about? Who would be the star? What powers would the hero have? Who would be the villain?
Often when we look at the bible, we see stories of individuals who have accomplished great things – heroes! Nobody in the bible could turn invisible at will, and there were no armored flying suits, no aliens from another planet who wielded a hammer of justice. But they did have a Hulk!
Have you heard the story of Samson from the book of Judges? Samson had great strength, and it seemed that the more angry he became, the more damage he could do. He killed a lion with his bare hands, destroyed an army with a donkey’s jawbone, and pushed an entire pagan temple to the ground.
Also in the book of Judges is the story of the hero Gideon. The Israelites were under judgment because they had sinned against God. Their crops were being destroyed, their animals slaughtered by a persistent enemy from Midian. An angel appeared one day to Gideon, and he addressed Gideon as “Mighty Warrior.” Gideon looked around to see who the angel was talking to. As far as Gideon knew, he was pretty average – he said, “my family is the weakest, and I’m the youngest in the family.”
Gideon was told by the angel that he would deliver Israel from the Midianites. How could Gideon, just an average person, do such a great thing? He doubted that he was the right person.
In Judges 6:17 he said to the angel of the Lord “If you’re talking to me, give me a sign.” In fact, Gideon was so fearful of the things God asked him to do, he asked for 3 signs, and God did what Gideon asked each time.
So, Gideon raised and army and prepared to go to war. God saw the assembled army and asked Gideon to send the majority of them home. In the end, he went to war with 300 men against the nation of Midian, and by the power of God alone, the entire army was defeated.
Has God ever led you to do something that was beyond your power? What did He ask of you? How were you able to do what He asked? Do you think “average” people are capable of doing incredible things? Give some examples of “average Joes” who made a big impact on history.