Two Heroes of the Bible Who Made Mistakes
Check out the post here: https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/heroes-of-the-bible-who-made-major-mistakes.html
In the middle of my deepest struggles, I couldn’t figure out why I kept making the same mistakes over and over again. While I outwardly professed to be a Christian, the depths of my heart were sinful and foolish (1 John 3:20). Although other people thought they knew me, I wondered how I would ever amount to someone who would influence others for the Kingdom at hand (Romans 7:15-20).
During high school and early college, an eating disorder, obsession with food, and exercise ruled my life. It is a struggle that, although I have now overcome, I will face temptations with for the rest of my life. While I have been made new and Christ within me reminds me of that, my salvation does not omit me from the problems of this life, nor does it make them go away completely (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Saved at the age of eight, I now know that it was my relationship with Christ from an early age that prevented me from much further harm. God gave me the wisdom, discernment, and understanding to follow Him (Proverbs 1-3). However, I still fell (Romans 3:23). I still developed these unhealthy habits despite the more worldly sins I didn’t possess. But just because my sins were self-harming didn’t make them any less severe or deadly.
Today, I still hear thoughts from my past, just as I struggle with anxiety and depression. I have highs, lows, and mood swings like many young adults. I have grappled with the thought that others may stop looking up to me once they know all my dirty little secrets. But that’s when it hit me. Some of the most profound heroes in the scriptures were filthy little sinners like myself. And although they too had a past, Christ redeemed and used their present, past, and future.
What is a hero?
By definition, a hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble features. Although Christ is our ultimate hero who seeks for each of us to be saved, Scripture points to numerous people who not only exemplified these qualities but found some who made mistakes just like us!
Who are these heroes?
When people typically think of the word hero, they think about Marvel movies, Star Wars, or Disney Channel. Heroes have been boiled down to magical figures with superpowers rather than real people with both beauty and faults, filtered through the lenses of masked charades and costumes. Saul and Moses in the Scriptures, however, present to us another story.
In Hebrews 11, we recall heroes of faith that the Bible commends for their excellence and commitment. Beyond this list, though, Hebrews 11 doesn’t just mention the things these individuals did right, but the things they did wrong, too. And why? To remind us that to be a hero, we don’t have to be perfect. While it is good to strive for this Christ-like perfection at times, God lists victories and mistakes heroes have made because He sees us for what we will become, not necessarily what we presently are (Matthew 5:48).
As Pastor Greg Laurie, in his sermon, The Bible Heroes Who ‘Failed Forward,’ notes that many Bible mentions are messed up and weren’t perfect examples!
From Adam, Eve, Abraham, and Sarah, to Jacob, Moses, and Saul, as genealogy extended, so did this list of those fallen but redeemed by the grace of God. To me, Moses and Saul are two of the best examples to demonstrate what it means to be a hero despite their many faults.
Although God called Moses to complete a task more significant than himself, he was known for running away from God (the book of Exodus). After he stopped running and submitted to the Lord’s Will, Moses doubted that God could use him because of his lacking talents and abilities. Even during his discipleship journey to free Israel from Pharoah, Moses killed a guy and acted like he didn’t. As a reluctant leader, he eventually realized that God could and would use him. Not only did Moses free Israel via God’s power, but he became a great, successful leader that many wanted to honor.
Like Laurie mentions in the sermon above, “The Bible tells us that Moses “chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25 NLT). Moses understood that God’s worst was better than the world’s best.”
Perhaps even messier than Moses, however, Saul creates a story that I believe many of us longing to be heroes can relate to on this earth.
Saul honestly thought he was following the Law righteously with persecuting Christians at the top of the list. Only after being blinded by the Lord on the road to Damascus did God redeem Saul to Paul.
After his conversion, Paul not only went on to write numerous books of the Bible but spent the rest of his life dedicated to Jesus Christ and spreading the Good News of the Gospel. He endured shipwrecks, torture, and prison because he knew that life would be eternally more brutal without Christ, although this life with Him was hard (Acts 26:9-11).
In the middle of his prosecution journey, God met Saul where he was. From within his deepest sins and regrets, when God blinded Saul, he changed his name and life trajectory. Today, Jesus Christ does the same for you and me!
We can be heroes, too.
While Moses and Saul are just two of many heroes in the Bible, both reveal to us that God not only uses broken people, but He delights in performing that miraculous process in our lives.
For this reason, Ephesians 1:7 reminds us that if we are willing to humble ourselves, we can be heroes, too. Despite the number of sins, flaws, and faults past, present, or future, nothing can stop God’s mighty hand from using you to reach others.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7, NIV).
Before writing my first book, I lived with the belief that my past was too messy to share with others. For this reason, I hid half of my testimony, ashamed of what others would think when they knew the whole truth.
Today, I take confidence, boldness, and beauty in the power of that ugly past because I know that if it can help save someone else, God will use that testimony.
In 1 Corinthians 15:9-11, this is why Paul writes, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed” (1 Corinthians 15:9-11, KJV).
Though it might sound a bit scary, I want to encourage you that no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, God can and will use your story to be a hero to someone else. While it might sound unrealistic, you never know when you might be the next Paul, Moses, or David God can restore and use for His glory.