The Lord has been reminding me this week about some of the great Bible heroes and the powerful things they did for Him. I’ve been pondering on Abraham and His willingness to believe and listen to God enough to be willing to sacrifice Isaac. What about the young boy David who slew Goliath because He knew His God was with Him? Then there’s Elijah who called down rain from Heaven in order to show that His God was real. Esther saved her people because of her bravery before her husband, the king! The list goes on forever!! These are but a few of so many powerful examples from whom we can gain encouragement and strength.
Then God said something that surprised me. God told me to look at their mistakes or shortcomings or weaknesses. So I did. Abraham had been told that he would be the Father of many nations, that his seed would be too numerous to count. Yet, he took things into his own hands when Sarah suggested he take another woman through whom the promise could be accomplished (Genesis 16). Look what happened as a result of that. The ramifications of his decision resulted in two religions at odds with one another to this day! David committed adultery and had a man killed so that David could take the man’s wife (2 Sam. 11). Elijah ran away and hid in a cave because he chose to be afraid rather than have confidence in His God. Elijah wanted to die (1 Kings 19), and all of this after the great miracle in which he called down rain from Heaven (1 Kings 18). Esther gained her spot as King Xerxes’ queen in part due to deceit or failure to reveal the “whole truth” (Esther 2:10). Yet, all of these individuals are set forth in the books of the Old Testament as people to whom we should look up and from whom we should learn.
This speaks volumes to me. Do you see that God does not focus on our shortcomings or mistakes?! In the New Testament, Abraham is revealed as the Father of our faith (Rom. 4). Yes, he had faith to sacrifice Isaac, but he apparently did not stand on the same faith when it came to waiting for the birth of that son through whom the promise of God would occur. He slept with someone other than his wife Sarah. Yes, David slew Goliath because he said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.…You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty….This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands….[F]or the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands. (1 Sam. 17:37, 45-47).” Yet, David murdered because of his own lusts. Still, David is referred to as a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). Do you see the pattern and the point? We all make mistakes. There are times when we walk powerfully in the name of God and accomplish great things for Him. We feel invincible because we know God is with us, and we trust in Him to accomplish His mighty plans through us. We walk in bravery and honor and truth and faith! We know that we know that with Him, we can do all things and that nothing is impossible. Then, at times, we all fall short. What happens? We don’t tell the whole truth because we think it will gain us something. We display anger rather than long suffering. Some steal or kill or commit adultery or become involved in pornography. The list is infinite. Yet, these examples show that we serve a merciful God.
Do you see that God loves us in spite of our mistakes? He is bigger than anything wrong we can ever do. Is something you have done that you are not proud of keeping you from fully accepting His great love for you? He only has one request. Lay it at His feet. Run to Him rather than away from Him. All of these Bible heroes walked on with God regardless of their mistakes or flaws. They still called on Him, and He answered and blessed them and helped them throughout their lives. He does the same for us. Our mistakes do not discourage God. He does not look at us and say, “Oh, another failure, another hopeless case. When will she/he ever learn?” No! A thousand times no! An eternity of no! God says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Mt. 11:28-30).” God is not a hard taskmaster but a loving Father. Lay your sins at his feet. Ask His forgiveness, and He washes you clean. Your slate is new. He forgets your trespasses and indiscretions and views you white as snow! Thank the Lord for His mercy, and let Him love you the way no other can!! Then go forth with Him. Don’t let your mistakes keep you from accomplishing all that He desires to do through you!
Walk in His gift of mercy and love; then do what He needs you to do on this earth!
If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this: Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption. I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit. I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me. Amen.