Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
I have always adored the biblical accounts of God’s people, and as the verses above suggest, we can learn a lot from studying the lives of biblical characters. In the Old and New Testament we see God’s saving works on full display, but we also see depicted principles, pictures, and illustrations that form warnings and teach us practical truths for the believer’s life in Christ today; many of which form fascinating and instructive parallels and analogies to the believer’s life in Christ as he faces a hostile and contrary world.
See, I want you to forget those Sunday School stories we were told as children. While I think it is good for us to simplify things for our little ones, I hate the fact that Christians seem to rarely grow past those stories. They continue to see Noah as that guy on the cute boat with the giraffes’ heads sticking out of the window, instead of seeing him as a man who was willing to face daily ridicule for the purpose of being faithful to God.
I love the fact that God’s people are complex and multilayered. The Bible is full of epic, awe-inspiring, larger-than-life characters. The cool thing about them, though, is that they were real people, and these things actually happened. Just check your history books and the archeological records. In fact, if you do research in order to understand the culture of the time, and are willing to cross reference scripture, you end up with a much fuller understanding of the great men and women of the faith. What’s more, I love that the Bible doesn’t hide the sins of His people from us. The Bible shows us that His people behave, in short, like human beings who wrestle with foibles, passions, jealousies, insecurities, and so much more.
So, if you haven’t guessed already, I’m embarking on a blog series, one I hope you’ll join me for. This blog series is not about the characters that will first come to mind, though. Many men and women, with far greater writing skills than I, have spoken of the lives of great men and women like Abraham and Sarah, Peter, Paul, and Mary the mother of Christ. For these reasons, I want to focus on the lesser known, or lesser studied, characters of the Bible, some of whom happen to be my favorites! I want to look at the lives of men and women such as Deborah, Jonathan, Joseph (earthly father of Christ), and so on.
How long this series will run is anyone’s guess. I have a few characters in mind, but I am not convinced that I can come up with a solid list. I should also warn you that I am likely to write about other things here and there, and not solely focus on the Character Studies.So what is the goal? We’ll find both good and bad examples in the Bible to learn from. The Bible presents people in all their fallen humanity–warts and weaknesses, strengths and struggles. Some of the greatest biblical characters had serious flaws. Our goal is to learn from these examples and apply important lessons to our own lives.
Hope you enjoy, guys! I know I’m excited.