Which Bible character's path moves you to awe the most atm?

(SeanO) #1

I’ve been reading Genesis and thinking a lot about how God’s timeline and means of working in different peoples’ lives, even in Scripture, is so varied and amazing.

Hebrews 1:1 is so true when it says “In the past God spoke to our ancestors at many different times and in many different ways through the prophets”.

God wrestled Jacob to the ground after many years of deceit and self-reliance. God called Abraham to leave his land and venture out in faith into Canaan. Elijah seemed to spend half his life powerfully aware of the heavenly realm.

But all of these characters were on a path that led to reliance on, worship of and humility before God.

Which character’s path makes you stand in awe of God’s handiwork the most?

Recently, for me, it has been Jacob. Through Laban and Esau God repeatedly confronted Jacob with his own deceitfulness and forced Jacob into a corner where, in the famous wrestling match, he finally sought blessing directly from God rather than stealing it and admitted his true name to God Himself.

The way God worked in Jacob’s life is so precise, so patient and so perfectly designed to bring Jacob to the place where he could say, “I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps” (Gen 32:10).

Did God change Saul's name to Paul?
(Melvin Greene) #2

Very interesting question, @Sean_Oesch. There’s so many people in the Bible in which God did some wonderous things. I believe my answer would change in any given times.

Right now, the person that comes to mind is Jonah. In Jonah’s story, he seems to fight God every chance he gets. God sends Jonah into the very heart of the mortal enemies of Israel to give them a warning that if they didn’t repent, God was going to wipe them out. Of course, that’s exactly what Jonah wanted to happen. But he also knew that God was a merciful God, who would forgive them if they repented. Wow, what a dilemma! What really strikes me is that even though Jonah blatantly disobeyed God, He didn’t just blast him into smitherenes. Instead, he worked with him and gave him a chance to repent, which Jonah did, albeit begrudgingly. And, when Jonah finally came to Niniveh and gave the king the message to repent, you know his heart was not in it. In spite of all that, God still used him to change the heart of the king through which He created a revival throughout the entire city. What I get out of this story is that God can use us in spite of ourselves. And, that gives me a lot of hope!

(SeanO) #3

@Melvin_Greene Yes, Jonah is such a powerful narrative of how God extends His love even to the undeserving and rebukes His people for their hardness of heart towards those less righteous than themselves.

It would have been interesting to be in Nineveh and see the juxtaposition between Jonah’s half-hearted warning and the peoples’ response. I wonder how God had been preparing the hearts of the people of Nineveh for this moment or which Ninevites had lived life in such a way that God saw that they feared Him enough to repent.

(Helen Tan) #4

@Sean_Oesch, thank you for initiating this discussion. I will have to say that it’s Paul who’s inspiring me at the moment. His transformation from persecutor of Christians to become the one who understood and was entrusted with the message of God’s grace exemplified the power of grace in a life. To understand and receive forgiveness for his past to say what he did in Romans 8:31-34 is amazing:

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”

Paul was real – in Romans 7, he talked about his struggles but he did not camp there. He declared in Romans 7:25 : "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” He went on in Romans 8:1-2 to say, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

The thought of ‘no condemnation in Christ’ has taught me about forgiveness, not just of others but of myself. That has been freeing.

There is so much about Paul I could talk about. I would just add here that I am inspired by the courage and tenacity of Paul. Acts 20:22-24:

And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

Jail and stoning could not hold him back. He knew God’s love and grace and was totally committed to his Lord. Paul’s life tells me that there’s hope for all of us in Christ. He is able to transform us from our very worst to become people who reflect His glory as we behold Him and rest in His grace.

(SeanO) #5

@Helen_Tan Amen! It is amazing to see how God transformed Saul the persecutor into Paul the apostle and Paul’s incessant zeal, love and self-sacrifice even in the face of ingratitude and many trials, tribulations and snares.

(Terrell Allison) #6

Good question SeanO. I have favorite books, but never considered who was my favorite person outside of Christ. Joseph is a fellow who never shows any weakness in character. A far cry from the way I have lived. I wish I could be more like him.


(SeanO) #7

@tttallison May the Lord work that in us all by the power of His Spirit! Joseph is indeed an inspiration in keeping his eyes on the long term goals and God’s covenant faithfulness.

(Jennifer Judson) #8

We know that Jesus had to have crossed paths with thousands upon thousands, healing many more than are mentioned. The interactions that have made it into the gospel narrative make me wonder so much more about those individuals. What was so special about their divine appointments that 2000 years later we still read, study and preach about them?

These unnamed souls have become favorites of mine. The woman at the well, the healed blind man brought before the priests, the woman who touched the hem of Jesus garment…

The paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda–what was it that Jesus saw in this man’s heart that led him to ask, “do you want to be healed?” The man had come to a healing place for a long time, seems the question would not need to be asked. But isn’t that how we are, we languish in our unhealed state. What makes us not seek real healing when it’s available to us?

They could see, feel, and touch God in the flesh, what happened in their lives after their encounter with Jesus?

It’s not a real answer to your question, because these are not my heroes of the faith, but they there stories linger with me–causing me to try to dig deeper into their encounters.