Three men from different backgrounds, cultures, and time had two things in common, they had faith in the God of the Bible and they sinned. They encompassed Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” and Romans 3:10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” or Romans 3:23, “ For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Although God used these men mightily, they still rebelled against the authority of God.
Abraham, David, and Saul (Paul) were men we revere as leaders of the Bible. Yet each one failed to take the moral high ground during their lives.
God chose Abram to be His servant. He blessed him and gave him many precious promises. Abram, then Abraham, went back and forth in his obedience to God. He lied about his relationship to his wife and failed to trust God’s timing for their son Isaac. The results of those choices can be seen in the Middle East today.
God called a shepherd boy to be King of Israel. He stood up to the Philistine giant, Goliath, with faith in God and a sling shot with five smooth stones. He faithfully served God’s man, King Saul, even while Saul was trying to kill him. Then David becomes King and one moral lapse causes him to commit adultery, murder, and disgrace for the nation Israel. The consequences were death in his family and not being able to build the temple.
God chose Saul, a Pharisee and hater of Christians to write, teach, disciple, and help evangelize the world in which he lived. Yet in the beginning it was Saul who sought out believers to imprison, torture, and kill them.
So what is God’s final analysis of these men?
“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (James 2:23)
“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.” (Acts 13:22)
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. (Acts 9:15-16)
So what do we learn?
- God uses men and women yielded to Him
- Men and women will fail to obey God
- Men and women may repent and be used of God
- God NEVER gives up on us
Every one of us can be useful in ministry, if we want to be.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001