We tend to picture Bible heroes as being perfect when really they were just ordinary people like us. The reason we still study their lives today, however, is because they believed God and acted in specific situations that had remarkable outcomes—outcomes that still inspire us thousands of years later. Wouldn’t you love to know that something you and your child did—an act of obedience, a show of strength, an episode of courage—could strengthen someone in the future? Take a page from the dynamic chapters in these Bible personalities’ lives and you’re on your way!
“Then those men spoke to the king. They said, “Daniel is one of the captives from Judah. And he is not paying attention to the law you wrote. Daniel still prays to his God three times everyday.” (Daniel 6:13, ICB)
Even at the prospect of being thrown into the lions’ den for praying to God, Danielneverwavered in his worship of the one, true God. And even after he was thrown into the den, God miraculously spared his life. No “lion”! Not a single hair on his head was touched. David stuck like glue to his principles—principles founded on God’s Word. No matter who or what tried to dissuade him, he was persuaded that God was able to deliver him.
What can we learn from Daniel? Daniel was a teenager who obeyed God without apology. You will never, ever go wrong by living for God. Like Daniel, you are safer in the hands of God than anywhere else.
“You might keep quiet at this time. Then someone else will help and save the Jews. But you and your father’s family will all die. And who knows, you may have been chosen queen for just such a time as this.”(Esther 4:14, ICB)
Esther was an orphan who was adopted and raised by her cousin, Mordecai. Esther was very pretty and eventually, she was noticed by the king of Persia, who made her his queen. This position gave her a lot of influence with the king. That influence eventually helped her andMordecaistop the schemes of a wicked man who wanted to destroy her people, the Jews. Esther’scourage and willingness to act at just the right time saved the lives of many Jews.
What can we learn from Esther? God has an important part for you to play in His plan that no one but you can fulfill. Will you show up and play it?
Boy with loaves and fish
“Here is a boy with five loaves of barley bread and two little fish. But that is not enough for so many people.” (John 6:9, ICB)
When this boy’s mom packed his lunch before he went out for the day, she had no idea, of course, that its contents would be involved in a miracle! Her son’s lunch—which didn’t amount to much lunch at all—the tiniest of fish and five hard rolls—was used by Jesus to feed more than 5,000 people. We don’t even know this little boy’s name, but we’re still talking about him today! His willingness to give all he had to Jesus fed many, many people. More importantly, their full tummies led to their coming to know God!
What can we learn from the boy with the loaves and fishes? Give whatever you have to God—your possessions, your talents, your smarts, your abilities—for Him to use anyway He wants. You’ll be amazed by what a lot He can do with your little.
“Moses held his hand over the sea. All that night the Lord drove back the sea with a strong east wind. And so he made the sea become dry ground. The water was split. And the Israelites went through the sea on dry land. A wall of water was on both sides.” (Exodus14:21-22, ICB)
Can you imagine? More than 600angrychariotsarechasing you across the desert and the only way out is through the Red Sea! That’s called being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Who would put people in that kind of position? Moses, that’s who. He obeyed God down to the tiniest detail and God not only spared the Israelites by letting them walk safely across a dust-dry ocean floor, He then brought the walls of water crashing back down and drowned the Egyptians who were chasing them.
What can we learn from Moses? God will make a way for you. What seems impossible to you is easy for God. With your best interest in His heart, He can clear a path through anything for you. He just wants your complete obedience in all things.
“So when the Midianite traders came by, the brothers took Joseph out of the well. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. And the Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.”(Genesis 37:28, ICB)
Can you imagine being sold by your siblings? It happened toJosephthis way: Joseph’s older brothers hated him because their father Jacob showed a special love for him. (Joseph was also a tattletale, which didn’t help matters any.) When the brothers had finally had enough of him, they took an opportunity to sell (that’s right, sell!) their brother. You can read the amazing tale starting in Genesis 38, but in the end, Joseph’s sad predicament proved to be the wonderful saving grace for all.
What can we learn from Joseph? Joseph was dealt some pretty hard blows, but as his faith in God matured, he was able to see the setup in the setback. God was working in his life all along. You can also have faith that God is working all things in your life—the positives and the negatives—for your good and even for the good of the people you love.
“As Goliath came near to attack him, David ran quickly to meet him.He took a stone from his pouch. He put it into his sling and slung it. The stone hit the Philistine on his forehead and sank into it. Goliath fell facedown on the ground.”(1 Samuel 17:48-49, ICB)
David, the shepherd boy, had had enough. He’d had enough of Goliath making fun of and cursing the one, true God and decided to take matters into his own little hands. And while it seemed that David had everything going against him—youth, inexperience, cockiness, and no armor—he actually had the only thing going for him that mattered—He had God on his side. And because of that, he was able to take that giant down.
What can we learn from David? You will not have an actual Philistine staring you down, but you will encounter other “giants” in life—we all do. But as a friend of God’s you always have Him on your side. And because of that, you will never face anyone or anything alone!