"Unlikely Heroes" Tuesday Psalm 103:8
“God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.”
Have you ever read the list of “faith heroes” contained in Hebrews chapter 11? This is a passage recalling the great adventures of men and women who believed God and saw Him do some incredible things in and through them. I have read this list and at times found myself in a perplexing state between total wonder at their accomplishments and simultaneous discouragement at my own deficiencies.
I remember as a church kid growing up hearing the stories of these men and women and thinking, “man I hope I can be like them someday…” As an adult, however, I’ve experienced something different. Reading back through the stories of these people in the Old Testament I’ve come to see the unedited and even explicit context in which they are captured.
None of them were perfect!
In fact, what’s glaringly obvious is their brokenness. For example, Abraham lied and put his wife Sarah in harm’s way out of fear for his own life and Sarah, tired of waiting for God to bring along their promised son, tried to take matters into her own hands by giving her handmaiden, Hagar, to Abraham to bare a child for her.
But yet none of that part of their story is recounted in the New Testament passage commemorating them…why? In Galatians 3:8 we find a gripping clue,
“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
The gospel was preached to Abraham…
We get to see the beauty of the gospel of grace in the story of Abraham and Sarah;
Not one of the individual’s listed in Hebrews 11 could claim perfection as a shinning attribute
Some were not even close to perfect
All failed and most feared at some point
But none of this was ever mentioned again.
Father God spoke this promise about the New Covenant which would be enacted through Jesus Christ,
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Is.43:25)
In reality, Hebrews chapter 11 is a wonderful depiction of this promise. Father God inspired the writer of Hebrews through His Holy Spirit to create a remembrance of these people which would contain none of their mistakes.
Father God recounted their faith in Him not their failures.
Perfection is just not possible for us on our own but I’m so grateful that because of Jesus it doesn’t have to be. Though these men and women are inspiring in their brave decision to say yes to God, they were not elite.
They were not unblemished heroes but broken humans who put their trust in a perfect God.
Father God will accomplish His purposes for our lives if we simply say yes. He truly remembers our sins no more once we’ve brought them to Him. He see’s us apart from our failures. He knows us as His beloved.
You and I are all heroes in the making, by His grace, however unlikely we may be.