Faith

After I wrote yesterday’s post, the devil said to me, “Now everyone knows your failures. Is that what you want people to remember?” Well, no!

The Bible is full of stories of great men and women of faith. The writers did not leave out the stories of their failures.

Hebrews 11:32, “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets.” Modern English Version

  1. Gideon was the youngest son of his father’s family from the weakest tribe. The Midianites came like a swarm of locusts (Judges 6:5) and Gideon defeated them with 300 men (Judges 7:8). See Judges 6-8.
  2. Barak deployed ten thousand men from 2 tribes to fight the Canaanites who oppressed them for 20 years and won. The Canaanite army had 900 iron chariots, (Judges 4:3). See Judges 4-5.
  3. Samson was a Nazarite from birth. (He never cut his hair.) With his bare hands, he killed a lion and a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey. He died when he pushed the supporting columns of the temple of Dagon over, toppling it and killing everyone inside. See Judges 13-16.
  4. Jephthah the son of a prostitute raised with his father’s legitimate sons until they were old enough to drive him away. When the Ammonites came to war against Israel, the elders of his father’s house asked him to fight them. He struck 20 cities and severely defeated the Ammonites, humbling them. See Judges 10:6-12:7.
  5. David was the youngest son who took care of the sheep. He killed Goliath the giant and killed 200 Philistines to get their foreskins which were double the bride price King Saul set to marry his daughter. When Saul died, David became king. See 1 Samuel 16-31; 2 Samuel 1-24; and 1 Kings 1:1 – 2:12.
  6. Samuel, also a Nazarite from birth, (1 Samuel 1:11), went to live in the temple with the High Priest Eli as a child, (1 Samuel 1:24). He judged Israel all the days of his life (1 Samuel 7:15). He anointed King Saul (1 Samuel 10:1) and King David (1 Samuel 16:13). See 1 Samuel 1-3; 7-10; 12; 15; 16; and 25:1.

These men all failed and made mistakes.

  1. Gideon made an ephod and all Israel prostituted themselves to it, (Judges 8:27).
  2. Barak wouldn’t go into battle unless Deborah the prophetess rode with him. God delivered the commander of the Canaanite army, Sisera, to a woman, Jael, who drove a tent peg through his head, (Judges 4:8, 9, 17-22).
  3. Samson frequently slept with a prostitute, Delilah, and she was the one who cut his hair which removed his strength and the Philistines captured him. They gouged out his eyes and he was in prison while his hair grew back, (Judges 16:1-31).
  4. Jephthah made a foolish vow to offer as a burnt offering whatever came out from the door of his house to meet him if God gave him victory over the Ammonites. His daughter, an only child, was the first one out of the door, (Judges 11:30-40).
  5. David lusted after the wife of Uriah the Hittite. While Uriah was fighting in the war David called Bathsheba and slept with her. When she told him she was pregnant, he tried to trick Uriah into going home to sleep with her. When that failed, he had Uriah killed. He married her but the child died, (2 Samuel 11:1-25).
  6. Samuel had two sons who followed after unlawful gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. He installed them as judges anyway. The people rejected them and demand he anoint a king, (1 Samuel 8-10).

Six men mentioned in the “Faith Chapter” of the Bible (Hebrews 11). Six men who failed and made mistakes. Failures do not disqualify us. The circumstances of our birth or our birth order do not disqualify us.

People will not remember our failures. They will remember our acts of faith. When someone asks about David in the Bible the first thing people say is, “He killed Goliath” because that was an act of faith.

Forget your failures; act in faith.

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