David is one of my heroes of the faith. A mighty warrior, a charismatic leader, a creative poet and musician, with bold faith and an intimate relationship with God. Basically, everything I aspire to be. But we’re not looking at such spiritual giants that seem far out of reach. Instead, I wanted to explore some of the men and women in the Bible that I believe are just as powerful of examples of godliness in simpler or unnoticed ways. David’s best friend, Jonathan, has some of the same qualities and leadership as David. In 1 Samuel 13 and 14 we see a few of Jonathan’s exploits as he courageously relied on the strength of God to lead him to victory in impossible situations. Jonathan had a strong reputation with the people as well who stand up on his behalf when his father, king Saul, determines to kill him after disobeying a foolish oath. But what I think is most admirable is that Jonathan was the son of the first king of Israel and was, perhaps, the most likely and logical choice for being the second king of Israel after his father. Saul even declares this to Jonathan in anger in 1 Samuel 20:31. But Jonathan’s love for David and respect for God leads him to saving David’s life and swearing allegiance to him as the anointed king of Israel. Jonathan could’ve given into jealousy over David’s quick rise the way his father Saul did. But instead, he laid his ego and perceived rights aside and honored God by honoring David above himself. Consider how we can follow after Jonathan’s example.
The story of Ruth is an incredible way to start off our look at broken and minor characters of the Bible. We’re intentionally looking at some of the lesser known or secondary people in the Bible that God used to bless His people and further His Kingdom on earth. Ruth herself is already a pretty minor character. There really isn’t anything special about her and I would say her loyalty and courage is an incredible example for us. But today I want to look closer at the man, Boaz, who Ruth found redemption in. I want to encourage you to read the book of Ruth this week from the perspective of Boaz. A wealthy and hard working man with a good name and reputation. A man who uses his position and wealth to bless a young vulnerable woman. A man who probably could’ve taken advantage of her or totally disregarded her but instead treated her with kindness, generosity, and humility. He didn’t use his power to intimidate or manipulate but instead responded to God’s leading and took the incredible risk of marrying her knowing the baggage that came along with her. This was a generous and servant minded man who became part of the lineage of Jesus. Take time to consider his example of integrity this week.
We read about some INCREDIBLE people in the Old Testament. We see hero’s of old. People who accomplished enormous feats and brought glory to God as they accomplished amazing and overwhelming challenges. Men and women that God worked through to free His people, share about His character, and even provide warnings and encouragement. People like Abraham, David, Moses, and Elijah are so commonly known and revered for their relationship with God; but also people that we sometimes forget are just like us. Broken, anxious, weak, and unsure. People who, on their best day had to rely on God to lead where they couldn’t, and on their worst made horrible decisions that even cost people their lives.
Over the next few months I want to explore the lives of some of the lesser known names in the Bible. Names you may or may not be familiar with but who may also be easier to connect with and relate to. Join me in seeing how God works through broken people and minor characters to further His purpose, bring relief and restoration, and overcome enormous challenges!
Tenth Avenue North is one of my favorite bands. Their first two albums connected with me at a time in my life when I was pouring into and ministering to college students. The songs they wrote were incredibly raw and intimate with beautiful lyrics that shared a passionate relationship with God amidst the brokenness of life. I recommended these songs to many college students as they struggled through their faith and relationship with God. Now I’ll do the same with one of Tenth Avenue North’s new songs: “Greater Than All My Regrets”.
Check this song out when you have time to sit down and read the lyrics and really think about your personal life. This song shares about the consistent challenge of dealing with our sins that come back to haunt us. They leave us feeling unworthy, unforgiven, and full of shame and regret. We are encouraged to trust. Trust that God’s “mercy is greater than all of this” and that God is “greater than all my regrets”. This song is a prayer and a declaration, a reminder that God is “right here with me” and He will “never stop chasing me”. Take time to share this message with someone you love!
I’m not a historian (obviously based on the fact I refuse to say “an historian”). Therefore, I can’t tell you exactly when this practice started or who was responsible for choosing to inspire their troops this way. However, I have heard stories about famous military commanders who, upon arriving with their vast fleet of ships on a new plot of land where they would conquer the local nation and take it for their own, the commander would set fire to their OWN fleet of ships to get full commitment out of their troops that the only way back home was to go forward.
The band “For King and Country” uses this idea in a new song to inspire us to leave our broken past behind us and “step into a new day”. We are encouraged to “Burn the ships, cut the ties” and then to “Send a flare into the night”. This second line brings to mind a call for help. We serve a loving and gracious God who calls us His children and who desires good things for us. We can have confidence that we have freedom in Christ; freedom from our past and our mistakes. Check out this new song today and take time to discuss with someone close to you what ships you need to burn.