We can learn through the people in the Bible
Hebrews 11 records those Old Testament Saints as cloud of witnesses to follow. They have been tremendous and awesome examples to us. The chapter refers to the lives that they lived, the challenges, difficulties, troubles, and hardships they faced. We are to look at the trials they went through and how they responded as well as what God did in their lives.
It’s been fascinating, reading about the lives of Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David and Daniel. Men whose lives I can relate to something like my failures and successes. Seeing how God worked in their lives, and thinking God, my situation is slightly similar, I look at how God worked in the lives, and the principles have not changed. He will work the same way He worked in those Old Testament Saints lives. I’m inspired by reading and researching on how God worked in the past and the more I do this, the more encouragement I get. I say “God, the way you worked in their lives the same you will do for me”.
You may look at your situation and say, “God this is unfair to me”. But look at Joseph who was falsely accused and imprisoned. He could have said, God where are you? But He was faithful to God. He came from no hope as a prisoner and became the prime minister of Egypt. And so, when I look at how things have been unfair to me and my loved ones, I recall and think about Joseph. I think about how the race of life can be rough and full of troubles, then I think about David. How many times he ran from one cave to the other escaping from Saul who was determined to kill him.
Then I think about the short cut Moses took by killing an Egyptian and what he went through – living in the desert as a result. He took a short cut for the plan for his life for the nation of Israel. Once we discover God’s will, that’s not the end of the story; now we have to walk it out. One of the hardest parts about following God’s will is moving in His timing. Moses tried to bring God’s will to pass when he moved in his own strength and killed an Egyptian (Ex. 2:11-12 and Acts 7:24-28). Attempting to rush God’s timing actually set Moses back thirty years (Gen. 15:13 and Ex. 12:41)!
David is one of the greatest examples in the Old Testament of the good things to do and at the same time the bad things to avoid or not to do. David was one of the best in many ways and one of the worst in many ways.
Every person learning about David will find something in his life that you can apply to yourself. If you don’t study the word of God and learn these things at somebody else’s expense, then you are destined to fall into the same mistakes yourself. We can learn, for example, how David’s sexual sin with Bathsheba affected his family and the nation of Israel. There were tens of thousands of people who died because of David’s sin.
By the help of the Holy Spirit, we can learn not to commit adultery, we can learn how to keep ourselves in seeking the Lord even when things are not going on well. We can learn these at David’s expense. That’s the best way to learn. If you want to learn something about prosperity, you can go to a person who is homeless, and you can learn about some things not to do. You may see some behaviours and some actions that caused the situation that the homeless person is in. There may be some benefits, but you don’t want to go to a homeless person to get financial advice, you may want to go to someone who is successful in these areas.
These lessons in the Bible are not about a people who lived four thousand years ago and they have no applications to us today. These scriptures were written for us today so that through them, we can learn not to commit adultery, not to do the things that some of them did, and to do the positive things that they did in order to gain lessons that we can apply to ourselves (see 1 Cor. 10:6-11).