Lessons Learned in Historical Books
AT SOME POINT in our lives, each of us has to come to grips with fear and worry. Most of the time it’s caused by one thing: change. Many of us shudder at the very thought. It’s been a lifelong struggle for me. Even when I was a small child, any change caused a flare-up of fear and worry. I hated change and did everything in my power to avoid it. As Christians, though, we aren’t called to a life that is easy or never changes. We all nod as we read this because, of course, we know it.
The Bible says we will suffer for Christ’s sake. Giving our lives to Him is not risk-free. Yet we all are guilty of running the other way—or being tempted to—when God calls us to something new, very much unknown, and no doubt scary. We don’t want things to be hard. We don’t want to leave the comfort of our little bubble. Over and over again we resist God’s call, yet the beautiful part about it all is that God never once leaves our side. Not once does He give up on us.
I’m in my first year of Bible school and currently taking a class called Historical Books, an in-depth study from Joshua all the way to Esther. During my childhood, my parents always made a point of sitting down with my siblings and me for family Bible study. Most of what I remember was working our way through the Pentateuch, historical books, and parts of the poetical books. Many details never made sense to me, and I honestly didn’t attempt to remember what we read. The basics of each story stuck with me; but why the story was important, I couldn’t tell you. I always assumed they were just stories—things that happened but didn’t really apply to us today. I hope you’re laughing with me because obviously, that isn’t true. Throughout each book, each chapter we’ve worked through in class, I see this constant theme: We are sinful human beings who will ultimately always choose what we think is best because we are incapable of doing anything else. And yet, God is so faithful.
Throughout the historical books, we see multiple instances of the Israelites crying out to God for help in their time of need, and God delivering them. But by the end of each situation, they’ve turned away from Him. Again. We have spent a lot of class time discussing the judges and who God calls to lead/deliver His people in some way. The
Lord has a thing for choosing people who seem like nobodies—those who don’t look like they can do much on their own, because hey, they can’t. Near the beginning of Judges is the famous story of Gideon. When we went through it, I had forgotten the small but very important detail that Gideon was very low on the totem pole in his family, and
his tribe wasn’t significant, either. In other words, Gideon was the lowest of the low. Yet God chose him to fulfill His purpose. Gideon doubted and questioned the Lord’s plans, but in Judges 6, the Lord told Gideon to not fear and to trust Him, and He was with Gideon through the whole process.
God wasn’t just with Gideon. Throughout each story, each time the Israelites or those chosen by God doubted what He was doing, He was faithful to stick with them. In my own life, I have experienced His grace and mercy every time I am tempted to worry or let that fear overtake me. I am reminded of the promises that He gave to the Israelites and to us as well. Every day He proves He is with us and in complete control of whatever changes we may go through.
Breanna McNear [AFLBS student] is from
This article first appeared in Kinship Magazine, Spring 2018 Edition.
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