“But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…” (Nehemiah 9:17)
They each blundered big under a varying set of circumstances. Eve reached for the fruit, Sarah handed over her maid, Moses slammed the rock, David hatched a deadly plot, and the children of Israel rebelled at the edge of the Promised Land. How might their stories have been different if their belief in the character of God was greater than their view of themselves? What might have occurred if they had elevated God’s righteousness above their own selfish rights and desires?
It seems each of them intrinsically distrusted God, believed his commands were secondary to their comfort, wanted their way to supersede God’s plan. Evidently, they figured the Lord was incapable of meeting their need and could not be trusted to fulfill his Word. These Biblical characters concocted a plan they thought would provide a more desirable outcome, but their disobedience delivered far more than they ever anticipated.
We will never know how the circumstances would have unfolded differently if Eve had followed God’s clear warning, if Sarah had waited patiently for God’s timing, if Moses had controlled his anger, if David had humbly turned his back on the temptation, and if the children of Israel had focused on God’s power rather than their weaknesses. We cannot undo the past, but we can choose to learn from their costly mistakes. In their actions we just might see a reflection of our own.
As God’s beloved children, we must seek after a deeper understanding of his uncompromising character and commands. With the grace he provides, we must continue to yield our will to his and wait for his perfect timetable. The Lord desires that we trust his plans and his purposes which are tuned to bless, protect, and do us good at present and in the years to come.
These well-known Biblical characters made mistakes whenever they were underwhelmed by the character of God, holding his commands in contempt. With a spirit of humility, let us obediently continue to make our way ahead with the God of all grace by our side.
Elizabeth Mitchell serves at Boca Raton Community Church along with her husband Pastor Bill Mitchell, and is part of the faculty of WorldLead, mentoring and training leaders worldwide. Visit her blog at Journeyfortheheart.com.