When the life of great people in the Bible is evaluated, it may be inspiring because of the results they experienced, but it is certainly not enticing. How would you like to be Abraham? God told him to leave friends and family and go to a place where hardly anyone lived. He waited twenty-five years to have a son. He probably expected to have a nation by then. What would you do if you had to wait this long? During this time there was a famine in the land, he had to fight to get Lot and his family back after the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were defeated, and he had the struggle to resolve problems between Sarah and Hagar. Each day he had to get up and take care of sheep, away from family and friends, interact with neighboring nations and kings, all because of what God told him to do. No results, but constant promises from God for twenty-five years. We may admire the results, but what about his day-to-day life?
How about Daniel? Came to Babylon as a young man. Lived there until he was old, maybe in his eighties. He had to go on a vegetable fast as soon as he arrived. He risked being killed by the king. He had no family, just his three friends. The king changed his name, gave him strange clothes to wear, and told him what to do every day. His friends were placed in a fire, his enemies tried to kill him, he had to sleep with lions all night, he went through several kings so that as soon as he became great under one king, God’s prophecy was fulfilled, and he had to get used to another king. Here again, are results you may admire or even covet, but what about his day-to-day life?
How about the day-to-day life of Ruth? Lost her husband at a young age, decided to go to a strange country, work in the hot sun day after day for a woman that was not her sister or mother. She married a man that fell in love with her. She did this because of Jewish law and humbled herself to go out to the fields at night risking rejection by this man her mother-in-law, that she is slaving for, told her to marry. Because of her history and the fact that she is in the line of Christ, we would admire her commitment and her blessing of being married to a rich landowner, but what about her day-to-day life?
Great people were great because they kept their eyes on the mark of a higher calling (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 4:7-16; Hebrews 12:1-3). What made them great was their commitment to die to self and live a life (John 12:23-26) under the constant control of the Word and the Spirit of God (Colossians 3:1-4). Great lives were those who made great sacrifices for God. When we focus on their life, and the results God provided, it should strengthen our day-to-day faith.
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