by Dr. Ken Matto
Many times the Christian fails in some endeavor and tends to condemn themselves. We have a habit of comparing ourselves with the people in the Bible, such as Noah, Moses et al. We believe because we cannot do the great exploits they did, that we are of less value than they and that we do not have a significant role in God’s plan for our present age.
WAIT! Hold it a minute! You have been cheating yourself because you only compared yourself to their good works and not their human side. There are two places where all Christians are equal: First, at the foot of the cross; and the other is in human frailty. Satan loves to make us feel inferior and sadly he has great success in doing it. So for this article I want to focus in on the frailty of some of God’s servants to show us how equal we really are to those in the Bible, except the Lord Jesus who never sinned.
We carry a belief that their relationship to God must have been more intimate than ours and they were super saints. This is false because we have the same relationship to God today as the Bible characters did in time past. The difference is the OT folks looked forward to the cross and we look back. Another reason I wish to focus on their failures is that if you take a step of faith and fail, your relationship with God is unaffected. It was either out of God�s will or out of His timing.
Whether we have times of success or times of failure, our relationship to God through Christ is solid and sealed.
(Eph 4:30 KJV) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Notice this verse says we are sealed! The word "sealed" means "to make fast with seal or signet, or to seal for security." The signet God sealed us with is Calvary. This means no matter how many times we fail, we are secured in Christ until the day of our redemption, which would be either our death or the return of Christ. Of the Bible saints I mention, which one was left out of Heaven because of their failures? None!
Peter was one of Christ’s most zealous servants. He was going to take the world by storm for Christ. He boasted even if all the disciples would abandon Jesus, he surely would not. Peter answered even if no one asked him a question. (Matt. 19:27; Mark 9:5) Finally, we are familiar with the fact that Peter denied Christ at the time of His betrayal. (Matt. 27:69-75) Peter was guilty of denial.
Thomas is widely known as "doubting Thomas" and this is an erroneous moniker. Why don’t we ever say "doubting Gideon" since he put the fleece out for God to show him by sight that he was the chosen one to lead Israel. He did not believe the angel. Thomas would not believe unless he physically saw the Lord’s nail prints and spear wound. We have not heard many sermons on the boldness of Thomas. In John 11:16, Thomas was willing to go back to Jerusalem with Christ, even though it would have meant his death. (John 11:16 KJV) Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Thomas was guilty of unbelief. (John 20:25)
We all know Noah built the ark on God’s command, even though no rain was in sight and not due for a century. Noah obeyed resulting in the physical salvation of the human race and the animals. Noah’s journey was over, the flood subsided, and they were once again on dry land, so Noah became a farmer. One day Noah became so drunk he passed out in his tent. (Gen. 9:20-29)
Noah was guilty of drunkenness.
Moses was probably the most stressed of all God’s servants having to lead about two million complaining Israelites through the desert for forty years. In Exodus 17:6, God commanded Moses to strike the rock, and when he did, fresh water gushed forth. The same scenario exists in Numbers 20:8-13. We see that God commanded Moses to just speak to the rock, but Moses, no doubt in anger and disgust, struck the rock twice with His staff in disobedience.
The symbolism here is that Christ is the rock and only once was He to be smitten as His sacrifice was the one to end all sacrifices. By Moses striking the rock again, it symbolized Christ being crucified a second time for our sins. We now speak with Christ, as Moses was supposed to speak to the rock instead of smiting it. This is a good lesson in not letting our feelings dominate our decisions. One other thing, before Moses became saved he killed an Egyptian. (Exo 2:12 KJV) And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. Moses was guilty of disobedience and murder.
Elijah had just experienced a great victory on Mt. Carmel, as a single representative of God. He had a part in the destruction of 450 prophets of Baal. Israel knew that God was the God of Israel, not Baal. When Queen Jezebel heard what Elijah did, she threatened him with death in twenty four hours. Elijah ran for his life in fear of her and begged God to take his life. (1 Kings 19:3-4) Elijah was guilty of fear and faithlessness.
Abraham is known as the father of the faithful, as so plainly displayed in his willingness to sacrifice Isaac unto the Lord. We also see his faithfulness in leaving Ur of the Chaldees without a known destination. In Genesis 20 we see the story of Abraham denying the fact that Sarah was his wife because he feared Abimelech would have killed him so he could take Sarah to be his wife. Here we see the father of the faithful exhibiting great faithlessness along with dependence on human reasoning to get him out of that situation. Here we see Abraham is guilty of lying.
David is known in Scripture as "a man after God’s own heart." David did many things which pleased God. When he slew Goliath, he was the only one who saw Israel’s army as the army of the living God. The rest were thinking on a physical plane. David showed great insight into spiritual matters. When David became king, he may have become prideful and believed he could do things without facing consequences for his actions. David saw Bathsheba and lusted after her. Bathsheba became pregnant so David tried to have her husband, Uriah, sleep with her so David's sin would be covered. It backfired so David had Uriah murdered. David was guilty of lust, murder, and adultery.
These seven illustrations should serve to show us that God’s choicest servants sinned. Although they were chastised for their sins, they never lost their intimate standing before God. They enjoyed the same relationship to God the Christian does today. Let’s review the list of sins again done by God’s frail servants: denial, unbelief, drunkenness, disobedience, fear, faithlessness, lying, lust, adultery, and murder.  What a list of sins yet they were all atoned for by the blood of Christ. God could boast about these servants because He justified them. (Rom 8:33 KJV) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. We have a list of sins which were both intentional and unintentional, yet God still accomplished His intended goals despite their sinful natures getting in the way. It is the same with us, God knows we have sinful natures which will set us back in our Christian walk if we choose to obey them, but the bottom line is God will not forsake us, even in the midst of disobedience. (Read Nehemiah 9.) One must read Romans 8:38-39 and Hebrews 13:5 to realize this beautiful fact. So next time you compare lifestyles compare the wood, hay, and stubble in addition to the gold, silver and precious stones for balance. Better yet, compare yourself to Jesus, and use His life as your standard, not fallible men.
(Neh 9:17 KJV) And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.