II Samuel 19:15


I remember reading the Bible when I was younger and looking up to prophets like Isaiah or Jeremiah, kings like David, and men with Abraham’s faith and wanting to be like them. I looked at them as heroes of the Bible.

It is easy to read the Bible with these characters at the center. As if these stories are meant to inspire us to be more like them. There’s only one problem… they are jacked up. And so am I. And so are you. They aren’t so much heroes as they are villains or minor sub-characters.

Which is why we should read the Bible with God at the center, not humans. These characters and stories are meant to point us to him. To draw us out of trying harder to faith in Jesus. Away from self-righteousness toward our savior.

This is clear to me as I’ve been reading about David’s life in II Samuel. He sinned with Bathsheba and hasn’t fathered his sons well. Absalom is trying to take away the kingdom from him but fails. David is ushered back into Jerusalem…

So the king came back to the Jordan, and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to bring the king over the Jordan.

David shouldn’t have won. He shouldn’t have prevailed over his son. Absalom had a well thought out plan and nearly executed it.

But this story isn’t about David’s might and wisdom. This was about David facing consequences to his sin and God’s will and promises prevailing. Not too long ago he made a covenant with David…

And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your thrown shall be established forever.

God’s plans will not be thwarted. He will accomplish his purposes. He will make good on his promises. He cannot be stopped.

This is hugely encouraging as we waffle between faith and unbelief. God will not let go us us. He will not abort his mission. As II Timothy 2:13 says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.”

Purse faithfulness by all means. But only after you’ve spent adequate time focusing on his faithfulness to his promises and the one sent to save us when we aren’t faithful.

The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. – Psalm 33:10 – 11




  1. Joel Smith says:

    Nice thoughts Jon. I think we all have our own human hero’s that take the place of Christ at times. We are all jacked up.

    • Jon Pagel says:

      Thanks Joel. I was just talking to a student about this and how to see the stories of the old testament as small pieces in the huge story of scripture in that they point to Jesus. Good stuff!

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