The story of Genesis is the story of the coming of Jesus despite a line of men whose were mess ups and failures.
I remember growing up learning about bible characters and thinking that they were heroes. I thought that I was supposed to grow up to be like the great men of the felt board. I thought that the Bible, specifically the Old Testament, was a book full of fables that taught us to be strong like Sampson, to knock down my giants like David or to dress well like Joseph. Then one day I read the bible and came to realize that it is not a book of morals, but instead the story of a bunch of messed up men.
Think about it, the man after God’s own heart had a porn problem, used his kingship for rape and then used that same power to kill the husband of the woman he raped. Then there is Sampson, who was a self absorbed, prideful and rebellious man. How about Moses who wrote the law? He murdered. Abraham? On two separate occasions Abraham told his wife to be his sister, giving her to the local king, so that his own life would be spared. Finally we have Isaac who followed his father’s example to the point where copied his sin. Isaac repeated Abraham’s sin telling Rebekah, his wife, to pretend to be his sister to save his own life.
Can I encourage you not to follow the example of the great men of the Bible?
If the Bible tells one story it is the story of God, driven by grace, constantly working to bring His son to this world despite the actions of the line that would bring him. If the hope of our salvation depended on the characters of our Bible heroes we would be hopeless. That said the story of the Bible is of the bible is not the story of those men, it is the story of Jesus.
One of the big themes that is found across the book of Genesis and throughout the Old Testament is of characters who fail in big ways and also of God who responds to those characters through grace constantly moving His plan (to save all men) forward.
When I look at my own life, I can’t imagine why God would ever use me. I can look at the sins that I have and continue to struggle with and wonder why God would use some one like me. The good news is that I depend on God’s forgiveness, live dependent on His grace and walk in His righteousness.
There is no good in the Old Testament heroes just as there is no good in me. We all have fallen, we are all sinful. We are all saved by grace alone and live dependent on the righteousness of God.
The Bible is not a story about you, it is the story of Jesus and we simply get the grace that He gives.