Lesson 294: "If You Could Have Been"
If you could have been anyone in the bible, who would have chosen to be? I caution all of you not to choose to have been God! Remember what happened to Lucifer (Satan)? To help make your decision, re-read the life stories associated with your favorite bible person. Put yourself in their shoes and walk the exact paths they trod throughout their existence. If you choose one and realize that their trials were more than you could have endured, then thank God you were not put in their situation and choose another. This lesson is an exercise for an extended bible character study and there are no rules set in stone.
Speaking of set in stone, would you have been Moses, setting in stone tablets the Ten Commandments? You would have been born in Egypt next to the River Nile, raised in a palace with all the princely privileges. Even after being demoted to a lowly shepherd in the heart of a desert you would have seen breath taking events such as the burning bush. With a staff and the Word of God you would have been supernaturally empowered to not only turn the waters to blood but to part them as well; providing an escape route for thousands. The most exciting part of being Moses would have been that he talked to God face to face.
Joseph was the opposite of Moses in that he started life as a shepherd and was promoted to the palace. This was not by his choice but came about through the jealously and hatred of his brothers. Would you have been able to stand and rise above these estranged family relationships? How about King Nebuchadnezzar who supposedly built the hanging gardens of Babylon but later the deranged king was eating grass with the cattle. Wouldn’t it have been just the coolest thing to walk on water like Peter? Or get to lean against Jesus at the supper like John? Would you have wanted to be Mary with the awesome responsibility of raising and then relinquishing to the Cross the Messiah?
I’m not sure I would have lived to reach the floor of the lion’s den as Daniel did. My faint heart would have stopped at the very thought of being eaten alive by the hungry beasts. And take Hosea! It was bad enough that God told him to “take an adulterous wife” but did her name have to be “Gomer”? Could it not have been Esther? Scripture does not tell us what Gomer looked like but Esther “was lovely in form and features”, and she married the king who ruled over 127 provinces. Being Esther might have had advantages that would appeal to all women.
I have never heard anyone wanting to live as Jeremiah did. He began his ministry under Judah’s last GOOD king, Josiah, and continued under four EVIL kings. Assyria’s power declined and Babylon attained world supremacy. Jeremiah began his ministry from Jerusalem at the age of twenty, continuing over a span of forty years, witnessing the destruction of his beloved city. It was Jeremiah’s responsibility to boldly proclaim God’s judgment on the nation for her continuous sin and he wept throughout the ministry and his books. He suffered beatings, imprisonment and excommunication from the Temple worship. Even though broken-hearted, he could not be stopped! Use the next five minutes it will take you to read his book of Lamentations and find why Jeremiah sat among the ashes of Jerusalem and wept. His anguish is for the exiles and those left behind destitute. Lamentations is a funeral song for the death of Jerusalem; however, in Jeremiah’s contrite heart he had a glimmer of hope in the power, mercy, fairness and faithfulness of God! Wow! Could you have been the one to bear this pain and stay true and faithful to God?
Jude was the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. He repented sincerely and humbled himself low enough to name himself a servant of his half-brother. Jude, like his brother James, did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God until after the Resurrection. His book is only one page long in most bible versions but packs a wallop against Gnosticism. This false doctrine teaches that sins of the body do not affect the purity of the soul. Gnosticism opens the door for people to engage in all kinds of immoral and perverted evils. On the other hand Jude encourages the faithful to remain strong and to show mercy to those who doubt. Luke was a physician and was the author of “the most beautiful book ever written”. He relates the births and ministries of both Jesus and John the Baptist. We learn of Jesus’ genealogy, baptism, temptations, journeys; His sufferings, Crucifixion, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension. What an honor to have been chosen to write such details of one’s Lord and Savior. I am going to pass on being Jonah, swimming around in the belly of a fish. Obadiah’s short book aims its condemning, final message at one nation, Edom and Job? Well, I am thinking that none of you would have wanted to be Job and for sure I have no takers on being his wife. She had twenty kids you know?
I have decided who I would have chosen to be. That old thief on the cross! We don’t know what all he had done and none of you know what all I have done. But this one statement of repentance; “Lord remember me when you come into your Kingdom” and Jesus’ immediate reply’ “Today, you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43), proves to me that God sits ready to forgive any and everyone of whatever sin they have committed. He didn’t ask the thief to “clean up” and I am sure he had been flogged just like Jesus. Although dirty and blood-stained, he knew where to find the cleansing water. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isa. 1:18). From sinner to saint in a twinkling of an eye; from hell to heaven in a flash; following on the heels of his Savior, praising God all the way home! The safest place I can think of would have been “hanging with Christ”!
“SCRIPTURE MADE EASY”
By: Polly Gwinn
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