Active in church. Respected in the community. Possessing boyish charms and to most people the most important feature of them all – earning lots of money in business.
Suddenly everything disappeared. Business fails. Absent from the church scene. Frequently seen in the company of shady characters and separated from his family – living with another girl. If the descriptions fit someone you knew, don’t be surprised. The descriptions fit many people I know too. The question now is this. When you meet someone like the one I described, what would your reactions be?
Now before you start pronouncing judgment on that person and before you begin rattling off 10 or 20 bible verses together with some cross references, something written by Max Lucado from his book entitled “God Came Near” would be very beneficial for us to remember. I’ve added a little something to his words in order to emphasize so don’t fault him – blame it on me in case you don’t like it.
For thousands of years using his wit and charm, man had tried to be friends with God. And for thousands of years, he had let God down more than he had lifted Him up. He’s done the very thing he promised he’d never do. It was a fiasco.
Even the holiest of the heroes sometimes forgot whose side they were on.
Some of the scenarios in the Bible look more like the adventures of Sinbad the sailor-than stories for vacation bible school.
Remember these characters?
Aaron. Right-hand man-to Moses. Witness of the Plagues. Member of the “Red Sea Riverbed Expedition.” Holy priest of God. But if he was so saintly, what is he doing leading the Israelites in fireside aerobics in front of the golden calf?
The sons of Jacob. The fathers of the tribes of Israel. Great-grandsons of Abraham. Yet, if they were so special, why were they gagging their younger brother and sending him to Egypt? Talk about kidnap cases in our country – they’re mere copies. Not originals.
David. The man after God’s own heart. The King’s king. The giant-slayer and songwriter. He’s also the guy whose glasses got steamy as a result of a bath on a roof. Unfortunately, the water wasn’t his, nor was the woman he was watching. From peeping Tom to Do Juan to dirty Harry and all these in just a couple of verses and chapters.
Now what about Samson. Swooning on Delilah’s couch, drunk on the wine, perfume, and soft lights. A glass of Dom Perignon, a douse of Chanel Perfume No. 5, Sinatra’s and some caviar on the side. She’s putting on something more comfortable. Victoria’s Secret revealed. She’s thinking, I know I put those shears somewhere. In case you’ve forgotten, this is the bible’s original Viagra guy. His first words in the bible were “I see a woman.” A real He-man with a She-weakness.
Adam adorned in fig leaves and stains of forbidden fruit. Good thing leaves don’t make good clothes substitutes or else I would be out of business when I was still in the garments industry.
Moses throwing both a staff and a temper tantrum.
King Saul looking into a crystal ball for the will of God. Practicing Fung Suy I suppose.
Noah, drunk and naked in his own tent.
These are the chosen ones of God? This is the royal lineage of the King?
These are the ones who were to carry out God’s mission?
It’s easy to see the absurdity.
Why didn’t God give up? Why didn’t He let the globe spin off its axis?
Even after generations of people had spit in His face, He still loved them. After a nation of chosen ones had stripped Him naked and ripped His incarnated flesh, He still died for them. And even today, after billions have chosen to prostitute themselves before the pimps of power, fame and wealth, He still waits for them.
It is inexplicable. It doesn’t have a drop of logic nor a thread of rationality.
And yet, it is that very irrationality that gives the gospel its greatest defense. For only God could love like that.
So the next time you see and meet someone struggling in the pit. Don’t give up on him; just remind him of God’s Grace. Help him recover but love him as God loves him too. Warts, pimples and all. By the way. The next time you get disappointed seeing someone failing in his walk with Christ. Look at the mirror. Don’t be surprised if you find warts and pimples too.