With each step I took, I begged the Lord to work on my behalf. I had waited long enough; it was time for things to change. Surely God would listen to my desperate cries for help. I had recently interviewed for a promotion at work and was sure it represented the answer to my financial woes. As I awaited the decision of the hiring manager, I used my late afternoon runs to plead with the Lord to give me the position I so earnestly desired.
Can we really learn anything from bad people? For example, what in the world could we possibly gain from looking at exploits of Bonnie and Clyde?
When it comes to the bad guys of the Bible, however, we can gain valuable insights. Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” In other words, we can learn valuable lessons from these depraved dudes!
It’s contest time and the prize is the beautiful new thin line NIV Bible in the picture above.
You may have expected that a vacation in the Caribbean, or perhaps a trip to Hawaii, or even a week-long stay in beautiful North Liberty, Iowa would go to the winner. However, this prize is more in keeping with an author’s income.
How do I enter the contest? You enter by simply writing a review of my first book, Shipwrecked! Learning From The Bible Bad Guys, on Amazon.com. If you have already placed such a review on Amazon don't worry, you are already entered to win the grand prize.
How do I win? After 25 reviews of my book appear on Amazon, I will determine the winner by drawing one number between one and twenty-five. The lucky reviewer whose review matches the number will win.
Here’s why I love the Bad Guys of the Bible:
1. Bad guys serve as warning signs.
Life is complex and difficult to navigate, that’s for sure. It demands warning signs simply because there are pitfalls everywhere. No one plans to shipwreck their faith, fracture their family, or wound their own soul, but sometimes these things overtake us without the advantage of an honest-to-goodness negative example. I say bring on the bad guys.
2. Bad guys expose and unmask the bad guy I deal with every day, my flesh.
That bully is an imposter and a master of deception. He relentlessly tries to get me to think that he’s my true identity instead of who I am in Christ. He knows how to make himself look good and sound good (he’s religious).
3. Bad guys help me understand that a shipwrecked life is never the result of a single bad decision but a process.
Shipwrecked! is about learning from the mistakes of several bad guys of the Bible.
Life rarely goes as we expect. That's why it's so important that we learn to walk with the Lord and trust our loving heavenly Father before things go awry. Life caught several of our Bible bad guys "off guard" and instead of looking to God in faith, they turned away from Him and made terrible decisions. As we examine their lives, we learn how we can avoid their errant choices.
The last character in the book is John Mark. From him we learn that failure does not have to be the last chapter in our lives. John Mark overcame an early failure in ministry to be greatly used of God.