The pages of the Bible have plenty of inspirational stories. These stories tell the tales of regular people who were in the right place at the right time for God to use them for His kingdom. We know that not all of them were holy and unblemished, but God used them anyway. Do these Bible characters inspire and influence modern believers? We could ask many questions about the role Bible characters play in the world of modern believers. There are an estimated 3,000 characters mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Here is the story of a few characters that you’ll find inspirational and uplifting.
David is one of the most beloved Bible characters, best known for his bravery while fighting Goliath. Defeating the giant sealed David’s fame and reputation across Israel and neighboring kingdoms. His reign as king marked the golden period in the unified monarch of Judah and Israel. However, David messed up when he had an affair with Bathsheba. His intense desire began when he saw her naked and bathing. David also abused authority to cover up the matter. Still, when he heard God’s rebuke through the prophet Nathan, he acknowledged his sin. Losing God’s favor made David straighten up and be on his best behavior.
No other Bible character was as strong as Samson. The Bible tells Samson’s story in Judges, chapters 13-16. God chose Samson to be a Nazarite and deliver Israel from the Philistines. This favored position depended on purity of character, keeping his vow of consecration to God, never cutting his hair, and abstaining from wine and anything related to grapes. However, Samson’s infatuation with Delilah proved to be his downfall and ended with Samson cutting his hair. His story reminds us that temptation is always lurking around, but ultimately the avenues of temptation can lead us to God’s values. He realized what he’d done and asked God to forgive him and restore his strength so he could fulfill his task and deliver Israel, although it cost him his life.
Moses was in charge of delivering the Israelites from Egypt. He became the prince of Egypt after being rescued from a basket in the Nile River. Moses was also one of the few Bible characters who got to see God’s work with his own eyes. Ultimately, he was able to lead his people from Egypt and into the promised land but not before spending some time in the wilderness. However, Moses reached his breaking point when there were complaints of a water shortage. God told Moses to speak to a rock, but he hit it instead. At that moment, Moses’ emotions surpass his rationality. He reminds us that we shouldn’t blame God if things don’t go our way. If we remain faithful and obedient to Him, He’ll deliver us to a better place.
Jonah was the Lord’s prophet, given the task of delivering the message of salvation to the people of Nineveh. A “big fish” famously swallowed him, and he stayed in its stomach for three days and nights. Fortunately, Jonah lived to recount the story, eventually giving the good news of God’s compassion to the Ninevites. Still, Jonah attempted to run from delivering the message. He ultimately did but became frustrated when God didn’t demolish the city as planned because the people repented for their wicked ways. Still, Jonah’s story reminds us that God will forgive us even if we run away from Him. While Jonah preached God’s petition for the people of Nineveh to repent, God also taught him a lesson about His endless mercy and forgiveness.
Gideon is best known by believers for winning over Israel’s enemies with only 300 men. Biblical history places him first among the judges of Israel. Gideon demonstrated his faithfulness to God when he destroyed the idols of Baal that the nation and his father worshipped. Doing so earned him favor in God’s eyes. However, Gideon’s fear made him doubt God and made him reluctant to accept God’s mission. It took several signs from God before he found the courage to go on. Gideon’s life is an example for everyone who chooses to serve God despite the opinions of their family or peer pressure. He reminded the people to give their exaltation to God alone. In the end, his faith stood firm.
The evolution of these characters from their diminished state still inspires God’s people. Their mistakes and struggles are relevant to every generation. Being given an honorary title from God doesn’t guarantee immunity from sin. However, the good thing is all these characters eventually returned to God for forgiveness. God will never forsake His people if they come to Him in repentance. Hopefully, the stories of these Bible characters will inspire you in your walk with God.