Mistakes in the Bible, part 1

Adam and Eve Are Driven out of Eden, DoreMany of the patriarchs and “super saints” of the Bible are often honored and remembered for their great acts of faith and courage in the name of the Lord, however what is often overlooked is their sins and mistakes. I believe it is equally productive for us to look at their mistakes as it is their successes because of our fallen state, we would do well to learn from their mistakes.

Here are four classic cases from the O.T. of followers of God messing up, study these and apply them to your life. Remember,  Satan still uses the same old tricks and Ecclesiastes 1:9 rings true – there is nothing new under the sun.

Adam and Eve

  • Disobeying God’s command
    • God told Adam what not to do and the consequence of disobeying (Gen 2:16-17)
      • God did not tell Eve directly so Adam had to tell her
    • When Satan tempted Eve he twisted what God had said
      • Satan convinced Eve that the consequence of death was not genuine
      • Satan also convinced Eve that Gods best was being withheld from them
    • Satan’s techniques        (Gen 3:1-5)
      • Doubt               -Questioning Gods command and His consistency
      • Deception         -Believing something as a truth that is not true
      • Dislocation       -Being in a position or location that you were not designed for
    • Temptation’s methods     (1John 2:16 vs. Gen 3:6)
      • Lust of the flesh            (The tree was good for food)
      • Lust of the eyes            (The fruit was pleasant to the eyes
      • The pride of life            (The tree was desirable to make one wise)


  • Fearing man instead of trusting God
    • God promised Abram that he would become a nation and that he would be great
      (Gen 12:2-4)

      • Instead, he feared that Pharaoh would kill him for his wife (Gen 12:12-13)
    • Abram was walking in faith to the land which God would show him
      • However he doubted Gods protection of him and took matters in to his own hands
    • God’s redemptive character means more than just forgiving us of sins
      • He is able to protect us and keep us safe in tough places
      • When we are living on a promise from God, there will be challenges but also protection
      • God’s provision for those who love Him are greater than the challenges they will encounter
    • We can hold God to His promises in troubled times, He never fails or lies
      • Jam 1:17, Heb 7:22, Eph 1:14, Rom 4:17-20


  • Spiritual adultery against Yahweh
    • Throughout the OT, in nearly every book the main sin of Israel was turning to other gods
      • Israel wanted to adopt the gods, idols, and practices of neighboring countries
        • God called Israel to be a light to the world, different, set apart, holy (Exd 19:6)
    • False gods are always tamable, controllable and convenient – the living God is neither!
      • Israel wanted a manageable religion that fit their preferences
        • They wanted the benefits of the other gods but the security of Yahweh
        • You cannot have intimacy with God if you have intimacy with false gods, He does not share us
          Exo 20:5, Exo 34:14, 1Cor 10:21
      • We should not try to merely fit Jesus in to our lives when it’s convenient for us
    • Adultery joins you with that person, just as Israel divided themselves among many gods
      • Israel committed spiritual adultery when they worshiped other gods which is characterized by Hosea’s prostitute wife cheating on him (Hosea 3:1)
    • Christ has come to finish the work of uniting us with God but we are still to remain faithful
      • His love and desire for us is demonstrated by His unfailing forgiveness of our sins


  • Running from God’s calling
    • God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach to the Gentiles but instead he fled “from the presence of the Lord” to Tarshish
      • Tarshish was at the edge of the civilized world but you can’t ever get far enough from God – not by running from Him, not by disobeying Him, He’s always there
      • Don’t localize God or you will localize your devotion to Him
    • When God gives you a specific calling or instruction you must obey it.
      • Jonah disobeyed God’s command perhaps for any of these reasons:
        • He feared they would not believe and then kill him
          • We are only required to obey, when we do God takes care of the rest
        • He feared if they repented that God will not destroy them and in turn they would eventually destroy Israel
        • He was racist or nationalist and thought they did not deserve or could not accept the message of the Law because they were gentiles
          • No one is too far gone for Gods grace to meet them, you just have to obey let GOd do the dirty work
      • He will work out the unknowns
      • Faith in His promise will protect you from failure
      • You also should not run from obeying Gods instructions in the Word, don’t be a selective believer when you read the Word of God

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