In A Time When There Are No Heroes

Has anyone ever made you doubt that the stories written in the Bible are historically true?

Ever hear someone say that the stories are fine for moral teaching but they didn’t actually happen?

Take a look at Genesis 27 and ask yourself this: If someone were going to make up a story about the founding family of their faith, would this be it?

In stories people make up, there’s always a hero – a good guy. Humans don’t make up stories where there isn’t a hero.

Out of four people in this little Old Testament family – Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau – there is no good guy.

Before Jacob and Esau, twins, were born, God told their mother, Rebekah, that they would form two nations. The older would serve the younger. But, Isaac favored Esau, the hunter, over Jacob, the mama’s boy.

One of these brothers will become the father of the nation of Israel. Esau is a bold, impulsive hunter who marries foreign women – to the bane of his parents – and who, one day, trades his birthright to his brother for a bowl of lentil stew.

Jacob , his mother’s favorite, is a quiet boy who liked to hang out around the tents. Not promising leadership material.

Isaac tries to give Esau his best blessing, despite God’s prophecy, but Rebekah and Jacob conspire to trick him into blessing Jacob. When he finally discovers the deception, Esau pleads for a scrap of blessing. When he ends up with much less than he felt he deserved, he plans to kill his brother.

Nothing heroic happening here. Nothing.

And yet, God is at work.

There’s no moral to this story. It’s not useful for teaching lessons. Everyone does something wrong. If anything, it illustrates this passage from Romans 3 that Paul uses to convince us that we are all sinners:

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Ever felt like that? Ever been in a work situation, a church, a home, a country where there are no heroes? Where everyone chooses wrong and even you feel as though your choices fall short?

Take heart.

God has chosen to be the hero in all our stories. Even when everyone else chooses wrong, He chose love and made a way for salvation for all of us who are not up for the part of savior.

So, the next time someone tells you that the Bible is just stories for moral teaching, explain that if God doesn’t exist and if the stories aren’t actual history, then don’t bother trying to use them for moral instruction.

What’s the lesson of Genesis 27? Be first with your lies? Be craftier than your siblings? Take advantage of your elder parents’ failings? Avenge yourself? Grab what you feel you deserve?

I think the ultimate lesson here is that while we can certainly make a mess of our lives and our relationships, we cannot thwart God’s ultimate plan.

And, that He is a God who is willing and able to take people who are hell-bent on making the wrong choices and redeeming them, so that they are the stuff of legends.

He has the first and last word on all our lives.

Done anything heroic lately? Maybe it’s time to check in.

In a time when there are no heroes, He is.

Bookmark and Share

Get in on the conversation

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    The Conversation

  1. Maurie says:

    I haven’t followed you lately, but I’m back, and you never disappoint!

  2. Carmen says:

    “He has the first and last word on all our lives”…I needed that! Our family has been going through a LOT!! Thanks!

  3. I really liked your post. I had never looked at it that way but I do like your view. We all were sinners and are now saved by grace only God can write this story. Thanks.
    Glenda Parker