The Big Question 63: Why Do People in the Bible Behave So Badly?
May 18, 2021 251
Why do people in the Bible behave so badly?
Let me be right up front here and agree that there’s some pretty bad behavior in the Bible. Now, it’s atrocious. Yes, the Bible has it all.
A while ago, I watched part of a television series based on the stories of the Old Testament. I mean, I knew those stories well. But I was horrified to see the violence that was depicted on the screen. And I realized that I tend to read the Bible through rose colored glasses, and I tend to ignore the bad behavior, but it’s certainly there.
And one particularly notable feature of the Bible is that it isn’t the supposedly bad people of the Bible behaving badly. Instead, it’s often the people who are meant to be good, the heroes of the Bible.
Where does that come from? You might be surprised to know, for example, that Abraham was a liar who struggled with his faith in God. Moses was a murderer who struggled with his temper. And David hit the jackpot. He was both a murderer and an adulterer on face value.
Hardly the kinds of people we would want as leaders, are they? And you might not know that a couple of women in Jesus family tree were sex workers and one was an adulterer. You’ve got to give credit to the Bible. It doesn’t idealize the complexities of life and the struggles we all have.
The Bible doesn’t hold back from holding a mirror back up to our world. Both the good and the bad. And really, that makes me respect the Bible more, because the Bible genuinely connects with the realities of human existence.
And because of that, it has the authority to offer genuine and real solutions to us. The Bible solutions are based on the fact that it’s the story of how God redeems fallen, broken people. To redeem something means to give incredible value to something that is seemingly worthless.
And that’s the business that God is in with people. Really, the worst part of the Bible isn’t what I’ve mentioned, but the worst part in terms of people behaving badly is what the human race did to Jesus on the cross.
But our rejection of God only serves to highlight the magnificence of his forgiveness and his love for us. The Bible tells you the truth about the characters on its pages. So you can read it and know that there’s hope for you as well, that what he did for them, he can do for you.