Not long ago, I was at a convention and someone asked me who my favorite person from scripture is. That didn’t require much thought. I have a list of favorites. The very top of the list is and always will be Christ. That’s a given. There is no other name like that name. He sacrificed for me. Without Jesus, I would simply be another person void of hope in an ever darkening world. But, as the question poised to me was part of an ongoing conversation, I understood that the what was being asked of me was this. Other than Jesus, who is my favorite person from scripture?
Again, I have many people from both the old and new testament that I enjoy reading about. Job is one of my all-time favorites. In all of scripture, no one is on the receiving end of God’s sarcasm quite like Job. Why? Because Job got caught up in his own righteousness and—for a moment—thought it was his place to question The Almighty. Can you say, “Uh-oh?” Before I break into a tangent, I better stop there. Job is not my favorite.
Peter was an ordinary man, a laborer, a fisherman. He had no “special” skills that set him apart. Yet, he became known for his zeal and passion. He once picked up a sword to defend Christ! (As an aside, I have several years experience in martial arts. That’s my kind of bro.) He went on to fight a greater battle with a different kind of sword, the Word of God. Still, he is not my favorite.
My favorite is someone who exemplified what it means to be “a man’s man.” As a boy, this man showed his faith in God like no other at that time. He was constantly underestimated. And, I think he understood that he wasn’t any better than the others around him. However, it was his strong belief that separated him from everyone else, including his own brothers. David, went on to become the greatest warrior that Israel ever had. Even when King Saul desired to take David’s life, David refused to lay hands on Saul, referring to Saul as God’s anointed. Later, David became King of Israel and Judah. However, David wasn’t perfect. He eventually took another man’s wife in secrecy. And, when she became pregnant, David had Uriah, his friend, killed in battle to try and cover his own shame. This cost David a great price. The child died and his children fought against him and each other the rest of his life. At one point, his own son ran him out of the kingdom, causing David to be ridiculed—an object of scorn and mockery. Even on David’s death bed, one of his sons sought to take the kingdom away from his dying father. So, with such a tragic ending to what at first seemed to be a life that would exemplify righteous living, why is David my favorite?
Much like David, I was raised with a knowledge of who God is. Growing up, we went to church almost every Sunday. We went to Sunday school and often attended Wednesday night services. In every way, I was raised as a Christian. Despite this, I still had my fair share of fights. Being the youngest in the house (like David), I often got picked on by my siblings. I learned to fight and to take care of myself. I had spunk. I also remember people commenting on my blue eyes and dimples as I was growing up. Scripture records that David was attractive. Growing up, I worked outside a lot. My parents owned a landscaping business, among other things. Working outside caused my Native American heritage (1/8) to show on my skin. I got dark. My hair, however, turned blond and was wavy. I had blue eyes, dimples, and was lean (but, not muscular.) Now, I wasn’t the most attractive young man in the world, or even my school. But, I never went long without a date. Life was good for me growing up.
Unfortunately, the similarities don’t stop there. As I grew, I started making mistakes. My vanity and pride led to an affair and divorce. Before long, my oldest daughter hated me. The next daughter in line wouldn’t talk to me. She shut down. My kingdom, crumbled. It was at this point that God first put David’s life on my heart. The pain and torment I went through was insufferable. And, watching how it affected my kids was worse. Those I thought were my friends turned their backs on me. People that I had stood by when their lives took a turn for the worst disappeared from my life, despite my pleas for someone to talk to. The enemy had isolated me from everyone and was close to victory as thoughts of ending my own life became a daily occurrence. I’m telling you this so that you can fully understand how desperate I was. For the first time, I think I began to understand David. He was a godly man who loved God with all that he had. Then, he fell. Like David, I cried out to God. Where else could I go? No one understood the pain and agony I went through. This, however, is not why David is my favorite.
We often hear of David’s story and how he fell. Then, we stop with David and Bathsheba. We stop at David’s sin. Why is it that we dwell so much on the sins of others? Why does that become our focus? It isn’t God’s focus! Despite all this, David repented. David’s story is not a story of sin and falling, but of redemption. David, who was raised with a knowledge of God, fell, and was raised back up by God. King David is the Old Testament king that all future kings would be compared to. He became the standard. David was a man after God’s own heart. And, because of David’s faith and repentant heart, because David humbled himself before God, God established his kingdom forever. It’s through King David’s lineage that our hope was made perfect.
This is why David is my favorite. God took this man who fell and raised him back up and made something from the ashes of David’s life. By God’s strength, David became the phoenix of legend. This gives me hope that God will do the same for me, take my mistakes, shortcomings, failings—all of it, and make something beautiful of it as he did with David. I may never see the beauty of what God will do with my own eyes, just as David didn’t live to see salvation through Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. Still, even before Mary’s baby was born in a stable, David believed in God’s promise. I too will believe! Romans 8:28 (NIV) says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I can trust in this, that my life, my failings, struggles, weaknesses, and more will be used by God for his purpose. I don’t need to see the end result. Instead, I have faith. David had his eyes on Christ. In Psalms, chapter 22, David prophesied concerning Christ’s death. So, I will also keep my eyes on Christ, for He is my hope.
Now, I’m interested in knowing, who is your favorite man, woman, or child from scripture? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you and God bless,
Kenyon T. Henry