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Tabloids.  You know, the magazines you read while standing in line at the checkout in the grocery store.  Only sensational news items make the headlines and fill the pages.


God doesn’t use sensational means to bring His Word to us, neither does He hide the truth.  He “tells it like it is.”  He didn’t cover the sins of prominent Bible personalities.   He allows us to see them as the very human persons they were, sometimes strong, sometimes frail, sometimes obedient and successful, sometimes rebellious and under judgment.  It is good for us to see that they were not super heroes; but just like us, so we can identify with them and know that we can approach God just as they did.  We can be forgiven for weaknesses and failures just as they were.  We can be restored as they were and know God just as they did.

Newspapers, magazines, special TV shows and cable news are only too eager to keep us informed about the intimate lives of Hollywood, Nashville and Broadway Celebrities.  They don’t forget political personalities nor society notables for stories to be splashed over the news media.  We are taken into their careers, bank accounts and even their bedrooms.  We know about successes and failures in their careers and personal lives and how they react to them.

If some of the Biblical personalities were living today, they would provide lots of fodder for the gossip columnists.  Let us look into the background of some of their lives, some real facts and then see what God’s reporter said about them.

We’ll begin with Noah (Genesis 9).  This man whom God had saved from the devastating flood that destroyed the earth, except for those preserved in the ark, got drunk and lay exposed to his sons.  It seems that one of his sons, Ham, looked upon his sleeping naked father either with lust or great disrespect; a curse was pronounced upon him because he “saw the nakedness of his father.”  What a headliner that would be today—“Naked Flood Survivor Brings Curse Upon Son!”


Then there is Abraham whom God selected to be the father of the nation of Israel.   God had made a covenant with Abraham that promised him a son who would fulfill the prophesies of the coming Messiah.  He got tired of waiting for God to make good the promise and listened to the suggestion of Sarah, his wife, to take her maid, Hagar, into his tent and conceive a son (Genesis 16).  This was not God’s plan; it was totally man-made and backfired with far reaching consequences.  Now there was another story for the scandal sheet—“Rich Man Has Affair With His Wife’s Maid Who Bears Him A Son.  The Son and Mother are Banished.”


Abraham’s son, Isaac (the one God promised him by Sarah), repeated his father’s actions by lying to the Philistine king about his wife, Rebekah.  While living in Philistia during a famine, he, like his father before him, feared that he might lose his life so one of the Philistines could have beautiful Rebekah (Genesis 26).  Can’t you see the headlines, “Isaac Deceptive: Like Father, Like Son”?


Deception didn’t stop with Isaac; it came right on down the bloodline to his son.  Jacob, second-born son of Isaac and Rebekah, deceived his father to obtain the birthright of his twin brother, Esau.  Because of the subterfuge, he had to flee from his home and never saw his beloved mother or his father again.  Jacob’s flight, experiences and struggles to return to his homeland would have made a good story for best-seller novel and blockbuster movie—“Stolen Birthright.”


An inn keeper of ill repute was a gracious hostess to spies Joshua sent to Jericho to help him plan his strategy for taking the city (Joshua 2).  If the men escaped the Jericho gossips, someone surely would have picked up on Rahab who was known as a harlot.  The sleaze journalists would have descended upon her place in droves with notepads and questions offering large sums of money to write—“Local Prostitute Harbors God’s Men.”


Then there were Barak and Gideon who were cowardly. The prophetess-judge, Deborah, called for Barak to tell him God had promised them relief from their enemy and he was to lead the army into victory.  But he was fearful and would not agree to go unless she went with them.  His trust was in the prophetess instead of in God (Judges 4).  Likewise, Gideon had to have positive proof repeated before he would obey the call from God to rid Israel of the scourge of the Midianites even though God had sent the Angel of the Lord to tell him that he would be successful in battle against them.  (Judges 6).  The political hard ball journalists would have had a field day with those stories of the cowardly military leaders—“Where Is Their Faith In the Fire?”


God had selected Samson to be the champion of Israel and endowed him with supernatural strength to defeat their enemies, but instead of being faithful he had moral failures.  Though God had warned the men of Israel not to get involved with pagan women, he courted in the enemy camp and was caught in Delilah’s trap to strip him of his super strength and ended up weak and an object for the Philistines to make sport of.  When he pulled the main pillars of the arena down and caused the structure to collapse on the sporting Philistines as well as himself, he would have made headlines in all the news media of his day—“Samson Kills More In His Death Than When He Was Alive.”


One more to consider is David, shepherd boy who became king.  That would have made a delightful story in itself.  But David’s life became very complicated when he lusted after the next door bathing beauty on her flat roof and desired her for himself while her faithful husband was off to war (where David should have been, leading his warriors).  When he learned that Bathsheba was pregnant with his child, he had Uriah, her husband, put in mortal combat with the enemy so he would be killed—murder!  He took Bathsheba as his wife and thought he had covered his tracks until the prophet, Nathan, was sent by God to expose David’s disgraceful behavior (2 Samuel 11).  Some writer could have won a Pulitzer Prize for the story of the year if he had a scoop on that one—“Adultery and Murder in the King’s Palace.”


God knew everyone of these people.  He knew everything about them.  Not only did He know their actions, He knew their motives and intentions.  Nothing was hidden from Him and He allowed their histories to be recorded for us to read.  God could justifiably have written them off and picked someone else to carry out His plans.  What did He do?  It is quite amazing!  We can find God’s Column in Hebrews 11.  Let’s see what we can dig up in it about these people who had terrible failures in their lives.  God’s Column is still in His archives and has been preserved after all those years.


Noah:  “By faith, Noah being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household…becoming heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).  That is what God’s reporter had to say about Noah.  Not one word about his failure, not one!

Abraham:  “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called…And he went out, not knowing where he was going…he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10).  What about his disobedience?  Not even mentioned!  He is remembered as “A Friend of God”!

Sarah:  “By faith, Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed and bore a child when she was past the age…” (Hebrews 11:11).  Actually she had laughed at the thought of having a child in her old age when the Angel of the Lord made the announcement to Abraham.  But the report doesn’t bring it to light nor mention her ill-conceived plan for the child of Abraham and Hagar.  Only her faith is highlighted.

Isaac:  “In Isaac your seed shall be called” (Hebrews 11:18).  There is no mention of his “genetic” deception (like his father).  The reporter just brought attention to the fact that Isaac was part of the genetic plan of God to bring in the Messiah in due time.

Jacob:  He blessed his sons before his death and reminded them of God’s promise through his lineage.  He was still looking for the Deliverer.  All his deception was left out of the report in Hebrews 11:21.

Rahab:  Her former “occupation” was never brought to light in the report, only her willingness to risk her life by harboring the Israelite spies in her place (Hebrews 11:31); and, guess what!  She is named in the lineage of the Messiah! (Matthew 1:5).

Bara,  Gideon, Samson, David:  They are listed with Samuel and others and extolled as those who “through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” and other great feats of success (Hebrews 11:32-34).  Only their faith and accomplishments were in the report.

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Points to Ponder

This is just a sampling from the list of God’s great heroes.  They were remembered and given places of honor by the reporter in God’s Column.  He didn’t drag up their past and/or make excuses for them.  He didn’t condemn or consign them to places of shame and disgrace.  Rather he gave us a grand tour of God’s Faith Hall of Fame Heroes where we found them in Hebrews 11.  Is there a message here for us?  Yes!  After redemption by Jesus Christ, we don’t have a past, only a future!

Books are constantly coming out about famous people whose lives could parallel the lives of some the subjects we’ve just discussed.  No-holds-barred revelations of gross failures and rich-and-famous lifestyles.  God keeps a different kind of record on us.  In fact, He keeps a different record on us than what we keep on ourselves.  The devil is right at our elbow to remind us of our failures and unworthiness.  It is no wonder that he does; because if he can make us feel weak and frail, we will continue to feel unworthy and useless to God.  However, when our names have been recorded in God’s record of birth, our life has just begun; we don’t have a past, only a future!

God wants us to remember our past like He does—Forgiven, Redeemed, Cleansed!  Spirit-Filled!  He has a special place for our sins; we call it the Sea of Forgetfulness.  The Word states it like this:  “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).  “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103.12).  God doesn’t recognize that we have a past, only a future—with Him.

Not only does God want us to “remember” (actually forget) our past as He does, He wants us to remember each other’s history the same way.  When we begin to remember our past or that of a brother or sister, that’s the time to give a report like the one in God’s Column found at Hebrews 11.  Only recall God’s grace that redeemed, cleansed and made us worthy to be in His Faith Hall of Fame, not Defame.  Hand out awards of praise and encouragement, trophies for being winners.  We are all winners through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Our failures as God’s redeemed are lost in the blood of Jesus Christ when we repent.  They are part of our no-past and can’t enter our future.

“And you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins“ (Ephesians 2:1).  We are no longer dead; we are alive and have a future.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10).  We are a new creation in Him who took our past and gave us a future.

If God sees us as redeemed, that’s how we need to see ourselves and every other forgiven person.  We can’t look back and go forward.  The past is gone, we only have a future.

Our names are recorded in God’s new birth record, the “Book of Life” (Revelation 20:15).  That’s the family genealogy record.  We belong to Him, and we’ll never get a bad press release from God’s reporter because God sees us Redeemed!   We can’t walk toward the future looking back.  Our “real” life began when God recorded our birth in His record book, and we have a great future

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My name is Gossip

I maim without killing.

I break hearts and ruin lives.

I am cunning and malicious

And gather strength with age.

The more I’m quoted, the more I’m believed.

My victims are helpless.

They cannot protect themselves against me

Because I have no name and no face.

To track me down is impossible.

The harder you try, the more elusive I become.

I am nobody’s friend.

Once I tarnish your reputation, it is never the same.

I topple the government, and I wreck marriages.

I ruin careers and cause heartaches and indigestion.

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.

Even my name “hisses.”

I am called Gossip.

I make headlines and heartaches.


Before you repeat a story, ask yourself—

Is it true?

Is it fair?

Is it necessary?

If not, do not repeat it!


(Author unknown to me)








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