The Bible’s Faith Hall of Fame is full of people with unimpressive resumes. God seems to specialize in using unlikely people to accomplish His will. Often, in fact, the least likely people demonstrate even greater faith than those who’ve witnessed God’s biggest miracles.
Rahab was a female Canaanite (Israel’s mortal enemy) with a disreputable occupation. She lived in Jericho, the first city slated for annihilation as Israel came to conquer the land. Jericho was an evil place. Yet spies who’d seen miracles listened as Rahab was the one giving the testimony about what their God had done—starting with a story about the Red Sea parting forty years earlier.
A priest (Zechariah) who knew of Sarah and Abraham’s conception in their old age still couldn’t believe God would allow his own elderly wife to conceive; yet a young teen who had never even heard of such a thing as a virgin birth said to the angel, “Let it be to me as you say” (Luke 1:38).
The Book of Esther is about a Jewish orphan girl who, with God’s help, outsmarted the racist advisors of a misogynistic king, thus saving an entire nation from genocide.
Abraham was a liar and Moses, a murderer. David abused his power with a woman and had her husband killed when he learned she had conceived. Zaccheus ripped off people as a tax-collector.
But all these people experienced the transforming power of God.
Some were powerless; some abused their power. We find both kinds on God’s varied list of lives transformed. Indeed, no matter what kind of people we are—maybe a bit of both—God can change us and use us. So let us come to him with palms open and say with the prophet Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me!”
Dr. Sandra Glahn is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. In her new book, Vindicating the Vixens:Revisiting the Sexualized, Vilified, Marginalized Women of the Bible (Kregel Academic), sixteen male and female scholars help readers see God’s heart for the marginalized. Dr. Glahn blogs for bible.org and at aspire2.com.