Jesus Christ was, and still remains the only perfect person to have ever walked on this earth. Everyone else who has ever lived was imperfect according to the flesh. It fascinates me to see how God made sure the mistakes, human weaknesses, anger, fears and other imperfect things were written about everyone mentioned prominently in the Bible. He could have ignored them and led us to believe all these men and women were perfect, but He did not.
Great men of God like Noah and Abraham were flawed people just like we are. As great as they were in their faith, they still succumbed to temptations, wavered in their trust and did some pretty stupid things. If God wanted us to worship men such as Abraham, He surely should have eliminated the whole Hagar/Ishmael story among others. Certainly if Noah was to be thought upon as perfect, his little problem with the wine he produced should have not made it in the Bible.
Jacob was a great man for God, but he was also a deeply troubled man who had to fight pride his whole life. Jacob’s son Joseph did incredible things in Egypt, but he was not perfect. Isaac’s wife was a strong woman of God, but she was not above practicing a little deception to help Joseph.
Moses truly was an amazing man who manifested incredible faith and patience while leading the children of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness. Yet, Moses was not perfect. Although God does not specifically spell out the depth of the sin Moses committed in striking the rock; it must have been huge in that it prevented Moses from entering the Promised Land.
We all know the problems David had, not only with Bathsheba but with the taking of the census and other matters. David knew and understood God perhaps better than any man who ever lived (except Jesus of course). God called David a man after His own heart. Yet, David was still a man and as such, he made mistakes of judgment in his personal life and as king.
Elijah was one of, if not the greatest prophet who ever walked this earth. Yet, despite being able to take on all the prophets of Baal in a contest and later killing them all by himself, he was a man plagued by depression and tired of the fight at times.
John the Baptist, who walked with God and did exactly as he was told in the months leading up to the commencement of the public ministry of Jesus; somehow managed to get ensnared in a trap that cost him his head. Peter was called out by Paul in the Book of Galatians for being hypocritical regarding the circumcision controversy. Paul was warned by prophets of God NOT to go to Jerusalem, yet he stubbornly went anyway.
At times I think we tend to put these men on pedestals and bow down before them. I think at times we forget they these people were humans, just like us. They experienced the same emotions, frustrations and failures that we face daily. God saw fit to place within His Holy Word not only the great exploits of these heroes of our faith, but also their shortcomings and failures.
Personally, I am deeply thankful that God did this for it gives me hope that someone who makes as many mistakes as I do might still do something wonderful for God. I am thankful to know that the men I look up to in the Word of God had to deal with the same rejection, condemnation, consequences of unbelief and fear that I do.
I am deeply thankful that God saw fit to expose a little of these men’s failures along with their triumphs. Do I respect any of these people less knowing they were not perfect? Of course not. In fact, I respect them MORE for I know they had to overcome personal failure in this life just like we all do. Thank God that in the end, these men and women mentioned so prominently in the Bible did not compromise due to their imperfections but stayed faithful to God walking in great humility.