“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Pet. 1:16)
The characters of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David are not myths because no literary genius could invent them. Their lives are so unconventional compared to worldly horizontal, temporal thinking that their adventures of faith lay outside of humanistic imagination and invention.
It takes a totally foreign worldview, outside of conventional thinking, to conceive of or to even comprehend life-scripts to match those of the people of faith in the Bible. We do not need ancient archaeological evidence to corroborate their existence or their storylines, although this certainly helps in the field of biblical apologetics. The uniqueness and originality of God-composed life-script adventures of faith validate the existence and reality of the biblical people of faith.
The unbelieving skeptic must explain the uniquely singular origin of the cross of Christ…God displacing our ways with His higher ways…uniformly and consistently embedded within these biblical storylines starting in the book of Genesis.
Mankind needed the initiation of a journey of faith. Abraham did not suggest to God that he needed a change of scenery and that a move to Canaan would be beneficial. Abraham probably would have been happy to stay right where he was in the city of Haran. God’s higher plans…the way of the cross…displaced what Abraham might otherwise have wanted to do according to conventional norms…with a brilliantly imaginative and totally unconventional life-story for the benefit of mankind and the fulfillment of an incredible joint-venture journey of faith with God. But it was not easy.
Joseph could never have dreamed up the series of events that led to him becoming governor of Egypt during a famine crisis, resulting in his family coming to reside in Egypt. The future nation of Israel needed a secure place to grow in numbers and a strong motivation to leave Egypt when the right time came. But Joseph’s adventure of faith was not easy.
The nation of Israel needed a deliverer. At the time of the calling of Moses at the burning bush, Moses probably would have been happy to live out the rest of his life as a sheep-herder in Midian. Moses certainly did not suggest or volunteer for the mission to deliver his people from Egypt. Moses at this point in his life did not want to go to Egypt and to take on the daunting task of confronting Pharaoh for the release of the Israelites. But looking back in hindsight, after the miraculous delivery of the people and the parting of the Red Sea, and after forty years in the wilderness in preparation for the conquering of the Promised Land, I think that Moses would be glad beyond measure that God displaced his plans with God’s higher plans.
After the up-and-down period of the judges, Israel needed the combination of both a godly king and a military leader to bring stability to the nation of Israel and to solidify its borders. The challenging pathway of preparation and apprenticeship to becoming the king of Israel for David was beyond his creative imagination, beyond his ability to contrive and orchestrate, and outside of what he would have chosen for himself according to worldly conventional normalcy (Psalm 23:4). Yet we see in the account of the life of David and read in his beautifully inspired psalms the story of a man who would not exchange his difficult yet purpose-filled life for anything else in all of the world.
What makes a journey of faith hard is also what makes it great. No one would want all of the challenges and hardships of a genuine journey of faith as recorded in the Bible. The cross of Christ is difficult…it comes with a cost. Yet we honor the great men and women of faith for their personal sacrifice for a higher good…for following their God-composed life-scripts to meet a specific need…against the grain of worldly conventional thinking and normalcy. This is the Christian life in the danger zone of a God-composed journey of faith.