Great men in the Bible abound throughout its pages. The Bible has stories of military heroes, prophets, preachers and kings who have followed God and given us good examples to follow. While there are many minor characters mentioned in the Bible who are good role models, here is a list of seven men who were major influences in the history of the Bible.
In Moses’ life we remember events showing a godly man and other stories that show a man who struggled with failure in certain areas. Even though he sometimes failed, Moses was a man consistently in tune with God’s plan. He loved the people of Israel who God called him to lead.
As a child Moses grew up in the Egyptian Pharaoh’s house even though he was born to a Jewish family. Moses learned from the best Egyptian teachers and scholars. He probably did not learn much about the God of Israel through his tutors, yet he grew up sensitive to God’s leading.
Moses claimed to not be a great speaker yet he was able to lead the Israelites for 40 years out of Egypt and to the edge of the Promised Land. Moses disappointed God with some of his actions but repented of his lack of trust and was used by God to accomplish His purposes.
When Moses led Israel out of Egypt one of the young men who quickly rose to recognition was Joshua. Joshua was chosen as one of the 12 spies to enter the land that God had promised to Israel. Though the vast majority of the spies returned with a discouraging report of the land God said He would give them, Joshua and Caleb reported all the wonderful things God could provide in Canaan.
The people of Israel refused to enter the land God had given. Patiently Joshua trusted God. He recognized the authority Moses and his position of leadership that God gave him. Joshua never tried to usurp the authority of Moses. He waited until it was his time to lead Israel into the Promised Land.
Joshua was an obedient follower. He was also known as a strong leader of Israel as they conquered the land that God had given.
Multiple times in the Bible David is recognized as a man who followed God and was sensitive to the leadership of God in his life. We first learn about who David would become when God rejected Saul’s reign and said that He would give the kingdom to a neighbor of Saul’s who was a better man (I Samuel 15). At the time God said this to Saul through Samuel, David was only a boy of 8 to 12 years old. God knew that though David was young, he would grow up to be a man in tune with God’s heart and plan for Israel.
David wrote many of the Psalms that we cherish. This was not because David never had problems. David wrote many of those precious poems in the midst of trouble. Yet, David knew that his strength came from God. We enjoy his writings today because he was a man who knew how to lean on the Lord during times of adversity. What he wrote in Psalms about trusting the Lord is applicable to us today.
Satan was talking with God one day when he said that no one completely obeyed God and worshiped Him. God said that He knew a man who was just and upright in his life. This man was Job.
God gave Satan rule over Job’s circumstances causing him to lose all of his wealth. Job still would not speak evil against God. He even acknowledged that God was the one who was testing him and he would continue to worship the Lord.
Job’s friends accused him of sin and said he was being punished by God for his secret sins. Job maintained his innocence. Even his wife told him he should curse God and die. But Job patiently waited on God to reveal Himself and publicly justify Job to the world.
Though he grew up a slave in Babylon, Daniel was eventually promoted to a position of authority under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. It was through the influence of Daniel that the kingdom was able to see some godliness brought to that godless time.
Later, King Darius befriended Daniel. However, there were men who were jealous of Daniel’s influence and position. They convinced the king to make a law that the people could only worship the king and no other person or god. Daniel continued to pray as he always had to the God of Israel. The punishment for disobedience of the law not to worship was to be thrown into a pit of lions. These wicked men had Daniel arrested.
Daniel accepted the punishment that was given to him without complaint. King Darius fought the law on Daniel’s behalf, but was powerless to change the consequences. While Daniel slept peacefully in the den of lions, Darius was up all night worrying about God’s man. The next morning the king was relieved to have Daniel brought out of the pit and the men who plotted against Daniel were then fed to the lions. The Bible says that their bodies never even reached the ground before the lions had devoured them (Daniel 6).
Paul was a great man of the New Testament. We first see this man when his name was Saul of Tarsus. Before his salvation he was convinced that Jesus and Christianity were plots to destroy the Hebrew God of the Old Testament. However Jesus revealed himself to Saul and he accepted the Lord as his personal savior. Instead of persecuting the church, Saul changed his name to Paul and he began to preach and establish new churches throughout the known world.
Paul is most well-known for his three missionary journeys spanning from the middle east as far west as Italy. He established many churches, trained young pastors and wrote much of the New Testament.
The Apostle Paul is truly one of the great men of the Bible.
Though not as well-known as Paul, Barnabas played a large role in the establishment of new churches in the Greek and Hebrew world of his day. Barnabas was the man who took Paul under his wings when no one else wanted to trust Paul. This was because Paul was most known as the great persecutor of the Christian church when Barnabas met him.
Barnabas trained Paul in the ministry and accompanied him on his early missionary travels. Later the two men split up and formed two new teams of church planters. Paul took Silas with him and Barnabas took John Mark.
After Paul and Barnabas separated, the Bible does not say much more about Barnabas. However, Paul acknowledged later in his life that Barnabas had done a good job in training John Mark for the ministry.
Do you have a favorite man in the Bible you like to study or make reference to? Include a comment below telling us why you admire this man and his example.
Was this article helpful to what you were looking for? You might also like this one: