10 Inspirational Bible Characters

by Derek Hill · Print Print · Email Email

The Bible has stood the test of time and it is the most popular book in the world.  No book has sold more copies than the Bible and it continues to change lost sinners into children of God.  There are many amazing stories of God’s faithful people being saved from gut wrenching experiences.  There are many stories of God’s people claiming victory in the midst of the odds stacked against them.

Here is a look at 10 inspirational characters from the Bible!  Most of these are from the Old Testament because of the amazing faith they had in chaotic/life threatening circumstances.

Moses, The Man Of Patience

Moses had an extreme amount of patience with Israel as he led the hopeless generation through the wilderness for 40 years.  They praised God one minute and then were complaining about God the next minute.  We get bent out of shape over trivial nuances, but Moses even though distraught with Israel led them with great patience for 4 decades.  True, he did miss the Promised Land because of his disobedience to God (Numbers 20:8-12), but I know I would not have lasted longer than 1 year with them.

Abraham, The Man Of Faith

Abraham and Sarah were without children and they were old.  Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old when God promised Abraham a son. (Genesis 17:15-19)  Can you imagine the relief when his son, Isaac, was finally was born?  He thought his time was over for him and Sarah to conceive.  So, imagine how amazing that must have been.  With such a joyous occasion, God then put Abraham to the test to sacrifice Isaac. (Genesis 22:1-14) God wanted to see if Abraham loved him more than Isaac.  What would you think in this instance?  I would be brought to dread, thinking, “Why, Lord?  I waited so long for my boy and now you want me to sacrifice him?”  I don’t think I would have been able to follow through with it.  Thankfully we know the end of the story and God did stop Abraham from killing Isaac, but Abraham was dying inside.  He had no idea that God was going to stop the sacrifice.  He was a real man of faith!

Additional reading: Story of Abraham From The Bible

Noah, The Man Of Endurance

In Genesis chapter 6 God tells Noah of the flood that is coming to wipe out all of creation and that Noah needed to build an ark for his family, 2 of every kind of animal (male and female), 7 pairs of all clean animals and 7 pairs of the birds of the heavens.  Here’s the thing, Noah was over 500 years old when he had to build the ark.  His sons helped him build it, but some suggest that it took at least 55 years to build it!  That is a LOT of work!  In those 55 years, Noah and his sons still needed to get the necessities for each day too (food, water ect…)  Noah had to have been extremely exhausted by the time the ark was finished.  He endured a 55 year minimum project to save his family and creation from the flood.  He is a man of endurance!

Additional reading: How Did Noah Fit All the animals in the ark?

Elijah, The Bold

Elijah was the boldest of all of the prophets.  When wickedness and false Idols of Baal were seen everywhere in the land, Elijah remained faithful to God.  Elijah went to wicked King Ahab and said to him, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years except at my word.” (1 Kings 17:1)  He was afraid of no king on earth.  In 1 Kings 18:20-40, he defeats the prophets of Baal and has them all slaughtered at the brook Kishon.  Elijah was not a man of fear, but he boldly did what God commanded in all circumstances.

Bible Characters

Daniel is definitely one to model after. His faith and devotion to God was unwavering.

Daniel, The Man Of Devotion

Daniel is definitely one to model after.  His faith and devotion to God was unwavering.  He refused to defile himself with King Nebuchadnezzar’s food and wine, and requested only vegetables and water (Daniel 1:8-16).  When the decree was issued that no one could pray to any god or man except to the king for 30 days, Daniel prayed consistently 3 times a day to the One true God, knowing that the punishment was getting thrown into a den full of lions.  And he was thrown into the den after being caught by the schemers. (Daniel 6:10-16)  Daniel did not fear man or death.  He was completely devoted to God.

David, The Man After God’s Own Heart

David is known as the man after God’s own heart because of his passion for justice and for his bravery.  He wanted to always do things the right way.  When the Philistines came with Goliath to challenge Israel, David was the only one willing to fight. (1 Samuel chapter 17) David was scrawny while Goliath towered over all at 9 ft 9 in.  He was massive.  God delivered Goliath into the hands of tiny David.  When David had every right to kill Saul, he let him live. (1 Samuel chapter 24)  In the midst of chaos, David always went to God to seek His guidance and help.  “Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.  Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me.  Answer me, O Lord, for Your steadfast love is good; according to Your abundant mercy, turn to me.” (Psalm 69:14-16)  David was solid and just.  He sought out God daily for guidance and help.

Additional reading: Inspiring Bible stories about David

Job, The Man Of Perseverance

Job is probably my favorite character of the Bible.  He persevered through some of the most dreadful circumstances.  He lost all of his children, cattle, and servants at the same time! (Job 1:13-19)  He persevered by worshipping the Lord! (Job 1:20-21)  This probably would not be the first thing on my mind if my children were taken from me.  Then he was struck with loathsome sores all over. (Job 2:7)  He persevered by justly rebuking his wife for her blasphemy and by declaring that God is sovereign whether we receive good or bad. (Job 2:9-10)  Then his 3 friends taunt him for what seems like an eternity and he still holds fast through it all.  He was very strong and persevered through extremely difficult times.  Through his faithfulness, God restored him much more than what he had before.

Additional reading: Job Bible Story Summary

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, The Underdogs

This is one of the greatest underdog stories of the Bible, in my opinion.  These three men refused to worship the golden idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar, knowing that they would be thrown into a blazing hot furnace.  The furnace was so hot that the guards that threw them in it died!  They were faithful to God and God delivered them from the furnace.  They were joined by what looked like a “Son of the gods” who protected them through it all. (Daniel chapter 3)  We can all be inspired that even in the most dire of circumstances, God can do anything!

Paul, The Man Against All Odds

Paul, formerly known as Saul, was a huge persecutor of Christians.  He constantly threw them in jail or had them killed.  Who would have ever thought that God would choose him to be one of the most influential writers of the Bible!  He wrote 13 books of the New Testament!  When Paul became a Christian, he did remarkable things for the kingdom.  He was a church planter and mentor to Timothy.  Honestly, there is someone in your life right now that you probably think has no chance to come to Christ.  But, God is in the miracle business.  If Saul can be converted, anyone can!

Jesus, The Sacrificial Lamb

There is no one more inspiring then Jesus from the Bible.  He came to us for a reason, to take our sin upon Himself in order that we could be blameless in God’s eyes.  And if that isn’t enough, He was completely sinless!  He did not commit one single sin ever.  Now He is definitely someone inspiring!  He experienced all of the temptations we do.  He was tempted in every way and He came out a champion!  He laid down His life for us and that, my friends, is the greatest act of love anyone can do.  “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)  Let us strive to be more like Jesus every day!

Additional reading:  Come to Jesus

Conclusion

This is a fraction of the many inspiring characters from the Bible.  Others include: Jacob, Joseph, Esther, Joshua, Gideon, Peter, Solomon etc…  I encourage you to take some time to reflect on some of the characters that have influenced you and model yourself after them.  May God continue to bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Check out this other article also: 5 Great Women From the Bible

Resource – “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

DocReits January 10, 2014 at 1:11 am

Hey Derek,

Thank you for your thought provoking post. After hearing the list above I feel depressed. Here is why. Most times I don’t seem “Patient” like Moses. Most times I don’t feel like I have the faith of Abraham to pick up, leave everything and to go into a new land, where I don’t even know where I am going(let alone drive a knife into my son’s heart).

I don’t feel “Bold” like Elijah. I don’t pray on three separate occasions/day, like Daniel, The Man of “Devotion”. I don’t have the “Perseverance” of Job. I often feel like quitting.

Why I like these folks you mentioned is for very different reasons. They do inspire me because they were human and in many cases failed miserably, yet God used them. They are no model though.

I love the story of when Abraham, this great man of faith, lied to Pharaoh about his wife(half-sister) Sara; and, what about Hagar’s son? So much for faithful Abraham.

David didn’t always seek out God (as we know). He was in the midst of chaos, when Bathsheba gave him the news of her pregnancy, and the last place he went to was God. He went to Joab, and had him indirectly kill Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. He blew it many times, just like me.

Elijah, hid like a little girl(1 Kings 19:3)from his fear of Jezebel, after God had given him great victory over the prophets of Baal.

Noah got drunk(Gen 9:21)

Moses was a doubter

Jonah, the runaway; Isaiah, the man of unclean lips; Job, the prideful; Jacob, the deceiver; Peter, the denier, Solomon, the idolater.

In all of these cases I take solace, in that they did these things yet…THEY KNEW THE LORD…Incredible, they were just like me!! Blown humanity…broken plaster, yet miraculously used by God.

Unfortunately, in this written format, we do not know the meaning at times of the writer, but what prompted this discussion, on my part, was this last statement in your article:

“I encourage you to take some time to reflect on some of the characters that have influenced you and model yourself after them. May God continue to bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!”

The only One on your list that we should be modeling ourselves after is Jesus.

I do not believe I am alone when I hear the command to the Christian to walk “worthy” of the calling, in which you were called”(Eph 4:1), as a performance or endurance run. This is unfortunate. It means quite the opposite. It is Christ who runs.

That, to me, has often placed this guilt trip upon the Christian that if I am not praying three times a day, like Daniel; calling a drought upon our sinful land for three years, like Elijah; or parting the Red Sea, like Moses, then I am somehow, un-“worthy”.

I know you hear me…we humans get this “I” word in the way and think “We” have to perform these great feats to walk “worthy”, when the rest of Ephesians 4 speaks about just the opposite. This “worthy” idea tells those of us who have believed in Christ, to not move mountains, but to stop, lying, cheating, swearing, murdering…wait the scripture says it better. Here is the end of Chapter 4:

25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

28 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.

29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

31-32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.(The Message Eph 4: 25-32)

HOW DO WE DO THIS? It is humanly impossible!!! Answer: Regarding the old life:

“It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.”(Eph 4:24)

and:

“We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.”(Eph 4:16)

Christ only! Jesus, living in us by His Holy Spirit. The “worthy” life is the outpouring of the HS in our lives, revealing His work by His ministering in and through us. Then we notice the HS’s fruit in our lives…Joy, Love, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-Control.

I do not want to model myself after any of those OT people. They were miserable quite a bit of their lives, away from God, in sin. Jesus is the Christian’s hope and model.

Don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I really think this is important regarding WhatChristiansWanttoknow.

Blessings,

DocReits

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