Honestly, I think my favorite quote from the whole book comes from the Introduction when John MacArthur defines what a hero is. He says, ". . . being a hero . . . starts with a rock-solid confidence in God and a willingness to live according to His Word no matter the consequences." (pg XII). That's a solid definition and really sums up what made the people in Twelve Unlikely Heroes, heroes. They didn't always read like heroes or seem like heroes, but deep down they really did have the confidence to trust God no matter what. It just, WOW, right? Do you have a faith like that? I know I'm still working on mine!
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own, I was not required to write a positive review.
Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You
By John MacArthur
What kind of people does God use to accomplish His work?
Far from the children's tales depicted in picture books and nursery rhymes, the men and women highlighted in the Bible were unnervingly real. They faltered. They struggled. And at times, they fell short. Yet God worked through them in surprising and incredible ways to accomplish His purposes. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses, caricature their strengths, or spin their stories as a display of human nobility. Instead, it describes these heroes of the faith with unflinching honesty and delivers an unexpected ending: "God is not ashamed to be called their God" (Hebrews 11:16).
In Twelve Unlikely Heroes, pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur uses his deep knowledge of the Bible and history to take us back to see these three-dimensional men and women in their own times and cultures. In doing so, it becomes clear how their dramatic stories apply to us today. People who might at first seem foreign quickly become familiar and unforgettableâ€”particularly as they reveal the true Hero behind every witness, the power counterbalancing every weakness, "the Author and Finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1).
Well written, with many interesting facts thrown into the narrative, this book seeks to empower us to realize that whilst these heroes of their time had faith, walked in obedience, they too battled with their sinful nature and overcame it to bring glory to Him. The Word of God shows us that none of these heroes were perfect and in this itself is assurance that He has provided that which we need to walk with Him in faith through His Son's perfect sacrifice.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Twelve Unlikely Heroes, How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You, by John MacArthur is well-written and deeply researched study. MacArthur has a way of bringing these people to life for the reader and showing how God used ordinary people for His extraordinary purpose. He illustrates how God equips those He calls and that He can use anyone to serve Him. In this book, MacArthur highlights the lives of Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James, Mark and Onesimus.
I learned a lot while reading this book. I haven't read MacArthur's other books in this series, but now I want to get those as well. The word "hero" has become over-used to describe pop culture icons instead of people who change the course of history. THe men and women in this book were broken, ordinary people, who changed the world by giving up their lives and wants for obedience to God. While reading about these men and women, I thought about how God can use anyone to further His kingdom and how He calls each of us in different ways. We must be open to serve Him and get out of the way so that God can work through us. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about God's plans for ordinary men and women, including how He can use each of us and equip each of us for Kingdom work.
This book gives hope to Christians who have doubts, flaws and difficulty on their walk in the Christian faith, as the author shares the stories of 12 unlikely heroes of Bible times. "Mark and Onesimus: a tale of two runaways", "Esther: for such a time as this", "Joseph: because God meant it for good", "Gideon and Samson: stories of weakness and strength" are just a few of the chapters about regular people who became Bible heroes.
Many of these names like Jonah, Gideon, Miriam and Samson, are familiar to us but we only know a few snippets about these people. MacArthur tells us more fully about them and their exciting stories.
For example, Esther risked her life to go before the king who had set a date to exterminate the entire Jewish population in his kingdom. In Esther 4:16 she said "And so I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish." Esther succeeded in saving her people as she risked instant death in approaching the king.
MacArthur gives readers the background stories on these people, and the stories show how God can use anyone to do his work, even these unlikely people and even us.
Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People In The Bible And What He Wants To Do With You, written by John MacArthur, is a book that introduces the possibilities that God sees within each Christian as demonstrated through those who have walked within the pages of the Bible.
MacArthur uses his deep knowledge of Biblical and historical facts to carry those engaged in reading this book back in time, thus allowing a clearer, more dramatic understanding of their participation in the expansion of God's kingdom and applications for us today.
MacArthur gives the reader a deeper look at twelve biblical characters who would seem to be, on the surface, ordinary people who did nothing overly extraordinary. This deeper examination shows how important Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Esther, John the Baptist, James, Mark, and Onesimus were to the work of God throughout the history of the early church.
Each story shows the diligent work of God as He moved through the lives of these Twelve Unlikely Heroes to ultimately see His plans come to fruition. Thus this book is highly recommended, as it is sure to increase the presence of God within our lives and within this world.