There are many famous bible stories we have all heard. But amongst the 66 books of the Bible there may be a few biblical figures we don’t hear about too much. Here are a few worth reading this week.
Elijah was a prophet of God and his story can be found in the old testament. He appears during the time of King Ahab who was the king over Israel at that time.
As you first read of their encounter, Elijah announces to King Ahab there will be a great drought for the next few years to come.
Now, King Ahab was not particularly favored by the Lord. He was supposed to lead God’s people, the Isrealites, to God. However, he married a gentile woman, Jezebel. And because of her influence King Ahab and the people of Israel worshipped the god Baal.
Later, Elijah goes to Mount Carmel where he and 450 prophets of Baal face off to prove whether Baal is the true god or the God of Israel is the only true God.
First, the Baal prophets place a sacrifice on an altar and call on Baal to consume it with fire. Then Elijah repeats the process except calling on God.
This set Jezebel into a rage and gave the command to kill Elijah. Elijah then flees to Mount Horeb where the Lord appears to him. The Lord then commands him to go and anoint Elisha to succeed him and continue carrying out the Lord’s will.
The history of Elijah is filled with twists and events leaving you in awe of the Lord’s power. There are still many untold events in this short summary. Take a look inside Elijah’s story in 1 Kings 17-19 and 2 Kings 1-2, you will not be disappointed!
The story of Esther is one of suspense, courage, and faith. Her story along with her uncle Mordechai will inspire you to trust God even in the most perilous of times.
Esther’s story begins in the Persian Empire with the threat of her people, the Jews, being destroyed.
Already in the first chapter we see the contexts of the times Esther was living in. The King of Persia, King Xerxes, has his wife executed. The King now Queen less turns his eyes to a young Jewish woman. This is where Esther enters, along with many other beautiful women across Xerxes realm. The King puts on essentially an ancient beauty pageant. With Esther taking the crown and being made Queen.
Esther is not alone, as her uncle Mordecai helps stop a conspiracy to assassinate the Persian King.
However, a prideful man by the name of Haman is exalted to an honorable position and demands everyone to bow to him. Mordecai, faithful to the true God, refuses to kneel before Haman. The evil Hamen plots to have all the Jews killed and Mordecai hung on gallows he constructed.
Mordecai helps Esther realize she has been placed in her position, not by chance, but for this very purpose of saving her people.
Esther must approach the King and plead for the safety of her people. This is no easy task as anyone who approaches the King without being invited or receiving His approval upon arrival will receive the penalty of death.
The King, unable to sleep, is reminded of Mordacai who had saved him from assassination. And after Esther invites the King to a banquet asks for her people to be spared. The King, then realizing Haman’s plot was to annihilate the Jews, the very people who saved his life, has Haman impaled on the gallows he himself constructed for Mordecai.
This story is filled with bravery and trust that God has placed us where we are for a specific purpose. In the case of Esther, the saving of many lives. You can find Esther tucked between the books of Nehemiah and Job in the Old Testament.
3. Gideon and His Army
The story of Gideon and his army is not a long one, but is packed full of lessons we can learn from.
God’s people at that time, because they did evil, were under the destructive hand of the Midianites. But called out to God for help, and the Lord’s answer was the sending of Gideon.
Gideon was chosen to deliver the Israelites out from their oppressors. Not an easy task for even the mightiest of warriors.
However, young Gideon was a part of the weakest clan, and he was even the least among them. This shows God does not judge by outer appearances, much like the selection of David, but looks at the inside of a person.
The Israelite army numbered 30,000 men ready for battle against the Midianites. To the Lord, this was too many.
If the Israelites were victorious it could be easily argued they won due to their own strength in numbers. God commanded 20,000 men to leave and not go into battle with the enemy. While only 10,000 remained, the Lord again decreased the number of fighters to only a handful. 300 men in total were to face up against the entire Midianite army.
I’m sure you can guess the outcome of the battle, but would encourage you to take a look for yourself.
Read about the heroic victory of 300 men, only accomplished by the power and strength of the Lord. Gideon’s story can be found in the book of Judges 6:1-7:25.