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As an educator no part of the Bible is of greater value than are its biographies.
The lives recorded in the Bible are authentic histories of actual individuals.
From Adam down through successive generations to the times of the apostles we have a plain, unvarnished account of what actually occurred and the genuine experience of real characters.
It is a subject of wonder to many that inspired history should narrate in the lives of good men facts that tarnish their moral characters.
Infidels seize upon these sins with great satisfaction and hold their perpetrators up to ridicule.
The inspired writers did not testify to falsehoods to prevent the pages of sacred history being clouded by the record of human frailties and faults.
The scribes of God wrote as they were dictated by the Holy Spirit, having no control of the work themselves.
They penned the literal truth, and stern, forbidding facts are revealed for reasons that our finite minds cannot fully comprehend.
It is one of the best evidences of the authenticity of the Scriptures that the truth is not glossed over nor the sins of its chief characters suppressed.
Many will urge that it is an easy matter to relate what has occurred in an ordinary life.
But it is a proved fact that it is a human impossibility to give an impartial history of a contemporary; and it is almost as difficult to narrate, without deviating from the exact truth, the story of any person or people with whose career we have become acquainted.
The human mind is so subject to prejudice that it is almost impossible for it to treat the subject impartially.
Either the faults of the person under review stand out in glaring relief, or his virtues shine with undimmed luster, just as the writer is prejudiced for or against him.
However impartial the historian may design to be, all critics will agree that it is a very difficult matter to be truly so.
But divine unction, lifted above the weaknesses of humanity, tells the simple, naked truth.
How many biographies have been written of faultless Christians, who, in their ordinary home life and church relations, shone as examples of immaculate piety.
No blemish marred the beauty of their holiness, no fault is recorded to remind us that they were common clay and subject to the ordinary temptations of humanity. Yet had the pen of inspiration written their histories, how different would they have appeared.
There would have been revealed human weaknesses, struggles with selfishness, bigotry, and pride, hidden sins perhaps, and the continual warfare between the spirit and the flesh.
Even private journals do not reveal on their pages the writer's sinful deeds. Sometimes the conflicts with evil are recorded, but usually only when the right has gained the victory.
But they may contain a faithful account of praiseworthy acts and noble endeavors; this, too, when the writer honestly intends to keep a faithful journal of his life.
It is next to a human impossibility to lay open our faults for the possible inspection of our friends.
Had our good Bible been written by uninspired persons, it would have presented quite a different appearance and would have been a discouraging study to erring mortals, who are contending with natural frailties and the temptations of a wily foe.
But as it is, we have a correct record of the religious experiences of marked characters in Bible history.
Men whom God favored, and to whom He entrusted great responsibilities, were sometimes overcome by temptation and committed sins, even as we of the present day strive, waver, and frequently fall into error.
But it is encouraging to our desponding hearts to know that through God's grace they could gain fresh vigor to again rise above their evil natures; and, remembering this, we are ready to renew the conflict ourselves.
The murmurings of ancient Israel and their rebellious discontent, as well as the mighty miracles wrought in their favor and the punishment of their idolatry and ingratitude, are recorded for our benefit.
The example of ancient Israel is given as a warning to the people of God, that they may avoid unbelief and escape His wrath.
IF... the iniquities (sins) of the Hebrews had been omitted from the Sacred Record, and only their virtues recounted, their history would fail to teach us the lesson that it does.
but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved--not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God's own appointed way.
The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind.
Last edited by Silver Surfer; 6th July 2006 at 12:07 AM.