“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” (1st Cor. 10:6)
Some of these examples the Almighty took His time in revealing, David in his sin with Bathsheba was given at least nine months to repent and did not. Others, as in the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal were more immediate, with fire coming down from the heavens. And yet others, as far as my poor memory can recall, we are not told of the end result, as when Rachel pretended it was the time of women with her and sat on the idols she had stolen from her father Laban.
It was not the sin of lying in that example, but the question of why the wife of the man whose name would soon be changed to Israel had allowed idols in his household in the first place.
Perhaps it can be related to another example that is of the same genre, so to speak, “And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.” (Exo. 4:24) Moses had harkened to his wife concerning the circumcision of his son, and faced God for that, Jacob wrestled with Him perhaps because, in part, of the knowledge of the existence of those idols. And here it is worth mentioning what we all experience today because of Adam harkening to the voice of his wife.
Please do not misconstrue the intent of this short, poorly written letter to you, it is not about how certain women in the past have unintentionally caused men of God to stumble but is instead about the examples that have been set down for us in the Word of God for our edification and growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Sadly, it is in the nature, the sinful nature I might add, of mankind to search out the worst in a person, not necessarily so that we can esteem ourselves higher in our own eyes.
“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” (Luke 18:11) Nor always so that we can point out the faults in others in an attempt to belittle them, once again pointing to selfish pride within ourselves, but it is a large part of the equation.
What of the examples of the Psalms, written by the Holy Spirit by the hand of the man who committed adultery then murder? What of the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, written by one who fell deeply into sin because of the desires of the women who surrounded him? “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Gen. 50:20)
Many books have been written about the atrocities, as we tend to call them, in the Scriptures, not solely to point them out though, but to reveal to us by those examples of how longsuffering the Almighty is, how He who created all reality bows Himself low enough to consider dust, how, in the greatest example ever shown to mankind, we can be forgiven.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
The Lord Jesus Christ was quite adept at pointing out the open sin and rebellion of some of the people that He walked amongst, and not always in a way that many would consider loving. “He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.” (Mark 9:19)
For some of us my friends, a very long time.
The example you must consider the most is not just those in the Scriptures who fell, not just those of the Lord Jesus Christ’s, but the one you are living. When people meet you, when those who have known you for a long time speak with you, do they see Christ?
Your example matters.