From Zero to Hero
Transformation from Zero to Hero
By Dr. Lindy S. Diffenbaugh, D. D.
What Does it Take to Become a God Created Hero
Often times when we read of a wicked and/or ruthless character in the Bible, we scratch our heads and we ask ourselves, “Can this person ever be saved and restored to the original image that God intended for them at the beginning of time”? When the possibilities that God expected of them are revealed, they will most likely reveal their own mind, heart, and soul, as the platform that they are willing or not willing, to occupy. The one that is willing sets his sights on how to complete the task, and they will do it to the best of their abilities. In fact, most of these will work tirelessly until the job or mission is complete! The one that is unwilling to jump in and do the job that is asked of them.
At the beginning of any story…we begin to recognize whether we are looking at a soon to be Hero, who would give his all to the task, in fact, he is one that will not quit until he sees it through from start to finish. In the Bible, Jesus leads us to many stories that have the power to transforms us. The bible is full of heroes and villains.
Saul, the persecutor of Christians, was one of the Wicked, that was transformed into a Lover of God, and he spread the Life of Christ in his heart and soul and he spread the Gospel to those that were not aware of it, throughout the remainder of his earthly sojourn. Let us take a look at Saul/Paul’s Story!
When God Himself confronted Saul on the Road to Damascus, He noted that He was aware of Saul’s treachery against God’s chosen people. During that encounter with the Almighty God, Saul was dynamically changed from Saul the tyrant that sought out God’s Chosen People to destroy their movement, into Paul the Apostle, a God Loving Christian, who poured out the remainder of his life as a Lover and Champion of the Most High God. In fact, Paul became a man Who Loved and Served Christ day and night throughout the remainder of His life.
Exactly How Did Saul The Persecutor of Christians Turn from Darkness to Light?
Paul gave his time, life, and energy to the release of the Gospel everywhere that he travelled, there were many people that knew him as Saul, yet they were not aware that he had been transformed into a Holy Man of God. Some Christians were so fearful of Paul, that they avoided him, and in fact, he was routinely incarcerated, beaten by others, and bitten by snakes.
Despite all of that rejection and torture, the Apostle Paul boldly stated that, “I glory in suffering, because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and hope. and hope does not disappoint us. ” Romans 5:3 Paul demonstrated to us, that Jesus does not call us to a life of comfort and ease, but to a path that will transform us into the image of Christ.
In fact, the Apostle James tells us to “Consider it joy when you face trials and tribulations.” James 1:2-4. Joy happens when the challenge has been overcome when one puts their faith in God. Despite all of that, the Apostle Paul boldly stated that, “I glory in suffering, because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and hope.” Romans 5:3-4
Jesus calls us not to a life of comfort and ease, but to a path that will transform into the image of Christ. In fact, the Apostle James tells us to “Consider it joy when we face trials and tribulations.”-James 1:2. Joy happens when the challenge has been overcome because one puts their faith in God. Let us now turn to David, another Hero of Fath.
David Is Confronted by Nathan the Prophet
12 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup, and it slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared it the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away from the truth, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.”
The Perspective of Judges-6
When you look at Israel from the perspective of Judges 6, God’s people had been moving through a cycle of obedience, disobedience, and trouble, and God delivers them, and before you know it, the cycle starts over again. Where is Gideon when we first see him in Judges, Chapter 6? He knows that the Midianites are after Israel, so he is hiding out working in a wine press, beating out the wheat for his father.
From out of nowhere, an angel appears before Gideon and proclaims, “Hail Mighty Man of Valor…The Lord is With You.” In fact, Gideon most likely does not identify with that “Mighty Man of Valor” thing, after all, Gideon sees himself as the least in his father’s house. However, the Angel tells Gideon God is with him.
Despite the fact that Gideon is standing before a Heavenly Creature, or maybe because he is having a real live conversation with a real live Angel, he starts asking questions. 3 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? He is nowhere and he has given us over to the hand of the Midianites.”
I suppose that He was thinking that “Since I have an Angel in front of me, I might as well get this off of my chest.” But his irritations, did not move the Angel to back off from the mission that he was to release to Gideon. Then the Angel commissioned him to…”Go in Your Strength and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Am I not sending you?”
We know that because Gideon received the commission of the Lord, he took down the altars of Bael, his father turned to God and he sided with Gideon, and Gideon drove the Midianites out of their town. In short, Gideon’s obedience to what he really did not understand, saved the Israelites from total destruction and annihilation.
You know as I do, there is a lot more meat to that story. But the point is one-man obeyed God, and in so doing he saved Israel from what most likely would have been certain captivity, death, and eventual annihilation.
Now We Turn Daniel, A Man That Was Exiled from His Own Country
God used Daniel, to not only see almost the entirety of how the days and times of the people of God would eventually unfold, from Daniel’s day to the Book of Revelation, which is, of course almost the entire Bible. As you know, the Book of Daniel took place at the time that the Israelites were being exiled to Babylon, where they were held in captivity.
Why were these exiled to a strange land? It is because they had, more or less turned their backs on God and His Word, and He had, had enough. He allowed His chosen people to be carried off into exile in a strange land. Why would God use such a drastic measure on His own people? In fact, He did it because His chosen people were not walking in sync with the standards of righteousness that God had laid out for for them. They went from Israel, the “land of milk and honey,” to the spiritual darkness of Babylon, which was to them, a very dry and thirsty land. In fact, Babylon was a dark and dreadful land, because the Babylonians had a reputation of brutally and the persecution of Jews.
There is no evidence that Daniel himself was persecuted or beaten by his captors in the early days of his captivity. We do know that as an older man he was put in a lion’s den because he refused to worship the King and or a statue of the King.
In other words, the Babylonians had made it a law that the Statute of the King that was erected in the town square, was to be worshipped by every man, woman, and child in Babylon. This went directly against Daniel’s worship of the Most-High God, so he was thrown into the Lion’s Den…but he remained alive and well the next day…Because God was With Him and the Lion did not touch Him.
Queen Esther Saves God’s Chosen People-But a Destructive Issue Was Revealed
My Last Hereon Is Queen Esther, who was also carried into captivity in Persia. She came into recognition, when Queen Vashti of Babylon refused a direct order from King Xerxes. The King had Queen Vashti removed from the throne and put into exile. After there was a search in the land to find a new Queen for the King, Esther was being groomed for greater things in her life.
While the King was searching for a queen, Esther was brought before him. She was chosen by the King to be His Wife. The King had many women in his Harem, but Esther caught his attention, and she was chosen to be his Queen.
One day, at the encouragement of King Xerxes’ assistant, Haman, the had coaxed an order through the King, that every Jew in the land should be put to death. Queen Esther found out about it through her, Cousin, Mortdecai…He encouraged the Queen to go before the King and get the edict rescinded. She told Mortdecai that if she did such a thing without being summoned by the King, that she would be put to death. He told her that if she did not go before her King, then she would perish. He believed that the Jews were going to be delivered, with or without her…But he believed that Esther had been “Brought into the Kingdom for Such a Time as This.” Esther 4:14