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The Most Tragic Person in the Bible and Why It Matters

Tragic people are those who have things going for them, but then issues arise that leave them in a bad way. When you think of tragic people in the Bible many candidates could get votes. I have four that I will mention and it is interesting to see if you agree with my assessment or would vote differently.

My first candidate is King Saul. Why would I nominate him? I do so because he was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the first king of Israel. Initially he was humble about taking the position, but in time he became disobedient to what God wanted him to do and as a result lost his kingship to David. In addition he died in battle in a way that didn’t bring him honor.

Another person I think qualifies is Judas. He was one of Jesus twelve disciples, so he was intimately close to the Savior. Even though that is true, he wouldn’t be my top choice because he routinely stole money from the ministry and was looking for ways to betray Jesus. He has remorse for betraying the Lord, and hangs himself from guilt, but he wouldn’t be my top choice.

My runner up would certainly get top votes from a lot of people and I wouldn’t argue that point. The person I speak of is Job. The book named after him begins with God and Satan essentially having a bet if Job would stay true to the Lord when bad things began to happen to him.

God says to Satan to go ahead and test Job, but he does place some limits on what the Devil is allowed to do. We find out that all his children die; he loses his home, and ends up with a horrible disease. I grant you that Job could easily win this contest because of this immense loss. However, at the end of the book, God restores things to Job where he ends up more blessed than at the beginning of the book. Because of this restored blessing, I give him runner up status rather than the most tragic.

So who is my choice for most tragic? The answer is King Solomon. So why did I choose him? Solomon is one of the rare people in the Bible where God comes and asks him what prayer He can answer. Essentially, this is like winning the lottery. God says that he can ask for anything, no restrictions at all on the request. Solomon’s answer is to want wisdom to be a good and effective king. The Lord is so moved by his request that he gives him wealth and fame as a bonus.

Solomon begins to use that answered prayer to make incredibly wise decisions. In addition his kingdom has peace and he is able to build the Temple that his father, David, gave instructions to build.

Solomon ends up writing most of the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. The parts in Proverbs attributed to him are some of the most powerful and helpful advice one can live for a blessed life.

For most of his life, Solomon abides by the principles he lays out. But then something happens which causes Solomon to abandon all the wisdom he has written. It is a weakness for the foreign women that he marries. Those women cause him to worship other gods, something that is unthinkable when we read what Solomon wrote in Proverbs.

How could someone so close to God, so committed to following the principles he laid out in writing, end so messed up? It is due to a weakness that he didn’t deal with.

I say that because if we don’t recognize the weaknesses in our Christian life, it is definitely possible that we too can fall away from the Lord. I have seen it personally with many a pastor friend and so I know but for the grace of God, this could be me.

When you are aware of a weakness or if a trusted friend or friends point out things in your life they are concerned about, this is the Lord loud and clear saying do something about it.

So the solution is not complicated. What you do is pray every day that the Lord will help your weakness. Secondly, give someone permission to hold your life accountable in your weak area. Check with them regularly, so they can help you not stumble or fall. This latter principle has worked for decades in twelve step programs, but has its roots in James 5:16 which says “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

My friends, none of us are immune from falling. It is imperative that we pray and have our lives in accountability with someone. If not we may end up becoming a tragic figure as well. That is a description that none of us should ever want.

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