God’s Mistake Makers Intro


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We might become focused on perfection rather than our relationship with God.  Or worse, we might let our mistakes distract us form Him and His perfection.  Let’s look at some major mistake makers in the Bible and what we can learn about the God who made them and us.   Here’s some notes that accompany the teaching:

Paul (Saul)

mistake: zealous enemy of church

Saul was an enemy of Jesus’ church.  He worked har d to get Christians arrested.  “Lord … I arrested and beat people who had faith in you.   Stephen was killed because he spoke for you, and I stood there and cheered them on.   I even guarded the clothes of the men who murdered him”  Acts 22:19

What does our Father do with an enemy like this? Road to Damascus!   He redeemed Saul by Jesus death on the Cross!  1 Tim 1:12-15

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord for the power and strength He has given me. He trusted me and gave me His work to do.  Before He chose me, I talked bad about Christ. I made His followers suffer. I hurt them every way I could…  Then our Lord gave me much of His loving-favor and faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.  What I say is true and all the world should receive it. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners from their sin and I am the worst sinner”  1 Tim 1:12-15

Paul strived and pursued God with an impressive focus and simple priority because he really knew what it meant to make mistakes and be forgiven!

“All I want is to know Christ & the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did, so that somehow I also may be raised to life” Phil 3:10-11



When she’s introduced in the Bible, she doesn’t know God, but she knows about Him:
“…the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”

Joshua 2:11

Two possibilities, the first is generally agreed by most scholars

First: a madam of the ancient equivalent of a “truckstop whorehouse”?

KJ21, TLB, JUB “harlot”
KJV, NKJ, AKJ, “prostitute”

What could the word harlot mean?

ignoring mid eastern customs for women like:

wearing veils over their faces in public
not talking to male strangers
not handling meat offered to idols

Or, another possibility: Harlot might have meant something else

would Joshua’s spies stay in a brothel?

Because all liquor stores, pigs, lepers and brothels were kept outside the city gates

Maybe she was an inkeeper. Ssee appreciating oriental insights in the Bible, compiled by Rev. Christopher C. Geer, quoting Bishop K.C. Pillai.

Regardless of her mistake, whether it was breaking cultural customs, or prostitution, Rahab was Honored as example of Faith.  Like us, her identity is in Christ, and His redemption, not any mistakes she made!

Rahab was listed in the Bible in an important place of honour with great patriarchs

She was an example of Action expressing Faith
She was even the Great Great Grandmother of King David!

Exodus 33:15, Exodus 2:11-12, Exodus 3-4, Exodus 33:11, Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25, Matthew 1:5



mistake: killer! Exodus 2:11-12

called patiently, gently by God:  Exodus 3-4
He talked face to face with god (like friends!) Exodus 33:11
lesson for us: “If you yourself don’t go with us, then don’t send us” Exodus 33:15



wanted what wasn’t his

I didn’t like Jacob.  Until I realised that he’s not so different with me.  He was just another mistake maker.  Why does Jacob have special mention in how God is referred to?  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

“The God of Abraham (covenant), Icaac (the personification of the promise of covenant) and Jacob.”

a statute (Hebrew chok) refers to a law given without any reason or justification
“The covenant which He made with Abraham and His oath to Isaac and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute to Israel for an everlasting covenant” Psalm 105:9-10

Maybe God’s decision to use Jacob alongside Abraham and Isaac is like a statute, a decision with no explanation given.

“The God of Jacob is our refuge” Paslm 46:7



Our identity as Fathers’ beloved children gives us:

1.  secure foundation
2.  springboard to take risks

John Bishop excerpt (example of willing to take a chance, not afraid of failing as he gets up in front of strangers to do stand-up comedy for the first time.

A better goal than perfection is maturity

Maturity involves: time, mistakes, taking chances
risk = faith = trust

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.  Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known”  1 Cor 13

but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.


His Perfection does not disappoint

Lord’s “works are perfect” ..a faithful God who does no wrong Deut 32:4, Hebrews 2:10 2 Sam 22:31, Psalm 18:30 Job 37:16

telioo, Psalm 19:7 2 Cor 12:9


“it is finished”
the perfect tense of a verb that means to do something perfectly.

It is perfectly perfect or it is completely complete …just one word… (greek)

completeness, perfection, aesthetic sense of beauty

wholeness, soundness, integrity (often ethical significance)

Perfection is a bad aim.  Maturity is better.  Jesus Himself is the best goal of all.


Faithful Father and Imperfect Son:

“But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion”  Luke 15

ran, put arms around him, kissed him

God did this before he could hear the excuses, the apology, the remorse or repentance.  Think about it–the dad in this story didn’t know his  son had changed.  He might have been coming back to ask for more money, for protection from those who were collecting on his debts.   If there was a card game and one hand was our sin, one was our repentance, and a third hand at the poker table was FAthers’ love, that third hand wins every time.  Father accepts us with our imperfections.


Who are God’s  Mistake Makers you can show are welcome in His family?