Memorial Day is a great time to think about heroes—those who served for our freedom and to help shape America. But as the president of the American Pastors Network, I’m also thinking this week about biblical heroes and what made them great.
Hebrews Chapter 11, the Bible’s Hall of Fame, says that faith is required in life and death to please God. We’re reminded that walking by faith is righteous but walking by sight is sin. Real heroes please God walking by faith and demonstrating strength, courage, and leadership.
Elisha—Seeing Things Others Couldn’t
In II Kings 6:17, Elisha asked God to open the eyes of his servant so he could see what Elisha by faith was already seeing—a mountain full of flaming horses and chariots guarding the man of faith. Be assured. Those who’re powerful in faith can see things others can’t see and do things others can’t do.
Daniel—Politician and Prophet
From the time I was young, Daniel, the politician, and prophet was my hero. Kidnapped, orphaned, sexually abused and relocated to a foreign, idolatrous nation, Daniel stood the test of character by purposing in his heart to trust God, even as a boy. God gave Daniel great wisdom and understanding. Exalted to vice president of Babylon, he served powerful kings. His colleagues tried to destroy him but found him blameless.
Though his godly life made him a target, and even in his old age ended him in a lion’s den, Daniel served God faithfully and trusted God implicitly. He was unwavering in his trust—a true hero.
Job—Perfect and Upright
Job is a hero who was described by God as a man of integrity—“perfect and upright,” fearing God and hating evil, in public and in private. God knew it, and so did Satan. There’s no substitute for men and women of integrity—not in God’s eyes or in today’s corrupted culture. Fathers, mothers, children, pastors and elected leaders—all must aspire to be people of integrity if we wish to be true heroes. Job was “perfect,” blameless before God.
Job was “upright”—right before others—with no broken relationships. He prevailed in honesty and was consistent in biblical living—24 hours a day. Let us make this important distinction: our reputation is what people think we are, but our character is what God knows us to be. Integrity matters for true heroes.
The prophet Jeremiah was a hero who couldn’t be silent on truth. Jeremiah said, ‘When I rebuked the people because of their sins, they ridiculed God and made fun of me. So, I said, I won’t talk of God any longer—but I couldn’t stand being quiet because God’s word became a burning fire shut up in my bones. So, I spoke more boldly of the LORD because He was with me.”
In Jeremiah’s day, the culture had forgotten God and rejected His Word. The people were greedy and idolatrous, unrepentant and evil in heart, and God’s judgment was imminent. Calling the people back to God and His word was Jeremiah’s job. The results were up to God. The same is true today.
Where are today’s Elishas, Daniels, Jobs, and Jeremiahs?
We long for leaders who can fix our desperate problems. We expect great things from others. Yet, I propose we look in the mirror and ask ourselves the question, “God, what do you expect from me?” God expects from all of us to see Him by faith like Elisha and to trust Him like Daniel. And He expects us to walk true to God with integrity like Job and speak the truth of God with courage like Jeremiah.
Yes, in our dangerous days, we need godly leaders. Pastors, fathers, mothers, children and elected officials—God expects us all to be those leaders and live out those qualities God ascribes to true heroes.
The Hon. Sam Rohrer is president of the American Pastors Network, a national network of pastors with constitutional and biblical teachings that discusses today’s pressing issues. He was a Pennsylvania lawmaker for 18 years and hosts the daily “Stand in the Gap Today” national radio program on more than 400 stations and Host of the “Stand in the Gap” national television program.