Summary: Read through Bible history and learn about twelve people who you wouldn’t automatically think of as heroes.
Enoch: a man whose story is very brief
Joseph: a man whose life just never seemed to go right
Miriam: Moses’ sister
Gideon and Samson: two men who were pretty much polar opposites
Jonathan: a prince who never ruled
Jonah: a whiney prophet who got swallowed up by a big fish
Esther: a life story full of “coincidences”
John the Baptist: the “hippy” in the desert
James: the brother of the only perfect human who ever lived
Mark and Onesimus: runaways
How did God use these people? And what do their stories have to teach us? John MacArthur sheds some light on those questions in his third book in the “Twelve” series, Twelve Unlikely Heroes.
Review: I’ve read bits and pieces of Pastor MacArthur’s other two books in this series so I was excited to read Twelve Unlikely Heroes. Honestly, I think my favorite quote from the whole book comes from the Introduction when John MacArthur defines what a hero is. He says, “. . . being a hero . . . starts with a rock-solid confidence in God and a willingness to live according to His Word no matter the consequences.” (pg XII). That’s a solid definition and really sums up what made the people in Twelve Unlikely Heroes, heroes. They didn’t always read like heroes or seem like heroes, but deep down they really did have the confidence to trust God no matter what. It just, WOW, right? Do you have a faith like that? I know I’m still working on mine!
If you’ve read other posts from me you know I’m a stickler for authors, pastors especially, using proper capitalization when it comes to God/Jesus and pronouns used in place of names. I am happy to say that John MacArthur does it right, in my opinion. Not only are all the “His” and “He” words capitalized, but also “Word” in reference to the Bible. I appreciate the way MacArthur writes too. He doesn’t sugar coat anything, he lays it all out as it is and lets it sink in. He is well educated on Bible history and the Bible itself and it shows in his writing, you know that he knows what he’s talking about. And if he’s not sure exactly, he says so.
Really, the only thing I wasn’t too sure on was in the chapter about Miriam. He’s introducing Moses and he makes mention that “they named him Moses”. Now, I’m not sure if he’s meaning to say that later on the baby was named Moses or if Moses’ parents named him Moses, but I’m pretty sure that Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses (Exodus 2:10). I realize it’s a trivial thing to pick out of the whole book but if it’s the only thing I could find that really made me go “Hm?” then we’re good. And honestly, it could just be that he meant that the baby was named Moses eventually.
All-in-all, Twelve Unlikely Heroes was a great read. I got a lot of notes from it and gained some perspective on my life. I mean really, if God can use someone who’s a coward, like Gideon, He can use me. And like MacArthur said in the end of the book, “If God didn’t use imperfect people, He wouldn’t have anyone to use.” (pg 215).
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Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own, I was not required to write a positive review.