Sometime ago, I was listening to Cobhams’ song, ‘Ordinary People’ when a surprising question struck me: Do I really know what he is singing about? Yes, I understood that the song was about ordinary people in the Bible and that he mentions a couple of these people, but did I really understand the song’s message? You see, I was caught up in the sounds of the key board, his astonishing voice and most likely the fact that he is one of the few good Nigerian Christian artistes. You know, like those times when you are listening to a song firstly because of the artiste before anything else and because people have said so much about the song that you just sort of accept it.
Well am not sure if that was one of those times but you do get what I am trying to say, right? I decided to listen to the song again without all my earlier notions and realized that Cobhams was describing how the characters were ordinary people like you and me. Seriously, ordinary? Wish on! There was certainly nothing ordinary about those guys.
Abraham was the father of many nations, Isaac his son, Jacob the father of the 12 tribes of Israel, Joseph, who got sold off by his brothers but ended up becoming Governor of Egypt, David the giant slayer, Job the most patient of men and Jesus the messiah. Ordinary? Hian!
The word ordinary somehow didn’t jump out at me when I read about them. Ordinary just sounded wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that these guys were like superheroes, yeah, but ordinary isn’t how I would describe them. Each of these men became who they were, not by some ingrained super human ability that they were born with, neither were they hit by some peculiar asteroid or due to an experiment gone south, but rather by faith.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son of him it was said, “in Isaac your seed shall be called’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Hebrews 11:17-19)
Each of these ordinary people lived the life the way God wants us to by living lives of faith. Each of them had an understanding that it was their faith in God above anything else that would make them more than conquerors. Remember that even Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego in the face of being burnt alive resisted the temptation to say “ehn you know, why don’t we just kneel to the golden image physically but in our hearts we will stand.” Rather, they said “our God will deliver us, and even if not, we will not worship the golden image.” That, my friend, is faith.
In truth, each of these men had the same desires, fears and hopes that we all have, but it was their faith that gave them the appearance of being super human. We too can have that air of appearing superhuman by having faith in God. I can overcome all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can overcome that temptation to sin especially. God had said that he shall not allow us to pass through anything that we cannot overcome. For me, the men in the Bible were outstanding because they had faith that God not only had their backs, but their every side and every step regardless of the opposition or their situation.