In the past couple of months I watched Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings. Now I know that both of these movies came with controversy and the Exodus movie received poor reviews, but I think that there is something that both movies can bring to the table. While neither of these movies entirely lines up with the narratives found in Genesis and Exodus, they reminded me that Noah and Moses were real people with real struggles and real frustrations. Noah showcases his drunkness at the end of the movie and Exodus: Gods and Kings shows a Moses who struggles to accept his past and wrestles with God’s decision to kill the first born of Egypt.
Often times when we approach the stories of scripture we see the characters of the Bible with unrealistic amount of devotion to the commands and directives of God. We read the stories and see the people following God and often don’t stop to think about what kind of hesitations they might have had. Did they question God? Were they uncomfortable with what God was calling them to do? Yes, the Bible declares Noah to be both righteous and blameless, but we also find him drunk in Genesis 9. Yes, Hebrews 11 declares Moses to be a man of great faith, but Exodus 4 paints a picture of a man unwilling to step up when God calls and he gets in an argument with God in Exodus 32.
We do ourselves a great injustice to see these people without fault. It makes it feel impossible to follow God. It makes it feel like we cannot measure up because we don’t have the faith like they did. In reality, they were real people with real problems just like we are. It should give us great comfort when we read the Bible and see that Peter, Paul, James, John, Andrew, Abraham, Jonah, Job, and David are all real people just like us. They struggled with their faith and even sinned and God still loved them and accomplished great things through them. They may be the heroes of the Bible, but they still just people. So the next time you read the Bible. Put yourself in the shoes of the people in the text. If you were Noah and God said he was going to kill everyone would you struggle with that? If God told you he was going to strike down all the first born of an entire nation, wouldn’t you have some questions for God?