The Bible’s Backward Advice


Sometimes I’m left scratching my head at some of the Bible’s stories. I can only imagine if these things happened to me:

  • God told me to sacrifice my first born and only son as a test of my love for Him.
  • Struggling with a speech impediment, I’m called to lead the Jewish nation from Egyptian captivity.
  • God tells me to build an arc on the middle of land, far away from the sea, while the rest of the world parties on.
  • Knowing full well he kills people like me, God tells me to go and speak to Saul of Tarsus about Jesus.
  • The man I believe to be the Savior tells me he must die first before leading his people to salvation. Huh?

These things don’t make sense. Logically, rationally, realistically — they fall short of reason. Yet if any of these Bible characters chose the rational route, God’s world would have been a very different place. (These characters are, respectively: Abraham, Moses, Noah, Ananias, and Peter.)

This is a bizarre reality of the Christian faith. Interestingly enough, such stories are subject to ridicule by the new Atheist movement. In a debate between apologist William Lane Craig and atheist Christopher Hitchens, Hitchens is found mocking the Christian faith for the contradictory advice the Bible gives its heroes. “If Christianity turns out to be true,” he says, “I’ll be extremely disappointed in the Creator” (sic).

Yet herein lies the rub. While the decisions may have been rather crazy, the outcomes turned out to be incredible. God was able to pull these people through, and the results were way beyond any sense these guys made of it.

I think of Love Another Child. Wendy and I wrote this book with a heartfelt attempt to explain our conviction to have and love children. It’s tough to reason through loving another child in a world that is so adamant in reasoning children away. “Love another child” may be on the heart of a couple — getting off the pill, researching adoption, applying for foster care, etc. — but they brush it off as unreasonable, a bit crazy.

We challenge that thought. While the whole world may call it crazy, it may just be God’s prodding to trust Him and go for it. Wendy and I stand on this side of the struggle with a house full of blessings, thinking why did we ever doubt our heart.

(By the way, get Love Another Child. It’s a really good book, and you’ll love it!)

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • T. Gates

    Very well said.  His ways are not our ways or His thoughts our thoughts!  We miss out on a lot by not listening to God’s Will for our lives.  While having numerous children may not be for all, I definitely think it should be made a matter of prayer, just as anything else (jobs, houses, etc.) should be.  We all do practically everything without asking God about it first! :)

    • Chris Jeub

      Good point! This verse comes to mind, “Seek, and you will find.” It may be fair to say we mostly “find” by accident.

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  • Ginger

    So sad. If Christianity is true, he won’t be disappointed in his Creator, but will be amazed and ashamed before him. Heartbreaking! May God grant him repentance. 
    People want to be able to understand God, but humans can’t understand God. We want Him to be small enough that we can understand why He does what He does, but we are mere humans. He is not a super human, he is GOD. 

  • Tania Sullivan

    Just wanting to say – great photo!

    • Chris Jeub

      It is a gem!

  • Therese

    I think you have picked up on a very interesting biblical trait. That the wisdom of God is often foolishness in the eyes of man. A friend of ours a while back started writing a book on this subject titled “The foolishness of God” . As I celebrate our 5th pregnancy there have been times when I have questioned our decision/conviction to embrace all the children God would send us. I have a health condition that puts me in the high risk catagory during pregnancy, yet my last confinement was one of the easiest I have ever experienced.  I had a very uncomplicated pregnancy and a perfectly normal baby who is a delight especially after being diagnosed with secondary infertility. Then I realise that God’s ways are higher than my ways and He has always made a way for us.

    • Chris Jeub

      Wendy and I can’t tell you how often we hear stories like yours. Thanks, Therese!

  • Titus2

    hmmm, i think the reason we “doubt” it is because we can’t figure out how it could work without chaos…we just look at our current situation and wonder how MORE of what we are currently “suffering through” could ever result in any amount of peace and joy.  most people get that we love each child that comes along….most don’t get how to make it WORK with peace in the home….we think we have it crazy with 3 or 4 or 5, we can barely make it through, so in our head we think 10 or 12 or 13 would be compounding our current stress…so we run screaming in the other direction.  

    • Chris Jeub

      So true! Something like this: waiting for our faith to “work” is really not faith at all.