It is a good thing that you are asking this question. You asked or thought to yourself, “What does the Bible say about character?” Well, I tell you, the Bible refers to character a lot. Character is one factor that distinguishes those who succeed with God in the Bible from those who do not.
David was a man after God’s heart because he exhibited good character even though he made some mistakes as well. But overall, David had a heart for God.
David feared God, and the Lord loved him for that and helped him tremendously. You see, David was in a position to kill King Saul and take his throne; moreover, God made it known to him that he was next in line after Saul, but he refused to lay his hands on the king. My friend, this is the kind of character that is so lacking in our world today.
In these days and times where it seems as if there is too much moral decadence, God expects his children to behave differently from the children of the world. Your character will determine how far you go in life.
Do not allow yourself to be ruled by the things that are happening around you, but rather be determined to serve the Lord as Joseph did, irrespective of all the challenges he was faced with.
He didn’t give in to the problems, nor did he give up on serving the Lord, but rather he put his trust in God, and the Lord delivered and promoted him.
We see in the Bible that later he became the prime minister of Egypt. He was enthroned in a foreign land and was later used by God to bring redemption for his people, Israel. (Genesis 41:37-44)
What does the Bible say about character: David and Saul’s characters?
Character is the sum total of who you are. Let’s consider the life of David. He was a man after God’s heart. This man found favor in the eyes of God because he feared Him. When the Lord rejected Saul as king, it was because of his disobedience in carrying out the orders of God as instructed.
God asked Samuel to go over to Jesse’s house, for he has found someone who will do His bidding. David was the person. Unknown to Samuel, though, when he got to Jesse the Bethlehemite as he was instructed by God, he told the people that he was coming to sacrifice to the LORD.
He then sanctified Jesse and his sons and called them to the sacrifice. His assignment there is to anoint one of Jesse’s children, who would eventually replace Saul as king.
However, Samuel doesn’t know who this son is. Therefore, when the sons of Jesse appeared before Samuel, he looked at Eliab, who was the eldest son, and thought it was him that the Lord wanted to anoint.
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7.
If you read further, you will see where Samuel asks if these are all his children. Then Jesse answered and said there remains the youngest, whose work though was to keep the sheep. Now Samuel has instructed that they bring him. And when David appeared, the LORD said to Samuel, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.”
You see, in the eyes of the prophet Samuel, Eliab fits the qualities of a king, but God sees things differently. In verse 10 of the same Bible passage, we read that Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these your children.”
David, unlike his other brothers, was a man of faith. He demonstrated unwavering faith in God Almighty when Goliath confronted the children of Israel. The children of Israel were afraid of Goliath; even David’s own siblings and the king Saul himself were scared of him. But David was not.
He saw Goliath as an animal that he could tear into pieces, as was the case with the wild animals that sometimes came to snatch his father’s sheep in the wild. David would fight them off and kill them if need be. He was very fearless; no wonder God chose him.
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 1 Samuel 16:13.
In verse 14, we see that the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
You see, God gave King Saul an opportunity to lead His people, but Saul erred in fulfilling God’s commands. On one occasion, Saul disobeyed the Lord by offering a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel to do it. 1 Samuel 12–15. Unlike David, Saul had a questionable character. This led to him losing his throne to an unknown David.
Although little was known of David at the time, God knew him. God was raising him all the while he was busy keeping his father’s sheep. He was very well behaved in conduct and action. In addition, he was a man of strong faith. As a little boy, he elected to conquer Goliath even when King Saul was dying of fear.
David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" 1 Samuel 17:26
No wonder God loved David. As a boy, the lad understood the God that he was serving and the God that led his fathers through the wilderness. This knowledge led him to show good character before God and man.
It is also important for me to point out that our Lord Jesus Christ is from the line of David. God doesn’t make mistakes. You don’t expect Him to bring His beloved Son from the lineage of a man who does not fear Him.
Do you still want to know “what does the Bible say about character” of God’s children? I will encourage you to study your Bible, and you will see why God loved people like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, etc. and despised Esau or Pharaoh, etc.
God is not biased. He is not a respecter of persons. If you decide to walk righteously and honor Him in your work, God will notice and stand by you. David never knew that God was going to make him king. He was busy doing his thing, but his good work distinguished him among his brothers.
There are numerous other examples of good character in the Bible. Regardless of the difficulty of having a child, Abraham placed his trust in God. And the Lord blessed him with a son. If he hadn’t shown good character, the blessing wouldn’t have come.
Bringing it all home, what are you going through that God cannot handle? The issue is that you have refused to trust God with the problem. Or you have chosen to give up because God’s timing doesn’t work for you.
Some of you are in such a hurry that trusting in the Lord is now difficult. God expects you to show good character at all times, particularly when no one is looking at you.
In Romans 5:3-5, the Bible says, And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Know that no matter the challenge, God expects you to exhibit good behavior. From the above text, you can see that patience brings about experience.
If you’re patient enough in that tribulation, by the time you come out of it, like Joseph, you will learn something that you will carry into the future, and God can use you as a blessing to others who might have similar challenges in the future.
Do you know that God has needs? Yes, he does. God expects you to grow spiritually so that you can become a medium through which he can reach others.
Assuming you go through that challenge and never make it out of it, and it so happens that God has lined you up to be the conduit by which he will deliver others, what will happen to those people if you fail to come to their aid at their time of need?
You see, God prepared Joseph, and at the end he used him to deliver Israel from famine. You need a good character to succeed in this world.
How about Jesus? If he hadn’t suffered the shame of the cross, you and I would have been condemned forever. But because of the love that Jesus has for us, he suffered shame so that he could redeem us from sin and Satan.
Galatians 3:13 says, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
Jesus took all of our curses upon himself so you and I could live. All he is asking of us today is to show character, serve him, and trust in the Lord, your God.
Make up your mind to demonstrate good behavior wherever you are. Allow God to lead you, to teach you, and to make you what he wants for you.
God does not build a man so that he can enjoy the benefits alone. He builds the man and uses him as a channel of blessing for other people. I see God building you up so that you can help those around you.
I want you to change your mind starting today. Think differently, regardless of what you’re going through. Don’t go about discussing your problem; rather, pray to God about it and have faith.
Trust God to deliver you, and work toward the solution by faith, and as you do, the Lord will meet you there. Remember, faith without work is dead.
God will look at your work as a way of measuring your faith. So, if you do no work but rather just sit down and complain, God will not help you. Because what you’re doing doesn’t exemplify good character.
Hear me: God will never leave you comfortless or forsake you. At the right time, God will show up for you. But your attitude must be right in the face of the challenge. Give yourself to studying the Word of God. Pay attention to the thoughts going through your mind.
Philippians 4:8, the Bible says: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
God looks at the heart. He knows what you’re thinking. And if what you’re thinking is not in line with his Word, you won’t receive the blessing. For the blessing to come to you, make up your mind to start thinking thoughts that are in line with the Word of God.
Besides, how would you think of such things if you did not have the Word of God inside you? Therefore, you need to start feeding on the Word of God so that the Holy Spirit can use the Word that is inside you to lead, deliver, and bless you.
Summary of our lesson on “What does the Bible say about character?”
This question, though—what does the Bible say about character is really broad because there are so many examples in the Bible and in our world today. The Bible has a great deal to say about character and provides many examples of both good and bad characters, as well as the choices they make.
However, I will encourage you to look out for the good ones and emulate them. Start with the Word of God; it will build you up and give you a desirable future. Then again, mind the company of friends you keep, because what you hear and think is what you become.
Remember David. He was minding his own business, but the unseen God was busy looking after him because of his impeccable character.
I hope you learned something from this piece. Set your heart toward God and see how things will begin to work for you. The blessing might tarry, but it will surely come. And again, serve God for who he is, not just because you need something.