Every kid has someone that they look up to. Maybe it’s a professional athlete or a famous singer. To children, these greats are making impressions on their minds and in their hearts, whether good or bad. They see in them a hero to be mimicked. Why not add to their list some true heroes from God’s Word. There are plenty to choose from, and although not perfect, these men and women did great things for God. Their examples can give kids some truly wonderful things to aspire to. Who were they? What did they do? And why are they a hero? The following list provides 10 Biblical heroes that answer those questions and can be taught in your children’s ministry.
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Father Abraham is more than just a song you teach to your elementary kids. God chose this hero way back in Genesis to be the father of all nations. God made a covenant with Abraham, promising him many descendants. This hero didn’t even become a father until he was 100 years old, and his wife Sarah was 90! He trusted God to move and start a family. He did hard things like leaving behind his home when God promised him a new one. He showed obedience even when he thought he might have to sacrifice his only son. Abraham is a true father figure that kids can look up to.
We might compare Moses to Superman in the way that he started out. Exodus chapter two tells us he was left as a baby for someone else to raise. Moses’ mother hid him so he wouldn’t be killed as an infant by the Pharoah. God's power running through him helped Moses to grow up and become the leader of the Israelites. He did what God said and successfully brought God's people out of slavery from Egypt. No one else was right for that job.
Where Moses ends, Joshua begins. As the next leader of the Israelites, he was a true warrior. His motto was always to be strong and courageous, typical superhero words. He led the Israelites in battle and always followed God's commands in how to do so, as crazy as they may sound. He led a tiny army to defeat large and powerful enemies. He used horns and jars to create chaos and confuse the enemy. He remained strong and courageous as he continued to lead. The book of Joshua tells all about his life and battles.
Rahab may be an unlikely Biblical hero because she wasn’t an Israelite. Although she wasn’t one of God's chosen people in the Old Testament, he did use her to do some pretty amazing things. When Joshua and Caleb went to spy in a city they were told to overtake, God used Rahab to protect them. She hid the men and helped them escape safely outside the city walls. God saved Rahab and her family for her brave actions when the rest of their city was destroyed. She had the power of belief and faith in the one true God. Joshua 2 gives the details of her bold actions.
Ruth is a hero to teach kids about because she was selfless. Instead of being concerned about her own feelings and situation, she was there to comfort her mother-in-law. Both had suffered a significant loss, but Ruth put her own emotions aside to show empathy to Naomi. She moved away from her family, friends, and faith to join Naomi in being a part of God's family. The book of Ruth outlines her voyage and shows how she trusted God throughout it all. Because of her dedication, her sorrow was turned into joy as she was given a new family and life.
King David started out as just a shepherd boy. He may have seemed an unlikely hero as he played the harp and sang, but he was fierce. As a young man, he killed wild animals to protect his flock and stood up to a mighty giant, defeating him with a single stone. When he became king, he fought many battles that brought victory for God's people. The most heroic thing about him, though, was his heart. The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart, one of the biggest compliments to be given. In 1 Samuel, you can follow the progression of David’s life.
This ordinary girl turned royalty did extraordinary things. The 10 chapters in the book named for her tell of her daring journey. She had many choices as queen, and through prayer and the help of God, she chose to be brave. Her actions saved the entire Jewish people at the last second when they were scheduled to be executed. She risked her own life for her people group. God rewarded her obedience by allowing her to be a powerful queen with significant influence to help His people.
Elijah was a prophet, a messenger of God. Through him, God did extraordinary miracles. Elijah had the challenging task of standing up to dominant kings. He risked his own life by bringing them messages they didn’t want to hear. Elijah called on the power of God to sustain him through a drought, raise the widow's son from the dead, and cause fire from heaven to come down and devour sacrifices. These may sound like something out of a graphic novel, but indeed were actual happenings in the life of the hero, Elijah. 1 Kings tells of his life and the steps he took as he did God’s work.
One of the 12 disciples, Peter, was always vocal and ready to go no matter the situation. He followed Jesus closely, learning and growing throughout his ministry. He literally jumped out of a boat to meet Jesus on the water. His faith helped him walk right on top of it to the Savior. Even after Jesus was gone, Peter kept on preaching. He was a true superhero, dying for his faith. There are many accounts of Peter's life in the Gospels and his continued work preaching and teaching in Acts.
The final hero to make the list is one of the most well-known men in the New Testament. You could say this guy was a villain turned superhero. Paul, first known as Saul, began his career hating and killing Christians. But once the power of God got ahold of him, there was no turning back. This crazy incident happened in Acts 9. His passion for preaching Jesus was like no other. He suffered shipwrecks, beatings, jailing, and more hardship, but none of it could ever take away his joy. He learned and knew so much that God used him to write many books in the New Testament.
These ten humans may have had some faults in their past, but they loved God and used their abilities to bring power and glory to Jesus. They fought hard, were brave, and had courage in all the tasks God laid out for them. They were each one of a kind in their era and super examples for our kids to learn about and learn from. Their unique qualities make them true heroes from the Bible.