Redemptive Thrillers

Posted on · Posted in Narrative

How familiar are you with God’s redemptive thrillers?


Perhaps this is not a category of biblical literature that is familiar to you. If this is true, you are missing out on something special. These thrillers actually do exist! They are found in the compelling narratives of the Old Testament.


Psalm 78 urges parents and the church not to hide the truth of God from your children. If these narratives are not presented with the drama and action with which the Holy Spirit wrote them, then God’s truth is hidden.


You must learn the context of the great stories presented in Scripture. Are you filled with wonder and awe at how God, throughout the Bible, rescued his people as they trusted him in faith? The biblical narratives don’t speak of human super-heroes who were almost flawless. The Bible speaks of flawed people, just like you and me, who at critical moments lived by faith because they loved God. People like this find themselves dramatic circumstances.  The stories that tell us of these times are nothing less than redemptive thrillers

Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, and Jehoshaphat all had obvious lapses of faith, but their lives that must be retold to our children. Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Deborah, Josiah, and Ruth lived in faith so that we could follow their example. Then there are the stories of those like Amnon, Absalom, Rehoboam, Jonadab, Joab and Jehu where the stories do not end well. Their stories must also be told. 

These narratives are passionate and filled with drama. If these stories are told or read without power and edginess, their true meaning is obscured.

Your children will learn from the failures and be encouraged by the stunning victories. Can you, parent, give a passionate retelling of these stories? Do they fill you with excitement and a desire to emulate their faith? When you struggle do these stories make their way into your life’s narrative to bring you comfort and give you hope? If the answer is no, you have not taken advantage of resources the Holy Spirit has provided for you. Your ability to withstand the attacks of the vicious enemy of your soul is greatly diminished. As Paul says:

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Redemptive thrillers were written to encourage and challenge you and your children. Love these stories. Ask God for the faith that these stories become your story.

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.