There is a tendency for us to read the Bible and presume that the people of the Bible were flawless and obedient. We tend to say things like, “If I were like David I would have no problem serving God”. Or, “If I had the opportunity to have walked and talked with Jesus in person, I would be far more committed to Christ”. We do tend to think that God cleaned everyone up before he loved them or used them. This is not the case. Even those who walked and talked with Jesus did not always get it right. In his book, Cast of Characters; Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God, Max Lucado walks the reader through scripture in order to show us that the people of the Bible were not “super-saints”. Instead, just common people. Through brief snap-shots of the lives of Joseph, Nicodemus, Abigail, David, the Samaritan woman, Esther, Lazarus, Peter, Paul, and others, Lucado plainly shows us the failures and flaws of these men and women.
Lucado, in typical Lucado fashion, does an excellent job allowing the reader to see themselves in the struggles and difficulties of the men and women of the Bible. For example, Jonah was called and sent to Nineveh to share a message of hope. Instead, he ran in an attempt to hide from God. At times we are guilty of running when we should be serving. David stood in front of the Philistine giant Goliath and refused to allow the size of the giant to shake his confidence in God. In the same way, we should stand up to and face head-on our giants; depression, guilt, financial strain, abuse, and addictions with a focus on God, not the giant. These men and women were just ordinary people who come into contact with an extraordinary God. This is good for us. The fact these men and were not perfect helps us to know that we don’t have to be “super-saints” for God to love us or use us.
I really enjoyed this book. This book served as a reminder that my hang-ups and hiccups are nothing new to God and are no problem for Him. Short chapters make this Cast of Characters and easy read. I found myself reading it in two days. This book would make a great small-group resource. At the conclusion of every chapter there are study questions related to that chapter. I recommend this book. It is one of those books that I will reread at least once.