Bible Story Illustrating Insanity

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Druff, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Hello all,

    I need to find a Bible story for a lesson that I'm teaching on insanity in a Bible-based 12-step recovery program. I'm referring to the literal definition of insanity, "doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result." I'm wondering if there is a story in the Bible that illustrates this, like repeated disobedience to God with ultimate redemption? All the stories I know of have a simple arc, like the protagonist disobeys God, is punished, learns his lesson and obeys God. But I'm looking for a story of disobedience, punishment, disobedience, punishment, disobedience, etc., and finally the protagonist learns from his mistake and decides to obey God. Is there a story like this in the Bible?
  2. Well, the Israelites have a long history, in the OT, with continually disobeying. :) But that would be one long story. The only other story that comes to mind is the Prodigal son but it doesn't really fit your paradigm. Samson kept getting played by Delilah until finally he told where his real strength came from and they gave him a haircut. He was still able to knock down their temple but he died with them. Then there is Satan with Job - but no redemption there.
  3. Silk, thanks for your response. I think the Israelites repeated disobedience is a good illustration of insanity. Then at Jericho the Israelites obeyed and won the city. Samson and Delilah would be a good story if only he'd learned his lesson :)
  4. Going from memory here, but Samson, with his hair growing back a little, was blinded and put on display in the Phillistine temple when he prayed to God to be able to strike one more time at his (and therefore God's) enemy.
    The Israelites (look in Judges) had a long history of disobedience, being carted off to slavery for a few years, and then released. I think? When the Israelites scouted out the territory, they found giants (some call them nephilim) and were too formidable a foe and I think they had to wander around for awhile because they lacked faith in God.
  5. I think Silk was spot on... She always is :)

    Israel history perfectly fits what you just asked.. It sounded like you had Israelites in your mind before asking this question! Book of Kings and Judges is all about this..
  6. I like Romans 7... where Paul explains the battle we have to obey God and the power of sin that is in us. That only in a degree of truth about who we are "insane" in a way, we find the grace to overcome through Christ our "insanity"
    Silk and AllieWi say Amen and like this.
  7. This may not be what you are looking for, but the word insanity comes the the word madness. In the bible it was the devils that drove a person mad or insane. Today, psychiatry calls this madness or insanity a psychosis and it has lost its true meaning.
  8. There are a couple of examples I can think of that don't fit exactly what you're looking for (i.e. disobedience/punishment), but are similar. The unbelief/belief cycle also tends to repeat in people a lot. Abraham had lapses of faith. The father of those who believe lied about Sarah to save his life, and he tried to help God fulfilled His promise by conceiving Ishmael. ...this after having 'believed' God earlier. But eventually his faith 'took' and he was able to pass the test of offering up Isaac.

    Jesus' disciples also went through the unbelief/belief cycle. There are many times where it says in the gospels in effect, "and then they believed" (i.e. John 1:49-50, 2:11, 22, Luke 24:21,25), while Jesus repeatedly spoke of their lack of faith (Matthew 8:26, 14:31, 16:8, 17:20, Mark 16:14). It wasn't until they saw their resurrected Master that their faith became permanent.
  9. Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
  10. now that's crazy:( "oh wretched man that I am"
  11. I think Nebuchadnezzar kind of lost his mind for a bit when he started eating grass with the goats.
  12. Aw thanks Rav. I find your posts the same. I find, in myself, the same trying to do the same thing and continually getting the same result. It is only when I give seriously o align myself with God, that the results change.

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