This is a continuation of my “Not Worth Reading” series of posts about the Bible and the objections that most of us have heard or have stated in defense of our not reading it. Today’s post can be filed under the “It’s not fun to read” category. I have subtitled this post “Epic Break Dance Battle”.
I get it, some of the Bible might not be singing to you in this season of your life. It happens. Maybe you are seriously bummed out after my last post on child sacrifice and need a “brain break”. Or, maybe you have stalled out in your reading. My recommendations on how to get past these blocks are contained in my post called Getting Started Reading the Bible.
The thing to know is that if you prevail, you are in for some excellent stories that are highly applicable to us right now. Today I am going to focus on stories with humorous elements to lighten the mood.
Humor? The Bible? What?
My friends, let me tell you, Many Bible stories have humorous elements. Don’t believe me? How about this one that takes place shortly after Adam and his wife Eve chose to disobey Him and introduce sin into the world. Let’s try and put that “introducing sin thing” aside for a few minutes. Yes, it was the worst thing that could have happened and has doomed us all to lives of sin and death, but let’s look at what happened next?
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
– Genesis 3:8-12
“This woman you put here with me”!?!
Folks, Adam had just been a major part of one of the most devastating events of all times and all he can say is – “She did it”! I mean, come on, this seems like something a child might say. This “woman” was literally made by God as his perfect match and he’s already treating her like this? OK, maybe Adam was acting like a naive newlywed husband. But here is the thing, not only did he point his finger at THE ONLY woman on earth that can make him sleep on the couch, but he also decided that it would be good to blame his Father, the most powerful being that will ever exist! Classic!
There you go, less than 3 chapters in and we have a blockbuster level RomCom in full swing. Let’s look at another one of my favorites – Elijah and the Epic Break Dance Battle. (My Bible calls it “Elijah on Mount Carmel”, but I like my title better.)
So Elijah was one of the greatest prophets that ever lived and he was truly a man of God – no literally – his name means “The Lord is my God”. There are some really great stories about Elijah in both books of Kings. Did you know he is the only person to never die? He also parted the Jordan river like Moses did the Red Sea and prophesied droughts and the death of kings and queens.
My favorite story about Elijah was this epic slugfest between himself and Queen Jezebel’s 450 prophets of Baal that occurred on Mount Carmel. You have to read the entire story in 1 Kings 18:16-46. When you do, picture the scene remade by a modern filmmaker. Suffice to say, Elijah challenged these 450 false prophets to bring fire from the heavens to prove that Baal even existed.
24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.” – 1 Kings 18:24a
So these pretenders danced around, literally all day, trying to get their false god to answer them. The comedy starts about noon when Elijah goes full “gangsta” and decides to start taunting them.
27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” – 1 Kings 18:27
Did you expect that in the Bible? I know that I did not until I started reading it more in depth. Over my 48 years of going to church, hearing sermons and reading the Bible, I had never picked up on the fact that today’s classic smack-talkers got it all from Elijah.
These are just two of the stories with these little comedic aspects – there are many others. If we read these stories and set the scenes in our minds, they just come to life in fresh new ways. They are filled with drama, tragedy, suspense, horror, romance and yes, comedy. Oh yeah, and triumph, because later in the story we just learned about, the Lord delivers for Elijah in a major way that I am not going to spoil for you – check out the rest in 1 Kings 18.
“But”, you say, “how do these stories apply to me?”
First, obviously, Husbands – don’t blame God AND your wife for something that you could have stopped by being a leader of your family. If you do, it’s doesn’t matter if you are the first (or last) man on earth – it won’t turn out well for you. Get into the Bible so that when satan shows up in your home, you can emphatically say – “Yes, God did say to NOT eat from that tree!”
Secondly, Elijah was showing that you may be surrounded entirely by people that don’t love and trust the Lord, but that if you remain faithful, He will come through for you. Maybe not in the way that He did for Elijah, but He will come through for your good. Check out Romans 8 for confirmation of this if you need further encouragement.
Finally, I also believe that these stories were delivered in this way to remind us to that our lives are tough and we shouldn’t forget to smile once in awhile.