I don’t know what your experience is with the Scriptures, but as holy and wonderful they are you gotta admit there are some pretty chuckle-y bits in there. Here are some of my favs. Enjoy!
1) Gideon’s on a Roll!
So Gideon the coward has been appointed to command an army against their rivals, Midianites. In classical Gideon fashion, he is less than eager to go. God responds by sending him a sign. Go spy on their camp, says the Almighty, you’ll like what you hear. Gideon, as shy as he is, obeys. He sneaks into the Midianite camp and finds himself beside a tent of two soldiers. One soldier relates to the other that he has had a dream. That dream? That a giant loaf of barley bread tumbles into their camp and destroys it. Not a boulder, not a fireball. A loaf of barley bread. I don’t know, maybe they all have a gluten intolerance or just finished watched that scene of Ghostbusters with the Stay-puff Marshmallow Man. I don’t know. But it gets better! The second soldier says, well the meaning is clear. The Israelites will destroy us. Not just any Israelites, but Gideon specifically. I mean, this is a serious Star Wars “these are not the droids you’re looking for” moment. I can only imagine what the other person is saying.
I don’t know about you, but I have times where words come out that I don’t even anticipate. In this case, this is some serious Holy Spirit action right there. #fearthebarleyloaf lol
2) Ba’al in the Bathroom
1 Kings 18
So things in Israel had gotten pretty bad for the followers of God under the reign of King Ahah. He and his wife, Jezebel, were going around, worshipping idols and killing believers. God sends the prophet Elijah to call them out on their misdeeds. They spend chapters butting heads until finally Elijah decides to draw a line in the sand. He arranges all the priests of Ba’al to come out to the top of Mount Carmel to meet him for a duel. Ahab, sick of the prophet’s annoyances, takes him up on the offer. All the priests come out and there they are, facing off against Elijah in a Western-style showdown.
The terms are simple. First god to set fire to the altar wins. Elijah, like the good sport he is, lets the Ba’al guys go first. They start calling and calling and calling to their god. When nothing happens, they start dancing around. Then, they start cutting themselves. These are some very devoted people here, but Elijah is having none of it. He starts throwing shade. Where’s your god at? says the priest. Maybe he’s asleep or away on a vacation or on the toilet. This trolling only makes the Ba’al guys angrier. They really get into it, but nothing happens.
Then it’s Elijah’s turn. He steps forward, prays ‘ok God, do your thing,’ and a giant plume of fire reigns down the altar, burning it to pieces. So the priests of Ba’al are embarrassed, exhausted, and beaten, but Elijah is not done yet. He calls all the closeted believers of God Jehovah to come out from hiding. They do and lay waste to the priests of Ba’al. We all gotta chose sides sometimes. Choose wisely.
3) Jonah’s Meltdown
Contrary to popular belief, God is not so much into the smiting business, as He is in the saving business. The Ninevites have gone off the deep end and God Jehovah calls on Jonah to urge them to repent. Jonah isn’t having any of it. He takes the first ship out of town, which hits choppy water, so choppy Jonah has to abandon ship. While he’s in the water, he gets eaten by a great sea creature. In the belly, he realizes that this is not a good place to be and that it’s his own stupid fault that he’s there. So, he tells God he’s sorry. Just then, the fish spits him out and he goes back to Ninevah and tells them to repent, just like he did, and they do. Only Jonah is not happy by this. He wanted them to burn. So he spends a solid chapter wishing he was dead and that God would smite them. All the while he is burning up under the heat of the Sun. So, God sends him a plant to cover his head, but the plant dies and Jonah launches into another burst of hysterics because his cover is gone. God is not amused. He asks Jonah why he would carry so much about a plant and so little about the thousands of people that would die if God had done his bidding. Jonah has no response. God doesn’t put up with that shit. Obey God, y’all. Don’t get eaten by a fish.
4) No Duh Proverbs
There is some pretty sage-like advice to be found in the Word, stuff that is profound and life-changing. Then, there is stuff that seems so obvious you don’t know why it’s there. It’s like the warning label on chainsaws that says, don’t stop with limbs or genitals. It seems so clear, but of course people must be doing it or else it wouldn’t be in there. So, here are some of my favorite warning labels from the Bible.
“If you find honey, eat just the right amount;
otherwise, you’ll get full and vomit it up.”
Honey is great. We should all do what we can to keep our bee population alive so that we can have more of it. But too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Doesn’t matter what it is. So, the Bible reminds us, check yourself before you wreck yourself, else you get a massive tummy ache.
“You must not insult a deaf person or put some obstacle in front of a blind person that would cause them to trip. Instead, fear your God; I am the Lord.”
Leviticus teaches us a lot about proper sanitation and living a holy life. Then, there is this gem. I’m sorry, but if you’re going around tripping blind people, you should fear the Lord, cuz nobody should be doing that. Use your heads people. Be kind.
Honorable Mention: Bears and Bullies
2 Kings 2
After Elijah has served his term as resident prophet of the LORD, he gives Elisha the wheel. God takes Elijah away in a flaming chariot and leaves Elisha to his own devices. He starts off kinda simple, parts some water, makes other water drinkable. You know, the usual stuff. Then, some kids are off insulting Elisha for being bald. Elisha is not amused. So, he summons and she-bear to maul the kids. Apparently, he just finished playing Far Cry 5 and thought Cheeseburger the bear would make a great protégé.
Does the punishment seem a bit excessive? You bet. But Elisha is not one to be messed with. Respect your elders, y’all, or else… bears.
5) I Can Has Swordz
This passage is one that just is proof-positive that God has a sense of humor. Jesus is with His disciples. They have spent all this time together and Jesus is about to go away. He tells the twelve, ‘you know, I know you’ve never needed anything while you were with me, right?’ And they’re like, right. And he’s like, ‘well, things are gonna get a little rough soon as I go away, so I’m gonna let you have a couple swords for self-defense, just in case.’ And they immediately rip out a sword. Where has it been all this time? Who knows, but they’ve got one. He’s like fine, and they go out to the Garden of Gethsemane and run into some bad guys. Without hesitation, they whip out the sword and whap off a guy’s ear. You can hear Jesus face-palming in the background. What part of “my grace is sufficient for you did you not understand?”
Boys and their toys, man. Boys and their toys.