There are tons of verses in the Bible, but only few ever get preached on, talked about or referenced. Take John 3:16 for instance. You know, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Everyone knows this; heck, most of us memorized it in Sunday School. There are others, that’s just an easy one to remember. But what about the ones that never get mentioned? The ones the preacher never talks about because they’re weird or hard to explain. And, some of them are just funny; sometimes they’re funny out of context, others are funnier when you put them in context. For example, in Job 13:5, Job says “If you would only keep silent, that would be your wisdom!” That’s a big ol’ “Shut up, stupid” if I’ve ever heard one. And, it’s worthy of a chuckle. But, when you back up a little, you find out it’s Job saying it to Zophar who’s been telling Job that all this bad stuff happened to him because he’s sinned and that Job needs to confess. Put in context, “Shut up, stupid” is even funnier. Another good one comes from 2 Kings where a bunch of kids are taunting Elisha by yelling “go on up, bald head!” Elisha gets pissed and calls down a curse in God’s name on the kids. Then, 2 bears come out of the woods and maul 42 of them. After reading that, I found this picture (which I doctored for those more squeamish readers):
There are tons of these kinds of verses in Proverbs and it only takes a second to see why they’ll never be the subject of a sermon. Imagine your preacher taking off on Proverbs 21:19 which says “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” Believe me, if his wife wasn’t ill-tempered to begin with, she would be by the end of service. But, Proverbs is also the source of another favorite verse of mine, 31:6, which says “Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish”. Which backs up my favorite Ben Franklin quote that wine is “a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy”.
God is even sounds like my father on occasion. In Numbers 11, the Israelites are complaining about having to eat manna all the time, God tells Moses to gather 70 elders together and tell them “‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” More than once growing up I was told after an extended bitch session that I was going get exactly what I was asking for. And I’d get it until it ran out my ears. He only had to do that once. After that, threat alone was enough to send my scurrying away with my tail between my legs.
On the weirdness end of things, there’s always Balaam’s talking donkey. I’m not sure what’s more odd, the fact that the donkey talks or that Balaam doesn’t blink when it does and even carries of a conversation with it. I don’t know about you, but if a donkey struck up a conversation with me, I’d be more than a little freaked out. Then there’s Saul’s bride price to David for his daughter Michal: 100 foreskins. Of course, Saul is trying to get rid of David because he realizes the boy is a threat to his power. But, David, ever the overachiever, goes him one better and brings back 200 foreskins. And, of course, my twisted mind wonders who had to get those foreskins after David killed all those Philistines? That’s a detail that makes KP look like a day at the park.
It’s been fun finding all this weird, twisted funny stuff in God’s Word. And this is just the Old Testament. Be on the lookout for the New Testament coming soon!