Being full of some of the oldest stories in the world (if not the oldest), it’s only natural that the Bible has some funky parts! After all, they had quirky people and quirky stories just as much in the first century as we do today. And, the divine inspiration given to authors of the Bible didn’t mean they couldn’t add in some of the more humorous stories as well. God wants us to laugh at those silly anecdotes that always have a bit of a lesson wrapped up tightly inside. We’re going to talk about a few more intriguing Bible stories today, and see for ourselves just how crazy life could get back then.
In the second book of Kings, the prophet Elisha travels across the land, spreading the news of God. By the time he undertakes this journey, he is not a young man. As he hikes into the city of Bethel, a small group of young boys start jeering him with cries of “Go away, baldy! Go away, baldy!” Angered by this and tired from his journey, Elisha has little patience for these boys who don’t seem to care about the lessons and news he brings; thus, he cries out to the Lord for patience, as well as the destruction of these insolent little children. Then, two she-bears come charging out of the woods, where they attack the young children in the name of the Lord. Talk about taking a bite out of crime! Luckily, God doesn’t normally send vicious bears after humans, but it might be best from refraining to comment on someone’s bad hair day just in case! (2 Kings 2:23)
Another lesser-known prophet, Balaam, was riding into town one day when his donkey suddenly swerved in the road. Balaam, annoyed that the donkey will not follow the path, continues to try to force him back onto it, beating her back onto it three times. Finally, an angel of the Lord appears to Balaam, explaining that he had been sent to end Balaam’s ministry because something he had done had displeased the Lord. Here’s where it gets especially weird though: the donkey turns her head and starts speaking to Balaam, asking why the injustice of whipping her. Balaam then talks back to the donkey, as though this is a completely average occurrence. So maybe the next time your dog won’t come when you call, he’s just protecting you from the wrath of the angel of the Lord. (Numbers 22:22-40)
Only in the Bible will you find hair-sensitive prophets, talking donkeys, the remnants from a bris used to save Moses’ life, and woman-giant hybrids (which happen to look like rock monsters in a recent popular Hollywood movie). All that between two slim covers, the Bible is full of twists and turns and has a lot of guidance that we could take advantage of, if only we could open our ears to listen. It’s a little like talking to an elderly relative — a treasure trove of stories and advice open only to those open-minded enough to try it.
--Claire Kosewic, Staff Bulletin Writer
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