The Bible is funny. You probably think I’m being ironic, but I’m actually talking about things in the Bible that really are funny-haha, or at least funny-interesting. As I read through the Bible I pencil in a smiley face next to stories that make me go, “heh.” There are a lot of them.
Numbers 22:33. Balaam and his… donkey. (We already know King James’ “Balaam’s ass” is WAY funnier.) An angel whom Balaam can’t see blocks the road. When Balaam beats the donkey for refusing to go forward, the donkey speaks to him, “What have I done that you treat me like this? Have I ever acted like this before?” Balaam then sees the angel, who clarifies, “I stopped you because your path is reckless. If the donkey hadn’t turned aside, I’d have killed you and spared her.” Just to be clear, given the choice he’d have killed Balaam & kept the talking donkey.
Judges 20:16. “Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred chosen men who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.” Were they chosen because they were good with the sling, or because they were left-handed? Why is that important?
1 Samuel 27. David, still being pursued by Saul, goes to live with the Philistines. He made that his home base, with the permission of King Achish, and went out raiding every day. They’d get together in the evenings over a beer, and King Achish would ask, “So… where’d ya go raiding today?” (v. 10) And David would answer, “Oh, up at Judah,” or, “Over there at the Kenites.” It makes me think of The Princess Bride: “Have fun storming the castle!”
2 Samuel 5:6. Taunting, circa 1000 BC. The Jebusites to David, who’s attacking the city: “You can’t get in! Dude, even blind and lame people could keep you out!”
1 Kings 8:50-51. Solomon is dedicating the temple, and in his prayer, he reminds God that they are his inheritance, brought out of Egypt, out of “that iron-smelting furnace.” I’ve been to Egypt when it was 118 degrees EVERY day. Apparently Solomon had been there, too.
1 Kings 20:1-12. The king of Aram attacks Samaria. The King of Israel refuses his terms of negotiation. King of Aram: “I’m going to SO destroy Samaria that there won’t even be enough dirt left for my men to have a handful!” King of Israel retorts: “One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.” Heh.
The Bible teaches us and encourages us and is God speaking to us. It also shows us how God used real people, just like us, left-handed, sarcastic and all.