Thursday, May 22, 2014

Laughing Through the Bible

...and a time to laugh....-Ecclesiastes 3:4b

OK, so I probably shouldn't admit this but I laugh every time I think of the 4th chapter of Jonah.

Jonah has run from God, been swallowed by a large sea creature, rescued, and preached the mother of all revivals. All that's left is the reporter to ask him, "What's next. Jonah?" and his reply, "I'm going to Disneyworld (or the ancient Assyrian equivalent)."

But no. Jonah is sulking. Seems he didn't want God to spare the Ninevites, but to smite them instead (they were a pretty rotten bunch).

Maybe I'm pretty rotten myself, but I swear what happens next looks for all the world like God making fun of his pouty prophet. First He sends a scorching desert breeze. Which makes Jonah hot in more places than under the collar.

Then He provides a shade. Then He provides a worm to kill the shade. And then the punch line (I paraphrase a little): "Umm, so what are you mad about, Jonah?"

It breaks me up every time.

Then there's the seven sons of Sceva (you can read about them in Acts 19:13-16). Here, undoubtedly, is the origin of the threat: "I'm gonna slap ya nekkid and hide yer clothes," I can't help laughing.

You know, I should experience some other impulse than the desire to laugh from these passages.

OK, just one more. This one comes from a very serious part of Scripture; the genealogies in the first 9 or 10 chapters of I Chronicles. I've tried any number of ways to approach this section as I read my Bible through.

But I'm tellin' ya, when I see the name, "Hazalelponi (chapter 4, verse 3)," I have to at least smile but mostly laugh out loud.

I'm just picturing this small girl (Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash's sister) with her "lil pony," combing its mane, braiding its tail and dyeing it different colors. Any girl would, wouldn't she, who has a lil pony?

No doubt there will be laughter in heaven.

But you should still probably pray for me.

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