Is That Really in There? (When the Bible Strikes Your Funny Bone)

Written by: Keith Ferrin
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Have you ever been reading your Bible and found yourself laughing out loud? If not out loud, at least shaking your head as you ponder some of the amazing things that are said matter-of-factly?

It doesn’t happen every day. But when it does, I am reminded of how real God’s sense of humor is. The last time it happened was quite recently. I was reading Judges (not known as the funniest book around) as part of my four-month Bible read thru. Samson shows up in Chapter 13. The next chapter has Samson seeing a Philistine woman, liking what he sees, and telling his parents to “get her for me.” His parents try to talk him out of it, he whines, they give in, and off they go to Timnah.

That’s when I came across these words:

“As Samson and his parents were going down to Timnah, a young lion suddenly attacked Samson near the vineyards of Timnah. At that moment the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him, and he ripped the lion’s jaws apart with his bare hands. He did it as easily as if it were a young goat. But he didn’t tell his father or mother about it.” (Judges 14:5-6, NLT)

Ok. Let’s pause for a second.

Samson is on a journey with his folks, but wanders far enough away that he can be attacked by a lion without them knowing. He rips the lion apart with his bare hands. That is amazing enough, but the part that really struck me as funny is that “He did it as easily as if it were a young goat.”

This cracks me up.

I admit, killing a young goat would be significantly easier than ripping apart the jaws of a lion. But the author (most likely Samuel) makes it sound as if it is a piece of cake! I have got to think that tearing apart a young goat with your bare hands is still something not many of us could accomplish.

I love seeing things like this in the Bible. Two reasons:

  • It reminds me that God has a sense of humor. I know I already said this several paragraphs ago, but it is so easy to forget. God is funny. Not always, but certainly more often than we give Him credit for. This is the God who created the duck-billed platypus after all!
  • It reminds me that the Bible is a fantastic story. Again, it is so easy to always try to “learn something” when we read the Bible. God has much to teach us, to be sure. But sometimes I think He just wants us to enjoy the read! To ponder, laugh, or cry. To get lost in the story.

God’s story. Our story. The story! Is it true, reliable, and practical? Yes, yes, and yes!

Is it also funny and fantastic? Absolutely and for sure!

Unconvinced? Check out some of these humorous stories:

  • John 2 – Moms can always get their sons to do what they want, can’t they?
  • John 6 – If Jesus already knows what he’s going to do, maybe he’s just  teasing Philip.
  • John 9 – This whole story gets funnier as it goes. (Especially verse 27.)
  • John 21 – Jesus knows who they are. They don’t know it’s him. Sounds like the perfect scenario for a practical joke, don’t you think?

Question: What is one story in the Bible that struck your funny bone? 

Check out an earlier post by Keith here.