::Literate Blather::
Friday, December 08, 2006
Under God's Right Arm: Favorite Bible Stories

By: Rev. Colson Crosslick

As we head into the Christmas season, I thought I’d share some of my favorite and most beloved histories from the Old Testament. Christians can often overlook the wonderful guidance and moral lessons that can be found between the pages of the Old Testament. I find these three stories perfect for children.

Noah’s Ark

This is remarkable story of hope is one I often tell to the children in my Bible class. Noah was 600 years old when God came to him (can you imagine the things Noah got to see in his lifetime?). God told Noah that men were wicked and filled with malevolence so he decided that he was going to annihilate every living creature on earth by drowning.

So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:7).

God commanded Noah to construct an ark large enough to fit a male and female of every species of animal. Amazingly, Noah was able to use shipbuilding techniques not in existence in the ancient world to build the largest wooden ship in history (it pays to have a personal relationship with the Lord!). Once the ark was completed, Noah and his family herded up pairs of elephants, zebras, lizards, eagles, rhinos, tigers, lions, penguins, walruses, squirrels, polar bears, kangaroos, and thousands of other species into the ark along with enough food to last hundreds of days.

Then the Lord tore opened up the heavens: “And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” (Genesis 7:12). After 220 days afloat, Noah sent out a dove and the dove returned with an olive leaf in its beak. The flood was over! And to celebrate the destruction of mankind and a new beginning, God created the rainbow and promised never to kill men with flood waters again.

David & Goliath

This is a heartwarming story and a powerful lesson for children about overcoming what appears to be overwhelming odds. It also reminds me of a good Mel Gibson action flick!

King Saul and the Israelites were poised to face the Philistines in an epic battle. The Philistine champion was Goliath (a giant warrior standing over nine feet tall!), who boasted that if any Israelite could defeat him one-on-one that the Philistines would surrender. Every morning, Goliath taunted the Israelites.

Finally, a boy named David could no longer stand it. He insisted to his brothers that he could kill Goliath. His words were heard by King Saul, who upon hearing David’s strategy for battle agreed to let him fight the mighty Goliath. On the day of the fight, young David took only a staff and six round stones to the fight.

"Come over here, and I'll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!" Goliath yelled.” (1 Samuel 17:44). Using his sling, David felled the mighty Goliath, leaped forward, grabbed Goliath’s sword and sawed off his head. Victorious, David held the decapitated head high over his head! The Philistines fled in fear!

To honor King Saul, David presented him with the bloody prize. The smaller, younger, and weaker David murdered the larger, older, and stronger man by using his God-giving wits. That is a lesson for all of us.

Adam & Eve

The story of Adam and Eve is probably the most important event in world history (it’s amazing to me that most “secular” history books chose to ignore it because it really isn’t a religious event in many ways). The story is the turning point for humanity because it introduced original sin when Eve allowed herself to be seduced by Satan and in turn entrapped Adam in her conspiracy (which is why women are sometimes called “The Devil’s Gateway”).

One can only wonder at the beauty of the Garden of Eden. All of God’s creations working in perfect harmony. But God ordered Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But Satan, disguised as a serpent, tempted Eve with his wicked words and got her to eat from the tree – betraying God. She also fed the fruit to a naïve Adam and the result was that they realized they were totally naked.

When God returned to the garden – Adam and Eve hid from him, humiliated by their supple nakedness (one can only imagine how perfect they were as the first human beings created by God!). God was enraged by the violation and threw Adam and Eve out of paradise and in the process made them mortal.

The children in my Bible classes are fascinated by Adam and Eve (and often titillated by the nakedness – which proves that we still possess original sin!). But there are great lessons in this historical piece about loyalty, obeying your superiors, and the power of vengeance.

(The Rev. Colson Crosslick is pastor of the Pretty Good Shepherd Church in Ripsaw, Arkansas. His favorite history book is the Bible. He also writes the regularly appearing column Under God's Right Arm for DaRK PaRTY.)

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Anonymous Nikki_Jilton said...
I'm confused as to what you mean by "most history books choose to ignore it." Are you talking about ignore "The Creation" as a story or ignore "The Creation" as an event? As a story, I believe many history books mention it in their religious history sections, but as an event, you don't really believe this actually happened do you?

Hi Nikki:
Thanks for responding to my column. It is clear that you need some Bible education. Of course, the events took place -- its in the BIBLE (which is the most accurate history book in the world as it was written by the Lord God).

Ignorance, my dear boy, is not pretty. Get yourself to a church and get some learning.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Careful Nikki, Colton's trying to get you to get some knowledge at the library, ...just like the snake was trying to get Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge... ;)

Anonymous A disciple said...
anonymous i suggest u too go to church since u cant tell a snake from a person trying to save a life from burning in hell.....of course people like u is wat makes people burn in the lake of fire(by the way if u dont know wat tat is READ THE BIBLE!!!)
Colton i agree with u....

Anonymous Colson Crosslink said...
Thank you, my son!

Go to school. Learn to spell.

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