5. Jericho loses to the Marching Band (Joshua 6)
Here’s another story most Christians know: Joshua and the Battle of Jericho. But have you ever stopped and thought about just how jaw-dropping this moment is?
Jericho is a mighty city with high walls that are all shut up so no one goes in or out. God tells Joshua to take it in what could have been the most embarrasingly fail-tastic plan ever, had it not actually worked: Walk around the city once a day for 6 days. Then on the 7th day, walk around the city 7 times, blow some trumpets, and then shout really loud.
No catapults, no siege engines, no ladders, no battering rams. Just the brain-shattering sound of burly man roars. And. It. WORKED.
What do you do if you’re in Jericho at that moment? What do you do when your mighty walls just start crumbling because of the overwhelming resonance of testosterone? That’s right, you soil yourself and give up.
4. Ehud walks away from the explosion (figuratively) (Judges 3: 12-25)
Sometimes, God just hands you the world on a hilarious silver platter.
We’re back in Judges and Ehud is the judge at this time, trying to save Israel from the Moabites. Ehud goes to give tribute to Eglon, the king of Moab, and while he’s there, Ehud says, “I have a secret message from God for you. But no one else can hear it.” So Eglon does the inept villain thing and sends everybody else out of the room, so it’s just the king and the leader of the people the king has enslaved. Not smart, dude.
Ehud gets in reeeeal close. “It’s a secret,” he says. Eglon leans in close. Ehud takes out the 12-inch knife he has strapped to his thigh and stabs the king in the belly. And here’s a hilarious detail: the king is so fat that the sword freaking DISAPPEARS into his gut. I don’t know why God tells us that detail, but it’s really funny.
But now what? Ehud is alone in the room with a dead king. How does he get out? The front door. Ehud just walks out. In fact, he locks the door as he leaves. By the time anybody even checks on the king, Ehud is long gone.
His laughter was heard for miles.
3. David is the Right Kind of Crazy (1 Samuel 17)
Everyone knows about David and Goliath. But it’s a lot cooler when you stop and really examine what’s going on.
Goliath is 9 feet tall. Stand on a chair, get on your tip-toes. That’s about 9 feet. I wouldn’t fight a 9-foot tall guy if he had polio, but Goliath was a warrior–muscle-bound, armor-clad, combat-trained, and to top it off, he’s carrying a spear. Everyone else in David’s army panics when he challenges them to a winner-takes-all one-on-one fight. But then David comes in and hears Goliath taunting Israel and God. And he is furious.
If David was a woman, he would have yanked out his earrings and told somebody to hold his purse, because someone was about to die.
So David, a 16-year-old shepherd, wants to fight the giant. King Saul has a brain in his head, so he says, “lol, no.” But then David replies, “Hey, don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. I beat up lions and bears by throwing rocks at them.”
(pause for effect)
Have you ever seen a lion? Have you ever seen a bear? Would you throw a rock at EITHER of these animals? David did and lived to tell about it. Saul recognized badassitude when he saw it, so he gave David some armor, but David couldn’t wear it. But instead of finding armor he could wear, David said, “I’ll just go Commando.” This is the guy who goes into a duel and lets the other guy shoot first out of kindness.
You know the rest. Goliath comes out and says, “I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” And David replies, “Nuh-uh!” David wasn’t good at zingers, but he compensated by knocking Goliath the crap out with a rock to the forehead. Then he took Goliath’s sword and cut off the giant’s head. And then he struck a pose (I’m guessing).
You can’t deny it; crazy gets stuff done.
2. Johnathan, the Insanity Wolf (1 Samuel 14:1-23)
Being a crazy person himself, David attracted crazy people. One was a guy named Johnathan.
In the referenced verse, Israel is again at war with the Philistines (the Joker to Israel’s Batman). Johnathan and his armor bearer, a young soldier, are walking around and they come upon a Philistine garrison. Then Johnathan looked at his armor bearer and said, “Hey, you know what would be REALLY funny? If the two of us killed all these guys by ourselves.”
And the armor bearer said, “That WOULD be funny!” Remember, crazy attracts crazy. And then Johnathan says, “Okay, if the bad guys invite us into their garrison, that’s a sign that God will be with us and we can kill all these people.”
That takes an insane amount of faith I’m not sure I’m ready for. Johnathan didn’t consult God on this, didn’t pray, didn’t ask people, or anything. He just said, “Here’s what I think God would do.” That’s crazy bold.
Don’t get me wrong, it worked! The Philistines said, “Hey, c’mere, we want to show you something!” Johnny and his Boy Wonder went up and killed 20 guys themselves. But more than that, those two guys scared the Philistines so badly that they panicked and killed each other in a freaked-out frenzy.
Crazy not only attracts crazy, it gives birth to more crazy.
1. Bears. Freaking BEARS. (2 Kings 2:23-25)
Every other entry on this list I can understand. They had faith or it was God or it needed to be done. But this final entry is just flat-out bizarre. It’s not impossible; again, powers of God make deus ex machina totally plausible. But it’s just the most perplexing thing anybody’s ever done…EVER.
This is the story of a prophet named Elisha. He had quite an anointing from God and used it in a very…odd way. The entire encounter is only 3 verses long, so I’ll just read it to you. Remember: this is the ENTIRE context.
“Then [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel. As as he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. ‘Get out of here, baldy!’ they said. ‘Get out of here, baldy!’ He turned around, looked at them, and and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. And he went on to Mount Caramel and from there returned to Samaria.”
What the crap did I just read?!
Elisha is getting taunted for being bald. So he sics two bears on them. Bears. BEARS! Glen Close didn’t overreact this badly in Fatal Attraction!
I guess God didn’t want people insulting his prophets and therefore himself, but good gravy, bears?! Just…BEARS?! And they killed 42 guys! I’m sorry, 42 YOUTHS! And then Elisha just walked away like it was just a Tuesday ritual.
That’s why Elisha has the most badass moment in the Bible: Call him names, Freaking Bears.
ANY OTHERS YOU CAN THINK OF?