If you like to read books or watch shows full of drama, deceit, twists and turns, murder, stuff that makes you want to cover your eyes, then you really need to read the Old Testament.
Let's take Noah for example. For awhile I've been thinking about the story of Noah and how we tell it to our kids. Harlow has some story Bibles for kids that have cute poems and drawings about the animals and the story of Noah. She loves the VeggieTales DVD about Noah with all the fun songs and silly jokes. It seems like just a few years ago the most popular design for a baby's nursery was Noah's ark.
Yes, the animals came on the ark two by two. Yes, the earth was flooded, and Noah's family was saved. But have you thought about the details, and have you read what happens after they get off the ark?
Details: Animals are stinky. They need to eat. They need to get rid of what they eat. Many animals are scary. Noah's family was inside a boat with those animals. Being inside the boat while the earth is being destroyed is scary, now add caring for those animals to the stress. While Noah's family is in the ark, the rest of the people and creatures on earth are drowning. My daughter's story Bibles leave that out (with good reason, of course...she might need to be a little older to read about that part).
After: Know what else isn't in my daughter's books? What happens after the flood. I don't know all the logistics of how they survive afterward. All I know is God provides, and I believe it, because I've seen Him provide in my life when it seems like He does it from nothing. But that's not what I want to talk about. We're here for drama, remember? Well, Noah gets drunk. And there's more sin to follow. Even after God saves us, we're prone to sin. Do you remember why the earth was flooded? Sin. What happens when Noah's family gets off the ark? Sin.
Let's move on to a second story that could seem like it was written for Game of Thrones.
A little later in the book of Genesis in chapter 38, we come to the story of Tamar. There's deceit, wickedness, and death. Be sure to click the link above to read the story. I've read it before, but it wasn't until the other day that I found myself reading it with an open mouth of surprise. Drama! Below is a photo from commentary in The Knowing Jesus Study Bible. This Bible has commentary and notes that show how the Bible as a whole points to Christ. This commentary of the story of Tamar was so good that I had to share. Sorry about all the underlining and notes. I didn't know I was going to share this until after I had marked on the page. Be sure to read it; don't skip it!
click to enlarge photo
Why would any of this be comforting? Well, every single one of us messes up daily. Often we're hurt by other people. The things that happen in our lives have a purpose. God works through our mistakes and the hurts others commit toward us. That's grace and mercy. You're a part of the bigger plan. That should encourage us to work for God and do right, but even when we mess us, He's still working. Thank the Lord. I find a lot of comfort in this right now as I see everything happening in the world. Our country is in turmoil. Countries all around the world are in turmoil. When it seems like God is removed, HE'S NOT! Again, thank the Lord.