The Old Testament is jammed full of jaw dropping stories of valour and bravery. But it also contains some stuff which is well…..downright weird. I know that all Scripture is God inspired and included for a reason but really? Talking donkeys? Incest in caves? Over sensitive balding prophets who summon bears to massacre roaming gangs of teenage youths? Really?? Am I missing a trick here Lord?
Well either God has a pretty weird sense of humour or there have to be gems of wisdom buried deep within these stories. As in really deep. JCB digger excavation deep.
And so begins a (very) occasional series on the blog focusing on the more obscure and barking mad corners of Scripture. We start with one of the less memorable mornings in the 950 year long life of a Biblical giant….Noah.
Yes Noah. Every kid learns the story of him and his ark during their formative years. And stop your average person in the street and, church goer or not, nine times out of ten they will be able to recite the tale.
Noah. A righteous man. He was blameless and walked faithfully with God at a time when the earth was riddled with evil and corruption. So corrupt that God scratched his head, threw up his hands in holy exasperation and decided it was time to wipe the slate clean and start again. A new world order which required a superhuman work of nautical engineering.
He chose Noah for this gargantuan task. And faced with the ridicule of pretty much every other human being on the planet, boy did he deliver. We all know the rest. The animals two by two, the rising waters, the dove and the olive leaf. And around a year later Noah and his family emerged to a new world, a new life, a new covenant with God.
And they all lived happily ever after right? Er no….While Sunday School teachers now move swiftly on to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob few pause to burst the ‘Noah Bubble’ with the contents of Genesis 9:20-27.
Noah, 600 years young, and now with with a lot of spare time on his hands does what any self respecting real man would do after such a massive DIY task. He kicks back and has a drink. And as a man who doesn’t do things by half I’m not talking about a cheeky glass of vino rouge after dinner. No he plants an entire vineyard and then proceeds to drink the contents of it.
So after the largest boat in history and then possibly the largest vineyard this man of excess wakes up with the largest hangover in history. And not a paracetamol to be had.
It must have been an epic night. So epic in fact that he appears not to have made it to bed. Or for that matter slipped into his jim jams.
I must admit even in my drinking heyday I usually made it to bed in appropriate nightwear. But then he was 600 years at the time. And maybe not able to take on board as much booze as he had at his peak. Say when he was 550.
And how did this epic man of faith react to this shameful episode. Contrite apologies to his God and family? Admitting it was all his own fault and promising never to touch the hard stuff again?
No he got cranky, shouted at his son and dished out a generational curse on his unsuspecting grandson who had probably been tucked up in bed oblivious to it all the previous night as his grandfather had staggered round the tents slurring ‘Show Me The Way To Go Home’.
Noah lived another 350 years after this episode. Maybe he never touched another drop. 950 years in total he lived. But my Bible devotes a mere four pages to his life. And two incidents in total. An epic high on Mount Ararat. And a monumental low face down in a tatty tent.
Yet God used him to rewrite history. Just as he can use us too. Even if we have the odd blip along the way.
Were you taught the WHOLE Noah story at Sunday school?
What has been your most embarrassing ‘morning after’ moment? Go on we won’t tell anyone. Honest.
How is God using you in this season of your life?