Friday, April 11, 2008

What would Gideon think?

I was reading Judges 7 and 8 recently and thinking about how improbable it was. Gideon's army of 300 men defeating one of over 120,000??? How? Is it my Christian duty to believe this?

(Sidenote: I'd never seen this movie 300 but got all excited because I thought it was about this section of the OT. Apparently that's not the case. Woulda been cool though)

(Especially since multiple people have told me I look egg-zactly like one of the main characters)

Soon thereafter, I started thinking about whether I actually believe every word of the Bible. Ten foot tall giants felled by a slingshot? A man hanging out in a whale's mouth for three days? Every living organism crowded onto a single ark? Seemed pretty improbable. Did I really believe in ALL of it?

Then I mulled it over from the other person's point of view. Would Gideon believe that I could sit here at my dining room table, typing on a white box that could somehow transmit my words to every corner of the globe? Would he believe there are faster means of transportation than walking or riding donkeys? I mean, just think of all this stuff. Driving in cars. Watching movies. Flying across the country in five hours. Taking a pill to help your headache disappear. Pressing a few buttons and being able to unfreeze food.

Point is, I know I tend to view these events from thousands of years ago as being completely unlikely and borderline false. But what would Gideon (or any Biblical character) think if he were reading about my life? Would the technological age make any sense to him? Somehow I'd imagine this seems improbable as well.


Leisha said...

Jeannie and I were just talking about this on Wednesday night! I think that it's important to keep in mind that the Bible is a literary book, not a textbook, and it definitely has literary devices represented: poetry, story, metaphor, analogy, simile, etc. As Jeannie so wisely put it: "Something doesn't have to be literally true to be Truth." I mean, we don't literally believe that the Beloved in Song of Songs had two baby deer for breasts and a flock of goats for hair, do we? (I hope not...ugh)

However, thanks for pointing this out. As someone who grew up in Sunday School, I take all of these stories for granted.

Plus, Gideon has always been one of my favorite stories, even though I learned post-Sunday School that he didn't have a very classy end. (Whole 'nother blog post on the dangers of worshipping the God of Christmas Past that I won't go into here.)

Josh said...

hahah this is so fun to think about.

jesus could turn water into wine. our version of that these days is kool-aid.