Sunday, October 30, 2011

David and Bathsheba

OK.  For all you teenagers who are used to sex and violence on TV, this is a story of sex and violence right out of the bible.  Here are some facts about David.  The bible says that David was a man after God's own heart.  He is one of the greatest kings in all the bible and he was Jesus' great great ... great grandfather.  As a matter of fact, God chose David to replace King Saul and God knew David was going to screw up pretty big time before it even happened.

Now it was the time of the year when armies went out to war.  So King David sent his army out to destroy some dudes called the Ammonites but David didn't go with them.  He stayed at the capital, Jerusalem.  Now David was a warrior and had been all his life.  I suspect, David was a little bored because he didn't get to go out with the rest of his army like normal.  So David was up walking around the roof of his house and he spots this hot chick.  She is naked and taking a bath.  Her name was Bathsheba.  Well naturally, this got David all hot and bothered.  The thing was, David had a whole bunch of wives and even more mistresses.  Back in those days it was cool and so that's what he did.  So in the bible at that time, David had more than one wife and God was cool with this (see 2 Samuel 12:8).

The problem was this lady was already the wife of a guy named Uriah.  Now I am not really sure whether or not David raped her or not.  But it seems kind of close.  He sent messengers who took her to David and they got it on.  Unfortunately for David, it wasn't safe sex.  They didn't have condoms or the pill in those days so he knocked Bathsheba up (she got pregnant with David's kid).  This was really bad.  So far, David is a pervert for watching her take a bath, he's an adulterer for having sex with her while she was still married and I think according to today's standard's he's a rapist.  This is a long way from the boy who killed Goliath but the worst was yet to come.

David knew he would be in trouble for knocking Bathsheba up so he tried to cover up his sin.  Bathsheba's husband was in the army and was out killing the Ammonites with David's army.  So David sent for him to come home.  When Uriah got home he went to see the king and the king pretty much told him to go home and have sex with his wife.  David thought that this would fix things.  They didn't have paternity tests in those days so if Uriah had sex with Bathsheba after David did, everyone could claim the baby was Uriah's and the situation would be fixed right?  Well Uriah was a good guy and he wouldn't go home to his wife.  He didn't know she was pregnant and he told the king that he couldn't go home to her and have sex knowing that all his buddies were out there fighting.  He slept over at the palace and headed back to the front.  Now David was really in a tough spot.  He couldn't lie about the pregnancy thing and he was about to get in a lot of trouble.  So he devised the worst plan yet.

His commanding general was a dude named Joab.  So he sent orders to Joab telling him that he wanted Uriah placed on the front lines of the fight.  Now the Israeli army was surrounding this town that was protected by walls.  They were working on taking the town.  But this could be tricky business.  So David told Joab to attack the city with Uriah on the very front line.  Then David told Joab to retreat so that the Ammonites could whack Uriah.  Problem solved.  Uriah gets killed during the battle and David marries Bathsheba.  That's exactly what happened.  After Uriah got killed in the fight, David married Bathsheba but there was a little problem of the Lord.  See the Lord saw the whole thing and he didn't let David get away with any of it.  David got punished.  But David did something that many people didn't do.  He asked the Lord to forgive him and the Lord did.  David went on to be a great king and lived to a very old age.  What's more, he had another kid with Bathsheba named Solomon.  Solomon went on to be the smartest dude in the whole world.

So what bad things have you done today?  David was an adulterer, a pervert who watched women bathe (that was pornography from 3000 years ago), a rapist, an attempted liar and a murderer all rolled into one dude.  Even after all that, God still forgave him and used him to do big things.  So I want you to understand that sometimes we make mistakes but even when we make really bad ones, God doesn't leave us or abandon us.  Even when we make colossal mistakes, God still has a really good plan for our lives.  No matter what you have done, God has great plans in store for you.  Don't ever give up on you.  God never does.

This story came from 2 Samuel 11 and 12.

That's the Minion's version of David and Bathsheba

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Fiery Furnace

OK.  I have heard this story before and I thought I remember hearing the story of Daniel and the fiery furnace but Daniel wasn't involved.  Here's what happened.

There was this dude named King Nebuchadnezzar and this guy was really full of himself.  He was so vain that he had a statue made of himself that was 90 feet tall and made of gold.  You think professional athletes and politicians get a little conceited.  None of them could have done this.  Can you imagine the amount of money, this guy spent setting up an image made of gold that was 90 feet tall.  I bet that thing was something.  That would be the equivalent of a nine story building tall!  That thing must have been worth billions.

Now, this king was the ruler of a massive kingdom.  It was one of, if not the, largest kingdoms in the world at that time.  This guy was pretty important and if you didn't know it, just ask him and he would tell you all about how important he thought he was.  Now I think we should all have a good image of our self but this was ridiculous.  He thought so highly of himself that he ordered everyone in the whole kingdom to bow down and worship his image like they would a god.  Now here is something interesting, the Lord didn't interfere with it.  He let it go until, the king tried to kill three teenagers that worshiped the true God.  But I'm a little ahead of myself.

So anyway, the king issues this order that anyone who doesn't bow down and worship this statute, will be thrown into a big oven that was turned on.  He was going to burn them to a crisp if they didn't worship him.  Can you imagine the height of vanity.  I'm gonna make a statue 90 feet tall and you have to worship it (me).  If you don't, I'm gonna throw you into an oven and burn you to death.  Well that's exactly what the king said.

Now there were these three young men who were kind of like governors for the king.  They were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  These three guys knew all about the kings orders but they had made up their minds to serve and worship the living God, Jehovah (That's Jesus' daddy.  If you ask Jesus into your heart, he will adopt you too).  So the king hears that these three lowly governors won't do what he said and he got really mad.  He liked those three but he had to make an example of them.  God had given them the ability to govern and they did it really well.  Now the king didn't really understand this but because God gave them the ability to govern, he liked them so he decided to give them a second chance.  He brought them to the place where the oven was and told them that when they heard music, the had to bow down and worship it or die.

Have you ever been in a place were you had to make a decision.  You know, one of those decisions where you know the right thing to do.  But if you do the right thing it looks like it will hurt.  Like when all your friends want to watch a movie that your parents told you not to watch or how about something worse.  How about when your friends want you to do drugs or drink?  You know that it is wrong to do those things but you don't want to lose your friends.  What should you do?

Well here is what those three guys did.  They told the king, "Don't bother with the music.  We aren't gonna worship that gold image or you.  We worship the one true God.  God will save us from harm or we will die but we we're gonna do the right thing."  Now that sounds crazy.  Obviously they are going to die for doing the right thing.  Right?  In our lives, most of us don't want to do right because of the pain involved.

So the king gets seriously mad.  Who are these three dumb kids to defy him?  So he has them tied up with ropes and then he has the dudes working the oven heat it up to seven times as hot as it normally runs.  He is gonna fry these dudes to a crisp and make an example of them.  Who has ever heard of a God that can protect people from fire?  The king is going to prove who the real god is and it's him.  Or so he thinks.  So after the three dudes get all tied up, they throw them into the fire.  The fire is so hot that it kills the guards who throw them into it.  So we know that it will kill someone because the fire killed the guards.

And that's the end of the story.  The three kids get burned up.

Well, not so fast.  See, when those three kids put so much trust in God that they would rather die than do something against God, by Father (God), who is a real good dad, was having none of that burn them up stuff.  He sent an angel to the inside of the oven.  The king looked in the oven and the three boys were walking around in the furnace.  But that wasn't all.  There was a fourth man standing with them.  It was an angel and God was making a point to the king - There is only one King and it's me not you.  Your gold statue doesn't impress me at all.  Welcome to My world.  Those three guys weren't even hurt at all.  As a matter of fact, the fire burned the ropes off and they were just walking around inside the oven.  So the king called them to come out and they did.  They put their trust in God and he delivered them.

That's one thing I want you to take away from this story.  When we put our complete trust in God, he can deliver us from any circumstance.  But there is something else you should take away.

See, the king realized that God was bigger than him and he made another order.  He said that anyone who said anything bad about God would be put to death.  God didn't kill him, he used the king to protect his people.  It's amazing to me that God didn't just blow this king apart but he didn't.  Also, there is one other thing.  When the king realized that these three dudes were smart enough to trust the real God over him, he gave them a promotion.

Sometimes when we do the right thing, other people will notice and change.  Like I have said before, you are an example to the world.  People do watch you everyday.  Even though it looks like things could turn out bad, do the right thing and let God promote you.  You might even take someone to Heaven with you when you do.

That's another bible story Minion style.

Monday, October 10, 2011

David and Goliath

Many of you know this story.  I am going to tell it my way and then share somethings you might not have gotten from it.

So here's what happens.  There are these two armies - the Israelites and the Philistines.  They are both camped out waiting to fight each other.  I have always wondered why they just didn't square off and go at it but that wasn't the way it happened.

There was this dude named Goliath from the Philistine army.  This dude was huge.  He made Shaq look like a small child.  He was over 9 feet tall (two feet taller than Shaq) and he could touch the top of the backboard standing flat footed on the court.  This was before mid evil times but he still had a helmet of bronze and coat of armor that weighed over 125 pounds.  He had a spear almost as big around as a telephone pole and the tip of the spear weighed 15 pounds.

Now Goliath had this plan.  Everyday, he would walk out to a place between the two camps and talk a bunch of mad trash about the Israelites and their God.  He wanted to have one of the best Israelite fighters come out and fight with him one on one.  The loser of the fighter's army would then be slaves to the winner.  So every day for several days, he shows up running his mouth about how tough he was, blah, blah, blah.

Then one day, David rolls into the Israelite camp.  He is supposed to take some food to his brothers and their commanding officer.  He is also supposed to report back to his dad on how things are going.  He is just a teenage kid.  He isn't some big shot soldier and he doesn't look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He looks more like Justin Bieber.  Now imagine what is going to happen if someone bigger than Shaq decides he is going to fight with someone like Justin Bieber.  It ain't gonna be a pretty fight.

Anyway, David hears Goliath talking trash one day and immediately he gets hacked off.  He wants to know why no one from the Israelite army has gone down and shut this guy up.  After all, Goliath is defying the living God and David wants a piece of him.  Everyone is afraid of Goliath and David's brother's make fun of him because he is just a little kid who should be home tending a small flock of sheep, not out there watching the war.  His brothers immediately dismiss David's ability.  But word of what David says makes it to Saul the king of the Israelites and since no one else in the whole army has volunteered to fight Goliath, Saul sends for David.  Now David wants to tear Goliath up just because he is talking trash about God.  He finds out that he gets to marry one of the king's daughters if he wins.

Saul immediately looks at David (think Justin Bieber) and knows that there is no way in the world that he could fight with Goliath and win.  He says this to David.  To Saul's surprise, David starts talking about God.  He says that God helped him kill a lion and a bear with his hands and that God will help him kill this Philistine too.  Can you see Justin Bieber tearing a bear apart with his hands?  Anyway, Saul figures that he might as well give it a shot so he has David put on his armor.  David must have looked like a clown in that stuff because the Bible says Saul was pretty big himself.  So David decides that he can't use it and takes it off.  He runs down to a small river and picks up 5 rocks for his sling shot and heads off to shut Goliath's mouth.

So picture it.  Here stands a guy two feet taller than Shaq with a massive spear.  His body armour probably weighs more than David.  A guy who looks like Justin Bieber walks out with no armour, no sword and no spear to fight him.  This had to look ridiculous and Goliath is insulted.  He tells David that he is going to tear him apart with his own hands and feed him to the animals.  What David should have done if he was like most of us is turned tail and ran for the hills to try to save his own hide.

What David did was run right at Goliath.  David talked right back to Goliath and said, "You come out here talking trash about God and carrying massive weapons but I ain't impressed.  All I got is five rocks for my slingshot but that's all I need because you have opened your mouth against the Lord.  Today, the Lord will deliver you into my hands and I'm gonna cut your head off with your own sword.  When I get finished with you, everyone is gonna know that there is a living God in Israel and that he will save me from you.  Bubba, you done picked a fight with the wrong God and (as we Texans would say) I'm gonna stomp a mud hole in you."  David didn't think he was capable of killing Goliath but he knew that God could and that God would.  And that's exactly what happened.  David hit Goliath in the head with a rock and then cut his head off with his own sword.

So here is what I want you to think about from this story.

1.  Look at all those people who told David he was stupid and couldn't do it.  His family and the king of the country told him that he was nothing but David trusted God.  David believed God over what his family or the government said.  Look at the places in your life where God put dreams into your heart.  If God tells you to do something, don't let anyone talk you out of it, even if it seems impossible.

2.  Saul tried to put his armor on David and David looked like a clown in it.  Now Saul wasn't trying to make David look bad.  He was actually trying to protect David.  He was doing what everyone else around him would have done in those circumstances.  But God had a different plan on how to accomplish David's goal.  Sometimes in life, we will have to do things a little different that what everyone else around us does to accomplish our goals.  So if God tells you to do something, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and do it his way.  You just might accomplish something no one thought you could.

3.  Don't look at your circumstances.  Look at your God.  David knew Goliath was a real warrior.  He was the baddest of the baddest on the planet.  He was like a whole platoon of tough guys rolled into one and he had the best equipment money could buy.  He was a trained, seasoned killer and David had never killed another human.  But David was focused on God and what God could.  He was so focused on God that he didn't pay attention to anything or anyone else.  Look what he accomplished.

I am sure we could go on for a long time getting good stuff out of this story but I will stop here.

That's the Minion's version of David and Goliath

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Good Samaritan

Hello everyone.  As many of you know I write a blog called the Opinion of the Minion.  Recently through Facebook, a young man asked Jesus to live in his heart.  After that he asked me where he could find stories about the bible and how he could learn more about Jesus.  I thought I would take a few minutes and put a bible story in modern terms so kids could read and learn about Jesus.  When I was seeking the Lord about what my first story should be, this one came to mind.  So here's my interpretation of the story of the Good Samaritan.

OK, this guy walks up to Jesus and he wants to know how he can get in the family of God.  He wants to know how to get to heaven and Jesus asks him what the bible says he must do.  This dude has studies a little so he answers Jesus and says, the bible tells me to love the Lord with all my heart, mind, body and strength and that I need to love my neighbor as myself.  Jesus says, "You got it right.  That's what the bible says.  If you do this, you will make it to Heaven."  Since this dude is feeling pretty good because he got the right answer, he decides to take it a step further and says, "Who counts as my neighbor?"  And Jesus tells him this story.

Once upon a time there was a real poor guy walking through a pretty rough part of town.  He was minding his own business strolling down the street listening to an iPod he just won in a contest.  It was the only thing about him that seemed worth much.  His clothes were ragged and had holes in them.  He was wearing old worn out Nike shoes and it looked like he hadn't taken a bath in a week.  This guy was only a teenager.  When all of the sudden, out of no where these guys come up to him and jump him.  He doesn't know any MMA (mixed martial arts) so he gets his butt whipped.  These attackers beat him to a pulp and leave him for dead in the street.  They take his iPod and his Nikes and run off.  Pretty mean dudes right?

Well, the story gets a little stranger.  About five miles from where this happens, there is a big church.  Now the pastor of this church is really into growing his church.  He is trying to get everyone to come to his church and it's getting pretty big.  He really begins to think he is something special.  At that same time, he decides to walk through the same neighborhood trying to get a lot more people to come to his church.  As he is walking up the street, he sees the guy who got beat up lying in his own blood on the other side of the street but decides that he has more important things to do than help the guy so he keeps walking.

Then another guy who is running for mayor of the town is walking the same neighborhood talking to people about what a good guy he is and asking for their votes.  As he is walking the other side of the street and shaking hands with people who can help him get elected, he sees this same dude over there crying out for help but since it doesn't look like the guy can help him, he keeps walking and ignores him.

Then this other guy comes walking up.  No one really thinks he is important and because he doesn't have an important job, drive an expensive car or live in a big house, nobody pays him too much attention.  The preacher and the politician don't notice this guy either because he doesn't really fit the picture of what they are looking for.  He is just an ordinary guy that has worked hard all his life.  His clothes are clean but average but since he is from the wrong side of the tracks, everyone looks down at him.  This guy sees the hurt dude and walks over to help him.  He gets the first aid pack from his car and patches the guy up pretty good.  Then he gives him something to drink and puts this dirty, beat up, bleeding, smelly kid in his car and takes him to a hotel.  He pays for the guys room and tells the hotel staff to take care of him while he goes to take care of some personal business.  As he is leaving, he leaves a credit card with the front desk to take care of anything that the beat up guy needs.

Then Jesus asked the guy in front of him which of the three dudes in the story acted like a good neighbor.  This bible expert says that it is the third guy and Jesus tells him that he is right.  Jesus then tells him to do the same thing.

So the point of this story is that we can show the Lord how much we love him by loving our neighbors.  Our neighbors are anyone who is in need regardless of whether they can ever return the favor we do for them.