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One thing I love about the Bible is how very honest it is concerning its heroes. This is one thing that assures me it is, in fact, the word of God. One preacher put it this way, "The Bible is not a book that man could write if he would, or would write if he could."

As a person with an incorrigible sense of humor, there are things in the Bible that I find simply hilarious. It makes me glad that God has a sense of humor, really, so much so that he included things in the Bible that cannot help but bring a smile if you really notice them.

Consider: Lazarus has been dead for four days. His sisters, Mary and Martha, have wept until they have no more power to weep. Jesus arrives, promises to raise him from the dead, then commands them to move the stone away from the sepulcher. Martha then responds, "Lord, he's been dead for four days, by now he stinketh!" Gee, thanks, sis

As Abraham and his wife Sarah get near to Egypt, where they will be living for a while, Abraham says, 'Hey, babe, you are really pretty. I'm afraid that some guy will notice you, and kill me so he can have you. What say, you just tell everyone you are my sister, that way someone can just take you without beating me up?" Honestly, ladies, how well would that go for your husband if he ever suggested something like that?

Samson has given a riddle to the Philistines. They pressure his wife to find out the answer and tell them. When she tries to do so, Samson says, "I haven't even told my mom or dad, why would I tell you?" I wouldn't hold my breath on that "Husband of the Year" mug, Samson.

In Song of Solomon Chapter Five, the young bride and groom have a spat. He has worked all through the night to provide for her, but when he comes home, she is too lazy to even get out of bed and let him in. So he leaves town for the night. A few moments later, she realizes how foolish she has been and gets up to chase after him. Along the way she runs in to some other ladies and asks them to help her find him. Level five funny: They agree to help her look, then ask her exactly where he has gone. Level 10 funny: She tells them exactly where he has gone and where he can be found. So why even bother to ask for their help if you already know where he is? All I can figure is that this is somehow distantly related to the fact that, when ladies go to the bathroom, they ask friends to go with them.

Shortly after the Exodus, the children of Israel had to camp at the base of the mount for 40 days while Moses went up and received the law from God. While he was up there, the Children of Israel got antsy and demanded that Aaron make them gods to follow, gods that they could see and carry around with them. Aaron did so, making them a golden calf. When Moses came down from the mountain, he was furious. After he destroyed it and made them drink it (which all by itself is hysterical, having to drink your god. What would you call that, a Mountain Don't?) he asked Aaron what had happened. The excuse he gave was priceless: "The people brought me a bunch of gold, I chucked it into the fire, and 'Whammo!' this here calf popped out!"

I have three children. Every one of them, by the time they were three or four years of age, was capable of coming up with a more plausible lie than that one.

One good thing that comes out of this, other than a "merry heart that doeth good like a medicine," is the realization that all of these heroes of the faith were flawed, fallible, often ridiculous humans. In other words, if God can use them, despite all of their mind-boggling moments that they doubtless would love to forget, he can use us, too.

Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, N.C., and the author of several books that are available at wordofhismouth.com. Contact him at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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