Judges is a fun book in the Bible. It depicts a time period in Israelite history that was less than stellar. For more on that time period you can read –>this<– post on Samson. Right about when Samson was leaving the scene the Bible records a story that is possibly one of the most gruesome of all religious texts.
At first glance Lot might seem like a cool cat. He was the nephew of Abraham and God even spared him from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Surely if God spared him he must be a good person. Think again! While Lot might have some props from God he certainly was not perfect. In fact, Lot was pretty questionable. Actually that is too nice. Lot was a total jerk and here is why.
Jonah was a jerk!
Most of us know the story of Jonah, and we also know that part of his story is that he ran away from God’s calling for him. What most people don’t recall is the rest of the story. It is the 4th chapter of the book of Jonah that reveals that he is a flat out jerk.
If you grew up in the church it is very likely that at some point in time you wanted to either be Samson or you wanted to marry one. Either way Samson was a pretty epic Bible character. He had huge rippling muscles (we assume), chicks swooned at the sight of him, and he was a one-man army! If he were offered a Panzer to go into battle with he would laugh and trade it in for a jaw bone and maybe a new suite!
For the second entry in the “Jerks of the Bible” series, we are going to get into double trouble. If you have read the book of Samuel you will recall the delinquent sons of Eli. The sons of Eli (Hophni and Phinehas) were basically the modern equivalent of the Lehman Brothers, except they didn’t file for bankruptcy and they were after your beef, not your money. If that analogy does not do anything for you then think of them like this….they were basically ancient versions of the Jersey Shore cast, and they were in charge of the temple offering!
We often associate the Biblical characters with vast amounts of piety and holiness. We think of guys like Moses who parted the Red Sea (or possibly Sea of Reeds). And what about Joshua the brave? He courageously entered the promised land, leading the Israelites into a victorious battle for the land flowing with milk and honey. These are fun people to explore. But this is dedicated to the other fun sub-set of Bible characters; The Jerks!