So not appropriate for all ages! If it were a movie, it would definately be rated R.
But that’s probably why I love it so much–it’s full of action and adventure, mistakes and mishaps that God uses anyway, murder and mayhem, jealousy and joy, love and loss–people just like you and me, who give in to our selfish nature time and time again, who screw up, time and time again, and who still love God in the midst of their mess, and whom God loves despite all that!
I was reading to Aviana out of A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories–a beautifully illustrated and scripture filled book published in 1948. Our copy was a gift to my mom for her third Christmas from her grandma, Aviana’s great-great-grandmother.
I love the story of Samuel–how his mom prays for a child and God gives her a son, and she dedicates his life to Him. We held these verses tightly when we were trying to get pregnant with Aviana. I love how when Samuel is living with the priest Eli, he first hears from God, and even the priest doesn’t realize it’s God calling until after three tries. Isn’t God cool how He doesn’t give up on us?
I love how, once the bumbling priest figures out it’s GOD, Samuel’s answer to God’s call is “Speak Lord, I will listen to you,” just as mine should always be. So I was reading the “children’s” version of this story to Aviana.
I forgot about this part: The next morning Samuel told Eli all that God said.
“It is the Lord,” Eli said. “Let Him do what seems good.”
Soon after this there was a war. Both sons of Eli were killed in battle.
A man from the battlefield ran to Eli and told him that his sons were dead. When Eli heard the bad news, he fell off his chair, broke his neck, and died, for he was old and very fat.
The next story in the book is “David, the Shepherd Boy”, one of our favorites. Miss A especially likes to sing Only a Boy Named David. Now I know how this story goes: David, a young boy of 12-16 years, knows that God will help him defeat the giant Goliath, just like He helped him beat the lion and bear who were after his sheep. I wasn’t surprised that the giant dies, I just forgot about this: “The stone sank into his head. The giant fell down. David ran to him. He took the giant’s sword and cut off his head.”
When the Philistines saw that their giant was dead, they ran away. Saul’s men ran after them and beat them…(and the actual Bible concludes thusly: The bodies of the dead and wounded Philistines were strewn all along the road from Shaaraim, as far as Gath and Ekron.)
Hmmm…bodies strewn far and wide. Now that is definately NOT a monotone, humdrum, wishy washy, organ playing, hard bench under His bottom, sit still, be quiet kind of God!
I love the Bible. I think it’s funny how I feel so weird about reading these stories to my daughter. God put it all in there–every bit is God-breathed. I know that Aviana doesn’t understand everything, and I should protect her mind from a lot of the sordidness of this world, but I also know that it’s never too early to show her God’s indefatigable power, His tremendous truths and His wild heart.