Bruce Baber (6 Apr 2013)


2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


I feel drawn, like a compass needle is drawn to the north pole, to peculiar verses in the Bible. Verses where no explanation is given for something which at first glance seems odd.  I want to explore them and find out why they were inserted, afterall they must be there for a reason even if there is no explanation.


For example, there's the odd mention of the floating ax head (2 Kings 6: 5-7).  I read passages like that and think to myself... "My, that's very strange.  Why was that put there?"


I feel the same way about Genesis 5:24... And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.  No explanation, yet we know there's a reason for the sudden change in wording in Genesis.  In this particular case it seems apparent (at least to some of us) that it is meant to foreshadow the rapture.


The story of Balaam's talking donkey is another one.  Read Numbers 22: 28-33.  You have to admit that that one is surely odd.


The passage about Samson using the jawbone of an ass to kill the Philistines is pretty strange too.  See Judges 15: 15.  A jawbone is a very strange weapon.  It's not even a particularly good weapon.  And why the jawbone of an ass which seems doubly peculiar?


How about the shadow moving backward in 2 Kings, or Joshua's long day (Joshua10)?


There's the bit about Noah covering the ark with pitch inside and out.  Normally that might not seem odd.  However, when we dig a little deeper we find that pitch has the same meaning as atonement and that certainly should get our attention.


David burying Goliath's head at Jerusalem in Samuel 17 likewise seems odd because at the time it was still a city held by the enemy.  But it foreshadowed Golgotha and it certainly reminds us of the prophecy in Genesis 3:15 where Jesus would actually be the ultimate fulfillment.


There are plenty of others.  These are just the ones that come readily to mind.  I might have included the anointing of Jesus' feet, not once, but twice.  I have a theory about that bit, but I'll leave it for another time.


All scripture is given for a reason and it's so important that not one jot or tittle is supposed to be changed and certainly not to be left out.


If a passage, or even just a single word, sounds peculiar then I think it's there to draw our attention.  It's like God is saying, "Here's a puzzle for you.  Figure it out."


Some of the strange passages found in the scriptures might bring smiles to our faces, but we should never mock them.  They are all put there in the Bible for a reason.  Years ago I taught a series of lessons on the strangest things in the Bible.  I can't provide good explanations for them all.  Yet I think they are important.  Too often (it seems to me) preachers skip over the difficult parts of the scriptures because they don't think the congregation can't handle it.  Maybe they just don't understand it either.  But, I really think it should all be dealt with.  If we don't understand the strange parts, that is perfectly alright and completely understandable.  I trust that God will reveal what we need to know when we are ready for it.


We know that the Holy Spirit will reveal things to us that which was formerly hidden.  As it says in Ephesians 3...


4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit..."


There was a time when the suffering Messiah wasn't understood. There was a time when the future existence of the church itself was a mystery to the Jews.  There was a time when the rapture of the saints was a mystery to the church (perhaps I should say that it still is to some?) until Paul gave us his explanation 1 Corinthians.


The word "mystery" appears 22 times in the King James.  Don't you enjoy a good mystery?



Bruce Baber