Starring the Book of Judges
By Tammy Lea Fabian
(Presented to those who have not yet read the Bible.)
When you heard that I memorize Scripture, how many of you pictured me as a miss goody two shoes? Filled with words of faith, hope, and love, and lots of sweetness? What if behind all that was filthy language, rage, murder, adultery, and sexual immorality. It’s all in here (point to the brain). Twice the goodness and all the evil.
How many of you have read the Bible? Hollywood has been pillaging its contents for decades filling their movie reels of all literary genres in the Bible: dramas, romance, mystery, thrillers. You name it, the Bible has it.
One of the books of the Bible I have memorized is the book of Judges. Judges is in the Old Testament, the seventh book of the whole Bible. It comes between the Book of Joshua and the Book of Ruth. Joshua and Ruth. Remember that a judge always comes between a man and a woman, especially during that 7th-year itch.
The book of Judges highlights the 12 judges of Israel. Don’t think of Judge Chamberlain Haller from My Cousin Vinny think more along the lines of William Wallace in Braveheart–an unorthodox renegade crusader who leads military advances while offering ethic sounding advice.
Each of the 12 judges of Israel could star in their own movie. For instance, the second judge, Ehud, the son of Gera the Benjamite, stars in a fantasy satire. He makes a double-edged sword 2 ½ feet long and straps it to his inner right thigh. Ooh, would you walk?
Ehud goes to King Moab–a very fat king–and whispers in his ear, “I know something you do not know. I am not right-handed.” He takes his left hand, draws his sword from his inner thigh, and says, “My name is Ehud Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” He plunges it into the king’s stomach. The fat–the quicksand of his belly–swallows the sword and its handle. (Dramatic pause with eyes bugging out) Ehud, then escapes through the latrine giving a whole new meaning to Montezuma’s Revenge.
Many years ago, before I ever memorized the Bible, I would open my Bible, select a verse at random, and get inspired for the day. In my first marriage, I was so angry with my husband that I asked the Lord, “What shall I do?” I flipped open my Bible and my finger landed on this documentary movie in Judges: “He asked for water, and she gave him milk; in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk. Her hand reached for the tent peg, her right hand for the workman’s hammer. She struck Sisera, she crushed his head, she shattered and pierced his temple. At her feet he sank, he fell, there he lay. At her feet he sank, he fell; where he sank, there he fell dead.” I went out and bought a tent peg and a hammer that very afternoon. (pause)
If your preference is a DC Comics or Marvel movie look no further than the twelfth judge. Samson, an Oscar award winner, plays both villain and the superhero. Scene one begins with Samson playing the Riddler who has a flair for fashion. In his attempt to swindle men out of a whole month’s worth of clothes (eye roll- and we talk about women having a problem), he asked them to solve this riddle: “Out of the eater, something sweet. Out of the strong, something to eat.” This enigma has to do with the lion he killed with his bare hands and the active beehive that made its home in the lion’s carcass. Surprise that hasn’t yet been a plot for a movie?
Scene two takes a dramatic twist, Sampson turns into the villain, Pryo. He traps 300 foxes, ties them tail to tail in pairs, fastens a lit torch to every pair of tails, and lets the foxes loose to set the ground ablaze. That’s what I call a “Foxtrot” with a falsetto.
In scene three, near the end of Samson’s life, good prevails over evil. Under the kryptonite powers of Delilah, his sultry and manipulative wife, she weakens Samson’s strength by cutting his hair. The Philistines capture Samson and gouges out his eyes and sends him into the entertainment ring- Rocky Balboa style. (Howard Cosell’s voice) In the right corner from Zorah, weighing 158 lbs with 1-inch hair growth, the Blind Gladiator. And in the left corner from the shores of the Mediterranean, weighing 240 tons, the 3000 Philistines. The crowd roars, the bells rings, and in one blow, the Blind Gladiator knocks out 3,000 Philistines. The Hero!!!
Now for the tear-jerker, because life can’t be pure comedy. The moral of the book of Judges is this. “Every man did what was right in his own eyes.” As a result, Israel took a downward spiral, rebelling against God and turning their spiritual life into chaos. From the beginning of Judges to the end, one can see how the culture of Israel deteriorated. It’s kind of reminds me of our society today. If we don’t repent and turn back to God, we will–individually and culturally–come to ruin too.
So with that, I encourage you to read the Book of Judges. And I haven’t even mentioned the Chainsaw Massacre that takes place in Judges 19 of the Great Virgin Heist in chapter 21. When you read the Bible, you will undoubtedly discover more literary genres and become your very own a miss goody two shoes filled with twice the goodness and all the evil. Thank you very much. (and she takes a bow)