Yippe skippie, guess what, folks!? I MADE IT THROUGH READING THE OLD TESTAMENT! Yep, yep, that’s right, I have made it through the wild wild wilderness of major and minor prophets, Biblical history, Leviticus and its many laws, Psalms and its many songs, and Isaiah with its many prophecies.
I don’t remember when I started reading the Bible straight through to be able to accurately say how long it’s taken me. I know there were more than a few Saturdays and Sundays when I woke up and thought to myself, “Mmmm, nope. The desire to read chapter 64 of Isaiah is just not in me today.” So it probably took me longer than it should have.
Sure, there’s been plenty of interesting things to read about, especially since I undertook this somewhat daunting task of reading the Bible with an editor’s eye, specifically looking for women in the Bible, as I’m planning on doing a monologue series of Women From The Bible (Jael from the book of Judges, who kills Sisera with a tent peg, anyone? The Witch Of Endor from 1 Samuel, anyone?) But there’s still been quirky little diamonds of details here and there.
It’s like when you’re reading Greek myths as a kid, and you think they’re fun and everything Dionysus was the God of Grapes! Grape juice for everyone! And then you get to high school and college and realize you got the very sanitized version of those myths as a kid.
So as a kid, you’re reading about Daniel in the lion’s den, and nobody ever mentions the part where God strikes Nebuchadnezzar with madness and he runs into the wilderness and eats grass like an animal. Or how David spotted Bathsheba not just “sunbathing,” but taking the ritual bath that a woman back then took after she was done with her period for the month. Because you have to prove that she wasn’t pregnant with Uriah’s kid so that when David sleeps with her, the child she bears is obviously his. Ewwwww, yes, but also, wow. Look at that attention to detail. Just like a screenwriter, heh heh.
I always liked what Bono said about the Old Testament, in his book back in 2005 :
I accept the Old Testament as more of an action movie: blood, car chases, evacuations, a lot of special effects, seas dividing, mass murder, adultery. The children of God are running amok, wayward. Maybe that's why they're so relatable. But the way we would see it, those of us who are trying to figure out our Christian conundrum, is that the God of the Old Testament is like the journey from stern father to friend. When you're a child, you need clear directions and some strict rules. But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.
So onward to the New Testament! Now I can read things like John 3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. And know what that’s referring to: (Numbers 21 8-9, where Moses made a bronze snake and hefted it up on a pole so everyone that was bitten by a snake and had faith was healed when they looked at it.)
I have a tiny ritual when I’m writing to where I try to plan just the right song to write the ending scene to whatever script I’m working on, the idea being that that’s the song we’d hear at the end of the movie if the script got made. And then I dance around my room in jubilation. Because I’m an awesome dancer as well as writer, hee hee hee.
So this song was the one I wrote the last scene to of the most recent script I was working on, but I liked it so much, that once I hit Malachi 4, verse 6, and the official end of the Old Testament. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse, I decided to make it the song I danced to for finishing the Old Testament. Because, honestly, that's not a really a cheery way to end the first half of the Bible.
But it is when you dance to this song! You have to scroll to something like 4:05 minutes before the part I like “Chinese Sleep Chant” kicks in. Enjoy!