Isaiah was a Stripper

What You’ve Missed…
* Not much really.
* Some Psalms that are pretty good.
* I saw Prometheus.
* That was pretty good too.

Day 197
Daily Reading: Isaiah 18-23

I’d like to start this post by proposing a question to any Christians who are reading this. (Well, clearly I wanted to start this post by telling you I wanted to ask a question, but let’s not get picky.) If God told you to just live your normal life today, but to do it totally naked, would you?

“Oh God wouldn’t ask us to do that,” you might say. Oh really? Have you read Isaiah? “Oh, Isaiah didn’t walk around naked,” you might say. Oh really? Have you read Isaiah chapter 20?

“In the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander in chief to capture the Philistine city of Ashdod, the LORD told Isaiah son of Amoz, ‘Take off the burlap you have been wearing, and remove your sandals.’ Isaiah did as he was told and walked around naked and barefoot.” (Isaiah 20:1-2)

“Oh, he was probably just in his house or something. That’s no big deal,” you might say. Oh really? Have you read verse 3?

“Then the LORD said, ‘My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign – a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia.’” (Isaiah 20:3)

Yeah. That’s right. The dude lived totally naked for three years. Even a good streaker wears a solid pair of running shoes. But not Isaiah. He rocked the birthday suit, in its fullness, from top to bottom, day in and day out, for THREE YEARS.

I was talking to a friend about this, and they suggested the idea that times were different back then, with different cultural norms, and that Isaiah putting the family jewels on full public display wasn’t a big deal. But I beg to differ.

I think there are a few common threads uniting mankind through the ages, despite vast cultural differences, and one of those threads is actually the lack of threads. I’m pretty sure straight-up public nudity has always been discouraged for as long as people have lived in community. No one wants to see their butcher naked.

Which got me thinking. How the heck did Isaiah respond? It’s mentioned so casually in the Bible. Heck, it skips three years between two sentences. But think about it. Isaiah was a regular guy. A prophet and powerful man of God sure, but still, he’s human. Just like you and me. I have to wonder how he reacted.

I imagine him saying something like, “Uh, God, I can’t just be naked. I mean, what will people think? Also, I don’t really want to be naked. And, uh, isn’t being naked bad? Like, don’t you endorse purity and honoring the body and stuff? And uh, you also realize that if I’m naked, a bunch of ladies and kids are going to see my dong right? That can’t be good. Won’t I end up in jail? Won’t I end up in jail totally naked? That really can’t be good. And did I mention that women and children will see my dong?”

But apparently he went through with it. He just started living his life in the buff. Not in a nudist colony with a bunch of old fat guys who don’t give a rip anymore, but right out in the open, for all the world to see. And I imagine he continued his work, which was delivering the Word of God, which I imagine was kind of like street preaching.So now I’m picturing some crazy dude on a street corner, warning everyone about the coming judgment of the LORD, with his kosher sausage in full view.

I’m already horribly judgmental towards street preachers. If I saw someone preaching fire and brimstone on the street, and they were naked, I would think they were flat out crazy. I’m already not trusting what they say, and the fact that they don’t seem to be bothered that their twenty-first digit is swaying in the breeze only compounds that fact.

I have to believe it was the same for Isaiah. I have to believe people thought the guy was insane. That he needed help. Lots of help. I imagine people wrote him off as the local nut who thinks he hears from God, dismissing everything he said because they thought he was a deranged lunatic who dove off the deep end, leaving his sanity, and shorts, far, far behind.

So of course Israel doesn’t listen to his warnings. Would you? I know I wouldn’t have. Which has me thinking again. What if the crazy street preachers I judge are actually hearing from God? What if they’re just as reluctant as Isaiah might have been, but go out any way, knowing they’re going to be verbally crapped on, repeatedly, by almost everyone? What if I’m the idiot, not them?

Another thought: What if it wasn’t a crazy stranger on the corner, telling everyone they’re going to hell, that God asked to get naked? What if it was someone you knew and trusted? What if it was your pastor, or best friend? Or your dad. What if they started living naked because they said God told them to? (I promise I’m not trying to get anyone to think about the people they know naked. I’m just trying to make a point, and that point involves tons of nudity.)

Another, different thought: What if it wasn’t someone you knew who was making their “private” business very public? What if God asked you to do it?

Isaiah letting it all hang out takes the idea of being a person of faith to a whole new level. If you think about it, Isaiah really goes for it here. The guy risks his entire reputation big-time, throwing caution, and his undies, to the wind.

Crazy stuff.

Nerd is the Word

What You’ve Missed…
* Hosea continues to tell the people of Israel that they’re evil, that they’re spiritual prostitutes, and basically that they’re a bunch of selfish jerks.
* Also, I’m guessing he continued to get kicked in the shins. By everyone. Even little kids. And babies.
* Isaiah decides to get in on the prophecy action, basically telling Israel that God is going to Hulk out on everyone by shaking the earth and messing up their lives big-time.
* Also, “Hulk out” is a loose translation.

Day 193
Daily Reading: Psalm 119

We’re more than halfway through the Bible and so I think that’s cause to rejoice. I’d like to celebrate by repeatedly declaring how much I love God’s Old Testament Law, and how tailoring my behavior to all those intricate details is the best part about life and how the only thing I want to do day after day is obey His commandments and follow His incredibly specific rules! Yeah! Woo hoo!

Okay, not really. I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who thinks like that. If I did, I assume they’d be the happiest Jewish rabbi of all time. Like Ben Stiller in Keeping the Faith. Though in the movie he makes out with a non-Jewish hottie and fraternizes with a Catholic priest while singing karaoke, so I’m not so sure he would have been obeying all of God’s commands to the nth degree.

However, in Psalms, we come across just this person. Whoever wrote Psalm 119 was friggin’ in love with God’s Law. I’ve met some nerdy rule lovers in my day (heck, even I come to a full stop at all stop signs, and rarely go more than 5 mph over the speed limit) but this guy takes rule following to a whole new level.

“I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations.” (Psalm 119:19)
“Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.” (Psalm 119:35)
“How I delight in your commands! How I love them!” (Psalm 119:47)
“This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments.” (Psalm 119:56)
“Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold or silver.” (Psalm 119:72)

That is just a small taste of how much the author loves following God’s rules. Did you catch that last one? They’d rather have God’s rules than millions of dollars. I don’t know much…but I know that rules can’t buy an Xbox, or a cheeseburger, or a dinner nice enough to impress a lady.

Am I really supposed to believe the author loves God’s instruction more than anything? That seems a little extreme. But that’s just the beginning. The author continues…

“Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.” (Psalm 119:97)
“I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.” (Psalm 119:147-148)

They think about God’s rules all day? Really? I’m amazed if I can think about anything for more than 15 minutes, and that’s if I’m thinking about something crazy awesome like cinnamon rolls or swimming in a pool of Jell-o. Not a bunch of rules. And this person wakes up early, and stays up late to think about God’s law even more? Geez nerd, calm down. But here’s what really blows my mind,

“I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” (Psalm 119:45)

Huh? You’ll walk in freedom because of restrictions placed on you? Um, I don’t mean to point out the obvious here nerd, but you do realize that commandments are restrictions, and restrictions RESTRICT freedom right? Freedom comes through independence baby! I guess you guys didn’t have any American History to study back then huh? That stinks, because ‘merica knows more about freedom than any other country. If you want real freedom, then you need to be free of everyone and everything. You can’t have people, or God, telling you what to do all the time if you want to be independent and free.
Or can you?  Can life with boundaries actually bring more freedom than life without them?

What has the author discovered about following God’s law that has him more psyched than a sixth grade boy being invited to a pool party, with girls? Why are they so jazzed about not just centering their entire existence on obeying God’s law, but loving every minute of it?  Why are they so joyful about something many of us are often resentful towards, or see as a burden?

What is happening here?

This is turning my world upside-down even more than when I discovered that playing the “Quiet Game” as a kid was really a trick to get me to shutup for five minutes. And that no matter how often any of us “won”, no one won as much as Mom.

God Throws a Wicked Curve

What You’ve Missed…
* A lot.
* A whole lot.
* Like, a buttload.

Day 178
Daily Reading: Hosea 9-14

Let me catch you up to speed (since I clearly copped out in the actual recap.) Israel went off the deep end, following evil king after evil king. There was lots of idol worship, temple prostitutes and basically people just kind of forgot about God for awhile. Sort of like an extended weekend in Vegas. A very extended weekend. And apparently His people totally forgetting about Him hurt God’s feelings.

So He sends some prophets out to let everyone know that He’s upset and is going to bring some serious destruction their way as a result of their disobedience and lack of desire to interact with Him the way He’s asked them to. And He’s not messing around.

“The LORD says, ‘O Israel…there has been only sin and more sin! You have made no progress whatsoever…Now whenever it fits my plan, I will attack you too. I will call out the armies of the nations to punish you for your multiplied sins.’” (Hosea 10:9-10)

“The people of Israel are struck down. Their roots are dried up, and they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.” (Hosea 9:16)

Yikes. Calm down there Debbie Downer.

(Can we just pause for a minute to think about how much everyone probably hated Hosea? And since he was a prophet, I bet he literally rained on their parade every time they had one.)

So Hosea’s getting the word out that God’s about to lay the smack down, when all of a sudden God throws out a curve ball.

“War will swirl through Israel’s cities; their enemies will crash through their gates…For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me. Oh, how can I give you up Israel? How can I let you go? … My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal…and I will not come to destroy. For someday my people will follow me…and I will bring them home again.” (Hosea 11:8-11)

I bet when Hosea heard this he thought that he might actually get invited to a party for once. Or maybe he set his expectations a little lower and thought this good news meant he wouldn’t get kicked in the shins everywhere he went. Either way, he had to be stoked that he got to actually deliver some good news for a change.

I can only wonder how he went about it. “Uh, hey ya’ll. Remember all that stuff I said about God totally wrecking your lives? And remember how I said that He said everything was going to be horrible for you because of your sins? Well, uh, God changed His mind, and so He’s not going to completely destroy you anymore. He says He loves you too much. So, that’s good news right? Think I can come to Tommy’s Passover dinner tomorrow night? And remember how you guys booed me all the time? Think we could call it quits on that for awhile?”

However he did it, I bet Hosea was just as thrown off when he heard God say it as I was when I read it. “God, you’re changing your mind? Are you even allowed to do that? You love them? They hate you. You know that right? Oh, you do? Oh. Okay. Well, I just don’t really get it I guess. You’re more unpredictable than I expected.”

And so we’re left with another fantastic head-scratching moment brought to you by the Bible.

Da Bears-1, Adorable Children-0

What You’ve Missed…
* More evil kings of Israel.
* More evil kings of the tribe of Judah.
* More war, death, pillaging and plundering, blah blah blah.
* Elijah goes Super Street Fighter on everyone, calling down more fire from heaven and wiping out 50 dudes instantaneously. Twice. Perfect victory.

Day 166
Daily Reading: 2 Kings 2, 4

Like most living legends towards the end of their careers, Elijah takes things easy. He enjoys good conversation with friends. He spends his time taking long, relaxed walks. He parts rivers with the touch of his cloak. You know, the normal stuff retired guys do.

On his final long walk, Elijah asks his servant Elisha what he wants from his master before he is “taken away” for good. (How does he know he’s going to be taken away? He wouldn’t be one of the most powerful prophets ever if he didn’t know now would he?)

So Elisha, a young gun in the prophetic world, eager to get stuff done, asks Elijah for a double portion of his spirit (or power) and Elijah agrees. Later Elijah, who knows the value of solid showmanship is whisked away to heaven by a chariot of fire, leaving Elisha to carry on the legacy. And carry on the legacy he does.

Elisha gets down to business right away by purifying a local spring with a sprinkle of salt and saving the entire town of Jericho in the process. It’s a lot like Erin Brockovich, just with less cleavage, lawsuits and tough biker babysitters babysitting the most adorable children.

Speaking of children, check out what happens next in the story.

“Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. ‘Go away, baldy!’ they chanted. ‘Go away baldy!’ Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them.” (2 Kings 2:23-24)

Whhhaaaaaaaaaatttt!?!

Did that just happen? Give me a second to go back and re-read that.

Yup. Elisha just took out 42 kids who made fun of him via bear mauling. Bear mauling.  As in, those bears shredded those kids in a crazy mother nature battle royale bloodbath.  As in, those bears went to work, and business was good.  As in, those bears were biting off limbs like they were steppin’ into a Slim Jim.  And parents think the Bible is safer for their kids than Call of Duty? I’m not so sure. (To be sure, I should probably go play for a couple of hours. You know. For research.)

What I do know is that if there was ever a way to gain street cred as a for real and total bad ass, well, I think Elisha just found the most effective way to lock that title down. He’s like the Blues Brothers. He’s on a mission from God, and nothing’s going to stand in his way.

Especially not a little male pattern baldness.

Even Prophets Love Big Macs

What You’ve Missed…
* The book of Ecclesiastes.  It’s more depressing than hearing someone say, “I like Twilight because I think it was really well written.”
* It’s more depressing than the ending to Million Dollar Baby.  Or Gran Torino.  Or any Clint Eastwood movie where he’s a bitter old man who acts his way into your heart, only to crush it with his fantastic writing and directing prowess.
* It’s more depressing than knowing I will never, ever marry Jennifer Connelly. (Sniff.)
* Six chapters of 1 Kings, listing a number of kings ruling in Israel and Judah, including Jehoshaphat, who never even jumps once. Lame.

Day 162
Daily Reading: 1 Kings 17-19

Growing up in Sunday school, I often heard about the prophet Elijah.  He’s considered a pretty big deal, and all good Christians are supposed to know all about him.  Well, I’ve been faking it all this time, because all I really know is that he called down fire from heaven once.  And that one time he was in a cave and heard God’s voice as a whisper.  (Christians quote that one ALL the time.)  I’ve heard other stories, but they’re all kind of fuzzy, partly because I’ve never read them for myself, and partly because I get them mixed up with the stories of his assistant, named Elisha.  (Like the Bible isn’t confusing enough already.)

Anyway.  So I’m reading about all these kings, when all of a sudden the Bible just starts talking about Elijah out of nowhere.  And yes, it mentions him calling down that fire, and being in the cave, and bringing a dead kid back to life and other stories I probably should have known already.  That stuff’s fascinating and everything, but the author has thrown some other gems in there I never heard about, and they kind of blew my mind.  For example, Elijah could run faster than Superman.

If I had heard that when I was eight, then the Bible would have had my attention more than the Sunday comics.  But no one told me, and so Calvin and Hobbes became the most influential writing in my life for the next 10 years.

But I digress.  Where was I?  Ah yes, Elijah and his gift of super-speed.  So, what the heck am I talking about? Check this out:

“…Then Elijah shouted (to his servant), ‘Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home, If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you.’ ’ … A heavy wind brought a terrific storm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezereel. Then the LORD gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezereel.”  (1 Kings 18:44-46)

Dude had “special strength” and ran AHEAD of a quickly moving chariot.  Basically, God turned him into The Flash for the afternoon. No big deal.

But that’s just the beginning, because it turns out, Elijah experienced tons of crazy stuff.  At one point God tells him to go camp out and live by some river, and that birds will bring him food.

“So Elijah did as the LORD told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook.” (1 Kings 17:5-6)

Keep in mind he didn’t train these birds.  They just brought him stuff.  And we’re not talking twigs and berries and worms.  They brought meat, and bread.  In short, the guy was feasting on free Big Macs left and right.  Delivered personally by Mother Nature herself.

Here’s one more.  Elijah encounters King Ahab’s servant, Obadiah, and asks him to go tell the king he’d like to meet with him. Obadiah isn’t too thrilled because the king isn’t much of an Elijah fan, and Obadiah thinks Elijah might not be there when the king arrives, and that the king will kill Obadiah for all the trouble. But here’s the crazy part. Obadiah doesn’t think Elijah will just wander off like every awestruck kid in Toys ‘R’ Us, but is afraid of something else entirely.

“…as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of the LORD will carry you away to who knows where…” (1 Kings 18:12)

Another translation (The Message) says, “…as soon as I leave, the Spirit of the LORD will whisk you away…and you’ll have disappeared.”  So, what our boy Obadiah is really talking about here is that God will just teleport Elijah somewhere.  It sounds crazy to me too.  But here’s what really gets me.  Why would Obadiah even assume this is what would happen?  It’s pretty ridiculous to assume the default probability of the situation is that God would just “whisk someone away.”  Unless you live in a different universe than I do, where Scotty beams people up left and right in real life, then there’s clearly something wrong with Obadiah’s thinking here.

Here’s what I think is happening: Elijah has a reputation for being whisked away by the Spirit of God.  That it happens to him often enough for people to assume it could happen at any moment.  That’s how I see it.  And that’s straight up crazy.

So, in conclusion, Elijah was The Beastmaster, The Flash, and the dude from Quantum Leap, who brought someone back from the dead.  Now there’s a 3D summer blockbuster that’s worth $14.

The Bible Turns Me On

What You’ve Missed…
* Proverbs on how to become wise.
* Proverbs on the value of a good work ethic.
* Proverbs on how to live a long, healthy life.
* Proverbs on how to gain wealth.
* Proverbs on how to remain in God’s favor.
* Basically…Solomon (the wisest man ever) is giving away the most amazing advice of all time. For free.
* And as my friend Antley says, “If it’s for free, it’s for me.”

Day 155
Daily Reading: Song of Solomon (Or Song of Songs)

There seems to be this idea out there in the universe that Christians are prudes. I’m not talking about prudeness in terms of being “generally conservative.” I’m talking about sex, baby. In my experience, some people who aren’t Christians have seemed to infer they believe that Christians think sex is pretty much the devil. In my experience, some people who ARE Christians have also seemed to infer that sex is pretty much the devil.

Sex oriented conversations can often be “hushed up” at church. I mean, how dare anyone talk about s-e-x while in the house of the LORD.

But have these Christians read the Bible? There’s tons of sex! In fact, I’m going to go ahead and say that Song of Solomon is extremely sexy. Yup…one of the books in the Bible is incredible sexy. In fact…it may be one of the sexiest things I’ve ever read. Here’s a taste of what I mean (this is a dude speaking to his lover):

“Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a skilled craftsman. Your navel is perfectly formed like a goblet filled with mixed wine. Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat bordered with lilies. Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle…” (Song of Solomon 7:1-3)

C’mon on! If that doesn’t get you a little riled up, then you’re probably wearing an ankle length skirt, or ridiculously thick trousers, and claiming that fornication is of the devil. And you’re probably a total bummer to everyone you talk to.

But the young man doesn’t stop there. I mean, we’re talking about a guy here. A guy who’s very interested in, and planning on getting some action. In fact, he goes from stirring up some sexual passion to being straight up horny just a few verses later.

“You are like a slender palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree and take hold of its fruit.’” (Song of Solomon 7:7-8)

I don’t mean to be coarse, nor am I simply trying to shock you. But let’s be honest here. Basically, this guy, in THE HOLY BIBLE is saying, “I can’t wait to jump you and grab your boobs,” to the woman he loves. And do you know how she responds? Girl ain’t ashamed of how the good LORD blessed her. She’s clearly familiar with the idea of, if you got it, flaunt it. She knows she got it goin’ on.

“I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees.” (Song of Solomon 8:10)

Know what else she says?

“Let us get up early and go to the vineyards to see if the grapevines have budded, if the blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.” (Song of Solomon 7:12)

This is some pretty hot stuff. Breasts like towers? Climbing the palm tree to grab hold of some “coconuts”? “Flowers” opening and blossoming? Mounds of “wheat” between a woman’s thighs? This is pretty straight-forward sex talk if you ask me. It’s also pretty erotic. Beautiful too.

So. If you’re not a Christian, and you think Christians are prudes who’re out to remove sex from the human experience, well, not all of us are. In fact, some of us are pretty big sex fans ourselves. And if you are a Christian, and you’re turned off by the idea of hot sex, well, read your Bible, and get turned on.

Where Da Gold At?

What You’ve Missed…
* Psalms NOT written by King David.
* Psalms NOT about melting people like wax, or butter, or my heart after watching Life is Beautiful.  (Why must you make me laugh and THEN cry Roberto Benigni?)
* David’s son Solomon becomes king.  A rich king.  A VERY rich king.

Day 145
Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 8-9, 1 Kings 10

This past week, each daily Bible reading has been about King Solomon establishing himself and ruling as the king of Israel.  There have been some interesting moments here and there, but as I’ve read, one singular and definitive theme has arisen from the pages of this sacred and holy book.  And that theme is this…

Solomon’s life was ridiculous.

Allow me to elaborate.  Solomon’s reign begins like this,

“So Solomon took the throne of the LORD in place of his father, David, and he succeeded in everything, and all Israel obeyed him.”  (1 Chronicles 29:23)

That’s a pretty solid start.  Succeeding at everything and having everyone obey you right out of the gate?  The guy’s clearly destined for a charmed life.  But stay with me dear reader, because we’re about to leave a charmed life in the dust.

Later Solomon marries the Pharaoh of Egypt’s daughter, a princess basically (who was probably crazy hot, especially with all that alluring, heavy Egyptian eyeliner they had goin’ on.)  Then he starts work on building a temple for God.  I’ll give you the short version.  The place is basically constructed out of gold and the finest materials in the world, which are offered to him in exchange for food.  Food!  That’s a ridiculous business transaction!

Then Solomon builds a palace for himself that is basically twice as big as the temple he built for God, and takes three times longer to construct.  Oh, and it’s also practically made out of gold.  The dude was rolling in so much gold, no one even cared about much else.

“All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the palace.  They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day.”  (1 Kings 10:21)

How rich are you when silver is considered worthless?  Crazy rich  Ridiculously rich.  Richie Rich rich.

But it gets better.  Solomon also had a fleet of ships that would return every three years loaded with gold and other valuable stuff.  And by “other valuable stuff” I mean monkeys.  Those ships returned with not just boatloads (literally) of cash, but with boatloads of monkeys too.  (He pretty much had his own little army of monkeys, which is kind of most guys’ dream really.  Especially if they’re dressed up in tiny hats.  The monkeys.  Not the guys.)

We’re not done yet.  As if being the most ridiculously rich man in the world wasn’t enough, God comes to Solomon and says He’ll give Solomon whatever he asks for.  Now I don’t know about you, but I’d probably blow that wish on like, a cool, robot-best-friend, or a talking dog or a girlfriend who loves video games or something.  But not Solomon.  The dude wants to be a good king, and so he asks God for wisdom.  And God is pleased with this answer, and so He gives Solomon wisdom, declaring him the wisest man to ever live.  Period.  For all time.  (Oh, and God’s so pleased with this answer, He throws in wealth and fame as freebies.)

So, now we have this incredibly rich guy, who’s also the smartest man to ever walk the face of the earth.  Rarely in life does anyone ever get to claim either one of these titles, and Solomon is simply GIVEN both of them.  He didn’t earn either one.  Are you kidding me!?

The years pass.  Solomon gets richer (and by richer, I mean he received 25 tons of gold a year.  25 tons!  Every year!  C’mon!  Does that much gold even exist?  I don’t even think Scrooge McDuck had that much gold.  Or the Mobile, Alabama Leprechaun.)  As time goes by Solomon becomes crazy famous and one day the Queen of Sheba comes to see if all the rumors and legends of his vast wealth and knowledge are true.  She discovers not only the rumors are true, but that they don’t even come close to describing how fantastic he actually is.

“She exclaimed to the king, ‘Everything I heard in my country about your achievements and wisdom are true! … In fact, I had not heard the half of it!  Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told. … Praise the LORD your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel.’ … Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels.”  (1 Kings 10:6-10)

Did you catch that?  People are just giving this guy stuff for being so awesome.  They’re all like, “Oh, you’ve got tons of awesome stuff, and you’re totally awesome?  Well, here, I’d like to give you tons more awesome stuff.  For free.  No, no I don’t need it. You have tons.  You have more than everyone.  You should have this stuff too.”

It’s ridiculous.  Not even George Clooney lives this good.