My dad told me a story this week. From the Bible. And I had absolutely NO idea it existed.
It is not a typical Sunday school story, and I can almost guarantee you’ll never hear a sermon based on this story, but it’s in there.
For context, check out 2 Kings 13 (it’s all about…well…kings), but here’s the story:
“Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.” 2 Kings 13:20-21 (New Internation Version)
That’s it. Elisha died and was buried [years ago]. Another guy was supposed to be buried, but there were some raiders coming [think really bad dudes] and the Israelites ran out of time, so they threw the body into Elisha’s tomb. The body touched Elisha’s bones, and the guy came back to life.
Have you ever heard this story or read this passage?
Here’s the thing: I HAVE read this passage. At least I assume I have because I’ve read 1&2 Kings (or maybe those were the books I just skimmed…). But I never noticed this story.
I’m not sure what this story means, but I DO know that Scripture is the Word of God and it’s there for SOME purpose (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
But then I started thinking about other interesting verses and passages that I often “skim” over and don’t notice – sometimes because I don’t understand them, but sometimes because I just don’t take the time to notice.
Such as this verse:
“Has not my inheritance become to me
like a speckled bird of prey
that other birds of prey surround and attack?
Jeremiah 12:9a (NIV)
Context? This is part of God’s response to one of Jeremiah’s prayers.
Ever hear of the song “The Great Speckled Bird”???
Or this verse:
“Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,
or curse the rich in your bedroom,
because a bird of the air may carry your words,
and a bird on the wing may report what you say.”
Ecclesiastes 10:20 (NIV)
Have you ever used the expression, “A little birdie told me…”? Did you know it was actually a Biblical concept?
All too often when we read Scripture, it seems we notice what we already know, but somehow miss the parts that are different and unfamiliar.
So the next time you’re reading Scripture, especially if it’s a passage that is a little less familiar (suggestion: go read a book of the Bible you’ve never read before – minor prophets, maybe?), don’t just skim over it.
Take the time to notice the unnoticed.