Friday, November 23, 2012

Top 6 Nerds of the Bible

I learned in Sunday School that Jesus picked average guys to be disciples. You didn't have to be smart. It made me wonder if there's no place for nerds (like me) in God's kingdom.

But no! I present to you, the top 6 nerds of the bible:

6. Joseph 

As a slave in Potiphar's house, he was so hard-working and trustworthy that Potiphar put him in charge of everything (Genesis 39). Then he got put in prison, but was apparently really good and got put in charge of the other prisoners. Finally, the king of Egypt heard about Joseph's ability to interpret dreams, and put him in charge of the whole country, because hey, we need someone to prepare us for the famine predicted by that dream (Genesis 41).

Maybe not "nerdy", but definitely organized and honest, with a good work ethic.

5. Solomon

When God offers to give him anything, Solomon chooses "wisdom" (1 Kings 3). They don't get much more nerdy than that. He wrote a ton of proverbs, to teach people wisdom (which is more about making good decisions than being knowledgeable- he's still a nerd though) and then he had a huge existential crisis, wondering what the point of life was. I mean, you just do stuff, and then you die.

"'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher. 'Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.'" (Ecclesiastes 1:2) This is what happens when you think too much, kids.

4. Author of Psalm 119

"I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Psalm 119:16" Image source.

"God, your law is like, SO AWESOME! I just want to read it ALL THE TIME!" This guy is freaking obsessed. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the bible (176 verses), and he just goes on and on about it. Here are some highlights; check out the nerdiness:

Ps 119:20 "My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times."

Ps 119:46-47 "I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them."

Ps 119:62 "At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws."

Ps 119:93 "I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life."

Ps 119:97 "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long."

Ps 119:99-100 "I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts."

Ps 119:136 "Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed."

"How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Psalm 119:103" Image source.
Seriously. And I thought I was a bible nerd.

3. Daniel

Daniel (plus Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego- they are TOTALLY nerds too!) were chosen to serve the king of Babylon (well, they were kind of forced into it, but that's another story). Daniel 1:4 says the king sent someone to find "young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians." Yes, foreign language study. Among other things.

And God made Daniel and those other 3 guys THE BEST at this. Yep. God made them supernerds! 10 times smarter than everyone else, according to Daniel 1:20.

Later (in Daniel 6) Daniel got an excellent government job and was so awesome at it that his coworkers got jealous and had him thrown in the lions' den.

Lions. Because Daniel is good at everything. Image source.
Yep, that whole incident with the lions was because Daniel was SO FREAKING SMART AND GOOD AT HIS JOB.

2. Paul

Hard to compete with Paul's nerdiness and enthusiasm. He started out killing Christians, then saw the light (literally) and reversed everything he was doing. Instead of putting all his energy into thwarting the church, he put it all into spreading the gospel. And he had an excellent mind, and put it all to work hashing out the doctrine for the new church.

In Acts 9:22, he's "proving that Jesus is the Christ." In Acts 17, he's starting up debates and discussions everywhere, especially in Athens, which is where they all used to hang out and discuss philosophy.

Like this. Image source.
And if you've read any of Paul's letters in the New Testament... You do NOT use 30 commas and semicolons in one sentence and then claim you're not a nerd.

1. Jesus

Oh dude. Jesus is the biggest nerd ever and I wanna be like him! In Luke 12:46-47, he's 12 years old, "sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers." Many years later, in John 7:15, people are asking, "How did this man get such learning without having studied?"

Oh also, you know, since he's God, he created the universe. What a freaking nerd! Everyone thought Newton was a nerd for thinking through gravity and physics and coming up with laws of motion- well Jesus was WAY ahead of him.

"Just wait til they find out the mass actually bends the fabric of space!" Image source.

Someone who's ridiculously fascinated with quantum physics is a nerd, right?

Someone who knows offhand all the different species of insects in Brazil is a nerd, right?

Someone who can build a functioning brain out of, say, nothing, is a nerd, right?

"You know what else would be really useful/hilarious? Reflexes." Image source.

Yep that's my God. The Lord of Nerdiness.

And there's absolutely no way I could pledge my loyalty to a non-nerdy god.

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