Friday, January 10, 2014

Bible Flannel board: Abram

So, I'm reading in Genesis.  And it's funny how when you read the Bible you learn things that totally screw up the idea you had as a kid about the story.  Case in point:  Abram.  I remember learning about Abram/Abraham in Sunday School.   Making an altar out of sugar cubes and little Abraham and Isaac figures from clothespins in Vacation Bible School (no theatrics to VBS for us old schoolers).

And I had this idea in my head of what Abram was like.  Mostly, he was old and gray.  And had a beard.  A meek, mild, old man.  This is how I pictured him:



And really, I think this is common.  If you Google "Abram", images like this will pop up. And they probably match the idea you have in your head.

So, I had this in my mind.  And then I get along to reading Genesis 14. *insert sound of mind exploding here*

So, in Genesis 14, Lot and Abram have separated.  Lot is living in Sodom, and Abram has settled and is allied with three brothers who live close to him.  So then there is this huge battle/war and some bad kings come and plunder Sodom, and while doing so, they take Lot and his family and his possessions as spoils of war.  Abram finds out.  And then it gets good.

13-16 A fugitive came and reported to Abram the Hebrew. Abram was living at the Oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and Aner. They were allies of Abram. When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken prisoner, he lined up his servants, all of them born in his household—there were 318 of them—and chased after the captors all the way to Dan. Abram and his men split into small groups and attacked by night. They chased them as far as Hobah, just north of Damascus. They recovered all the plunder along with nephew Lot and his possessions, including the women and the people.-Bible Gateway

Bam.  Image of Abram as old and mild completely destroyed.  The man takes 318 men and lays waste to the bad guys.  So now, the image of Abram you should have in your mind is this:




Thank you Gerard Butler.  I now have a more accurate picture of Abram, rising up with his little group of 300 men and doing damage.  

To go with this, I needed to dispel the image of Sarai as old and grey.  Because the Bible says in several places that Sarai was smokin' hot.  So in my mind, based on what Scripture says and to match Gerard, I think Sarai was more like this:


Or this--


Much more intriguing story to imagine, yes?  It's amazing how a visual idea of a story can affect it.  Like our "Jesus a a blue eyes gentle white guy" image.  For one, it's not accurate (I mean really, can't we find a Middle Eastern guy to play Jesus in our movies??).  Secondly, Jesus wasn't exactly a quiet little pushover.

I like imagining the stories as they likely would have been, and not how Sunday School flannel boards have taught us.  Abram was no quiet passive guy.  Sarai was not always old and wrinkled.  And there's so much more to their story than what we are told.  But what we are told is that Abram was a fierce warrior, and Sarai was drop dead gorgeous.  So now when you read about them, picture some hot chick and Gerard Butler.

You're welcome ;)

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