I First Learned About Noah From Bill Cosby

I wrote this a couple months ago as a guest post for another site. It was rejected. Which is why it's taken me this long to post it. It made me feel like a failure. But, I put a lot of work into it and I think it's good enough for Words of Williams. I hope you agree.

I don't know about you, but when I read the Bible, I paint the scene in my head.

I try to imagine what the folks of that time were wearing, what their living situations looked like and their physical appearances.

This is dangerous, I know, because most of the images I create are based off renditions of the stories played out on TV.

For example, if I were to ask you what you thought Moses looked like, I would guess most would say Charleston Heston from The Ten Commandments. If I asked most teenagers what they thought Noah's ark looked like, they would probably reference the movie Evan Almighty.

Well, every time I read the story of Noah building an ark, I get the visual from Bill Cosby's stand-up bit. Have you heard it?

My parents were divorced and when I was a kid, my dad lived about 45 minutes from my mom. He would come pick up my sister and I every other Friday to spend the weekend at his place. I heard a lot of music for the first time on those rides, including (don't judge me) Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places," The Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" and Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart," just to name a few.

But my favorite cassette to listen to was Bill Cosby's stand-up routine. If you haven't heard his story of Noah, here you go. It's audio only so you can paint your own picture in your head. You're welcome.

If you don't see the widget, click here to listen.

Every time I read the story, Bill Cosby's sketch plays out in my mind. It actually provides some deep insight to how Noah was probably feeling while building an ark.

4 Reasons Bill Cosby Was Right

  1. God gave some pretty vague instructions. Besides giving Noah measurements in cubits, God only gave instructions for how large the ark was supposed to be. It was up to Noah to figure out how to construct the decks and stalls. Can you imagine the pressure of building this ark for God and not having all of the specific details written out?
  2. What would you tell your neighbor? God told Noah he was going to destroy the world, and now he has a giant ark in his back yard. What kind of cover-up story could he possibly make up to satisfy the curiosity of a boat that size nowhere near water?
  3. Gathering the animals is under-emphasized in the Bible. As if building the ark wasn't enough, Noah had to play zookeeper, too. The story of Noah is only 13 verses long. I get the feeling most of the details of Noah's struggles were cut in final editing of the Old Testament. I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure it was a harder than calling up your local pet shop to see what they had on hand.
  4. Noah's patience must have been wearing thin.  By the end of the ark-building and animal-gathering adventure, I think Noah would be at his wit's end, as Bill Cosby suggests. Patience would be thin. Faithfulness would be tested. Questions would be "flooding" Noah's mind. Is God serious? It's a good thing Noah went through with it all because God sure delivered on his end of the deal.
What are some Bible stories that, while reading, make you visualize something from pop culture?