“How did they break the jug, hold the sword and blow the trumpet all at the same time?” Rafal asked as he threw down his book. After reading the account in the book of Judges of Gideon, he followed up by reading “The Amazing Book of Bible Facts” which is full of fun facts and cartoon drawings, which sometime throw Rafal off track.
Rafal doesn’t understand subtleties in life or cartoon drawings. The cartoons, designed to make learning funnier (?), just confuse him. A week ago, while reading about Joshua and the battle of Jericho, this same book depicted a miniscule wall around the city. He wasn’t impressed with the battle until I explained the dimensions of the actual wall.
The mound, or ‘tell’ of Jericho was surrounded by a great earthen rampart, or embankment, with a stone retaining wall at its base. The retaining wall was some four to five meters (12–15 feet) high. On top of that was a mudbrick wall two meters (six feet) thick and about six to eight meters (20–26 feet) high.4 At the crest of the embankment was a similar mudbrick wall whose base was roughly 14 meters (46 feet) above the ground level outside the retaining wall (see diagram). This is what loomed high above the Israelites as they marched around the city each day for seven days. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for the Israelites to penetrate the impregnable bastion of Jericho.
There is more info in the article if you are interested. Rafal’s second question was about Rahab, who in the cartoon is waving from inside the wall, that is answered in the article as well.
After Rafal had studied the picture from the book of Judges account, I spent the next fifteen minutes reading the reference and acting out how it could have happened. I used my cell phone for a lantern, a book for a jug and my imaginary sword. Sequencing explained, he got it! He was not happy with the text, “well, why don’t they just tell you?”
That’s a great question! Patience is important in working with children who do not have the capacity to grasp inferential meanings or trouble with sequential reasoning. Rafal couldn’t process that there was an order to the jug tossing, lantern raising and bugle blowing events. He needed clarification and the book didn’t spell it out, it left him wondering.
His questions got me thinking today, why do we cartoonize the Bible? Why don’t we spell it out, say it like it is, tell the truth? Kids grow up thinking the Bible is just fairy tales because we adults don’t know our history.
A few weeks ago, I asked Hunter what he learned in youth, “nothing really, Pastor _____ talked about Ninevah, but he didn’t know the facts.”
“Did you tell him?” I asked.
“Are you kidding, it’s Pastor _____.” While I appreciate the level of respect Hunter has for his youth Pastor, I wish someone would have set him straight, for the rest of the Youth.
Rafal struggles with math and logic. He has argued with his math book and teacher(me) countless times. The fact that he has argued with his Bible study book many times this school year bothers me. I am willing to sequence the histories, act out the parts, but I want him to know the TRUTH (as well as my other children). The truth of God’s word is more scientific, historically correct, evidentially researched and proven then any other book written. Let’s not cartoonize it.