I bet you can’t guess the first sport mentioned in the Bible.
I don’t care if you went to seminary.
I don’t care if your Bible has a fancy Bible fanny pack with zippers and places for multi-colored notetaking pens.
I don’t care if you named your kid Aragorn and think you know what’s up.
There’s no way you’re going to guess the first sport mentioned in the Bible.
Want to know the answer?
Wait, what? I know, I know. I thought that too when someone told me. Where in the Bible did that happen? If somebody was going to surf, it probably would have been Moses. Maybe he was the last one to go through the gap as the Red Sea was about to close on the Israelites and he paddled in to the wave like Patrick Swayze at the end of Point Break.
Or maybe it was Jonah. Perhaps that whale spit him out directly onto a piece of driftwood. And with that classic grumpy scowl, Jonah carved the biblical version of Mavericks in a way that would have made even Laird Hamilton jealous.
But maybe it wasn’t either of those guys who surfed in the Bible. It’s hard to say really, especially since a lot of pastors are no longer teaching deep serious, surf-based biblical lessons these days. With all the talk of hell this summer, we really lost focus on surf-related sermons. For shame.
Not on my watch though, I’ll tell you all about the surfing in the Bible. You know who was the Bible’s Kelly Slater? Paul.
That’s right. Even though he’s perhaps best known for the road to Damascus, he also surfed. Check out Acts 27:41-44. Paul is on a ship in the middle of a wicked big storm. Like a 100-year storm. (Two Point Break references in one post? Unbelievable!) Paul knows the ship he’s on is going down, but he’s not worried. Why? Because he trusted in God. And he knew how to surf. That’s what the verse says.
They grabbed planks. The NIV says, “The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.” I’m pretty sure, the original Hebrew translation for “planks” is “longboard.” They grabbed a bunch of longboards. And they rode them in and they all lived. And then they got tribal tattoos commemorating that moment.
I’m not too sure about that last part, but my friend who runs a surf camp is pretty sure about the rest of it.
How about you? What do you think were other sports mentioned in the Bible?
Archery with Jonathan and David?
Wrestling with Jacob?
If we were going to hold the Bible sports Olympics, what events would we include?