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You know those old Warner Brothers cartoons where Sylvester keeps trying to kill Tweety Bird? It’s a good image for the dramedy that framed last week’s Twible chapters, in which Saul keeps trying (unsuccessfully) to murder David, his usurper for the throne:
1) Saul throws a spear at David, but misses (1 Sam 19:2). Incidentally, that’s pretty sorry aim at such close range, but Saul was under the influence of a demon, which I guess deadens your reflexes.
2) Saul sends soldiers to David’s house, but finds that Michal (David’s wife and Saul’s daughter, awkwardly enough) has done that whole trick that you do when you’re a teen sneaking out of the house. She grabs an idol and disguises it with blankets into a David-like shape in bed. She tells the soldiers her husband is sick and asleep, when all the while she knows she already helped David flee out a window and down a ladder.
3) Saul tries to conspire with Jonathan, his oldest son and David’s BFF, to ascertain his whereabouts. Jonathan refuses to help. Foiled again!
So Saul has tried several times to kill David, all to no avail. Even his own kids side with David. And just to prove its point that David’s the better guy, the Bible recounts several opportunities David has to kill Saul . . . which he doesn’t take. Once it’s when Saul is sleeping. Once it happens, most comically, when Saul is “relieving himself” in the same cave where’s Dave’s hiding out with his guys. David treats himself to a snippet from Saul’s robe–a symbol of kingship and authority–but doesn’t lay a hand on the king.
In this week’s chapters we see that even after Saul is killed (by Philistine hands, not David’s), David actually mourns the guy (2 Samuel 1). And David’s respect even extends to the second generation: when his henchmen assassinate Saul’s son Ishbosheth (can you believe that name?), who has set out his shingle as king in the north country after Saul’s death, David has them executed for unauthorized murder (2 Samuel 4). In short, David has a zero-tolerance policy for killing Israelite kings.
You know how they say to criticize the man but not the office? That’s what David does in these chapters. He knows that Saul is doing wrong, but he also knows that Saul is, or at least has been, God’s chosen one. He is the anointed, and you don’t mess around with the Lord’s anointed. Even when he’s that cunning Sylvester cat who keeps trying to kill you.
#Twible 1 Sam 29: Awkward: Phils distrust Dav despite apparent record as traitor to Isr. Send him back to camp. Seems they remember Goliath.
#Twible 1 Sam 30: Dav returns to Phil camp to find wives taken captive. Rescue mission! Kills Amalekites; gets all back. Major brownie pts.
#Twible 1 Sam 31: Saul & 3 sons die in battle, incl’g Jon. Waaah. Oh, man. Just wait till Dav finds out his best friend bit it. 1 Sam ends.
#Twible overview of 2 Samuel: Like 1 Sam but w focus on Dav, who Vaders up fast as king. Sex, blood, murder etc make for strong box office$.
#Twible 2 Sam 1: Dav’s so sad abt Saul & Jon that he shoots the messenger–literally. Releases new #1 song: “Oh, how the mighty have fallen!”
#Twible 2 Sam 2: Dav’s new king of Judah, which is like the Confederacy. Wants a union of N&S, but Saul’s last son is king up North. To war!
#Twible 2 Sam 3: Li’l Abner switches sides to Dav but Joab slays him anyway for good cartoon fun. Now Dav’s the saddest man in Dogpatch.
Tune in every Friday for weekly installments of the Twible, aka As the Bible Turns.