Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Saul and David

I feel like during the time Saul and David is confusing.  

"Saul also went home to Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.  But some troublemakers said, 'How can this fellow save us?'  They despised him and brought him no gifts.  But Saul kept silent."  1 Samuel 10:26-27

Valiant men were with the king that was a rejection of God as king, but troublemakers saw how foolish one man could be.  I wonder if the reason Saul stayed silent was because he knew it was true that he really couldn't save the people.  

Look at how Saul motivated the people:

"He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent them by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, 'This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.'"  1 Samuel 11

He used fear, which worked, but it only works for a while.  Later he makes the decree that no one will eat until they defeat their enemy.  This sounds strong, but when you think about it, its kind of dumb.  You're not going to have much energy if you don't eat.  Then in 1 Sam 13 Saul starts off with 6,000 men, but many left "when they saw that their situation was critical and that the army was hard pressed."  Fear didn't help them push through when things got tough.  Then when "all the troops with him were quaking with fear" Saul didn't wait long enough for Samuel and made sacrifices himself.  That's when Samuel tells him that his "kingdom will not endure."  At this point the army is down to 600 men.  6,000 to 600. 

Saul was a colossally bad king that didn't follow God.  

Now men came to join David while he was on the run.  They wanted to follow him because he was with God and God was with him.  

It's interesting that there were many men that followed David that were sort of 'rebelling' against Saul.  They suggested David kill Saul.  David became their leader.  "All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him and he became their leader."  There were men who saw that Saul was bad and went to David.  The amazing thing is that David was not a rebel.  He mourns the death of Saul.  One guy comes to David to tell him "good news" that Saul was dead, but David didn't see it that way.  David didn't really rebel against Saul.  He was still following God, David just had to get away from Saul because he was threatening his life.  David wasn't trying to compete with Saul as to who was better or from God.  He was just doing what he had to do to survive.  Although there is something symbolic about David having to go live with his enemy (the Philistines) because the leader of Israel had gone so far off track.  

These are just some things I noticed and thought about these two men.  This is one of my favorite parts of the Bible.  


Tera Chau said...

I love this part of the Bible too, esp David and the mighty men, kinda reminds me of X-men or Justice League except they're REAL! Too bad Abishai died so soon in the story and Joab didn't stay good and honorable the whole time. Wonder why Saul was picked if God knows everything and thus knew that he would not be an enduring king, maybe Saul was a necessary prelude to David (the next best king to Jesus)? And suppose that was the case... it's kewl to be used by God, but bummer for Saul (and Bush hehe) who had to play the necessary stinky part of history.

Tera Chau said...

(I meant Asahel Joab's other bro, not Abishai... first paragraph from today's reading was about Abishai so clearly he did not die yet)