Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Troubling Thoughts: David, a Terrorist, Thief, Liar...

David of the Jewish and Christian Bible receives much adulation from so many religious people, but I find his immoral actions very troubling. I am confused by his overly conscientious scruples but, contradictorily, brazen violations of some of the 10 Commandments in their essential meaning. This is not even considering or dealing with when he became king, committed adultery and killed one of his own soldiers. His sinful actions started long before that.

As a young adult, he lived as a terrorist in the strongholds of the desert and attacked towns (I Samuel 22:1-2, 27:9). How is he a man after God’s own heart, the apple of God’s eye when he acts like Osama ben Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban? Surely, David’s more like a rotten apple.

I guess like most of us. None of us are as we should be; certainly, I struggle, too, to live in God’s love to others, and not live in self-centeredness.

But David actions are horrible. He is supposed to be a spiritual example for us. While he feels guilty for a minor wrong action that hurt no one, he brazenly violates essential ethics. He kills two hundred men, mutilates their sexual organs, giving their foreskins to King Saul so he can marry the king’s daughter Michal! (I Samuel 18:26-30). Then the verses say that “the Lord was with David” and “that David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed.”

What?! No wonder that the nonreligious and the skeptical have doubts about Christian faith. Ben Laden and the Taliban don’t even act as evilly as this.

How can David be so conscientious, yet commit such abhorrent acts?

When King Saul is sleeping, David secretly cuts a corner of King Saul’s robe. I Samuel 24:5: “David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.” Seems very conscientious here, does he not?

Yet, David shows no sorrowful guilt for the repeated slaughter of women as well as men (I Samuel 27:9). This wasn’t self-defense; the people hadn’t attacked him; besides, killing women smacks of modern terrorists like Ben Laden who kill not only enemy soldiers, but unarmed women.

Then David steals their possessions to boot! It’s bad enough to kill people in towns, but to then take their possessions while they lay there bleeding! That reminds me what the atheist revolutionary Che Guevara did: stole an individual’s wrist watch after killing him.

Then David lies about his terrorist acts (1 Samuel 27:10-12).

Furthermore, he then takes a widow to be his wife soon after her husband dies. Plus, he marries another woman too, Ahimoam. He thus has two wives (I Samuel 25:39-43), neither of them his wife Michal that he killed two hundred men for. Should he not have waited and tried to get Michal back, especially since she helped him escape (I Samuel 19:11-13)?

It would appear that David also violates the law against coveting too, is into revenge such as telling others to get revenge for him after his own death:-(. Etc.

But let’s stop here…

Now, of course, apologists try and excuse David’s immoral behavior. They point out that standards were different, that this was before Christ, etc. But that is all beside the point. David is supposed to be a shining example, a prefigure of Christ, which he is not, by any stretch of the imagination.

It is not so surprising that later David commits adultery and kills one of his own countrymen. He had violated the most basic of ethical truths early on in his life.
What a very sad commentary.

Don’t look to David; look to Jesus.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox


Hystery said...

When I was a girl, a novel about David's wife Abigail was one of my favorite books. I've always thought of her as the true forerunner of Christ as she counsels David to restrain himself from personal vengeance and "blood-guilt".

I'm with you on your assessment of David. Indeed, I find much of the Bible a wholly inappropriate model of humane and godly behavior. Have your read anything by the biblical scholar, Renita Weems? She addresses these issues of biblical violence and misogyny quite well.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Hystery,

Thanks for the comment and the recommendation of Renita Weems.

I checked out her website and plan to read a book by her.



Katya said...

Hi, Daniel,
Thank you for your comment on my post - and congratulations to you and Betsy on becoming grandparents!