In the David story, there is a mysterious coming and going of "the spirit of the Lord" which in 1 Samuel 16 comes mightily upon David but departs from Saul. Samuel grieves for Saul, but the Lord advises Samuel to move on. I think sometimes we, too, are reluctant to move on, even after we realize that we are trying to cling to something once meaningful, but no longer so. The Lord's ways are mysterious!
These chapters read like modern-day politics, with intrigue, blind devotion, lies, bending the rules. I doubt David would be elected were he to run for political office today. Have times changed, or is that an example of how God's standards are different from human standards?
"But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Samuel 11:23) King David's words are very pragmatic. They seem to make clear that, unlike the great prophet Elijah, who was able to bring the widow's son back to life, David is a practical leader, a warrior and politician. Although the Gospel writers place on Jesus the mantle and tradition of Israel's great king David, Jesus seems quite the opposite. He seems a practical failure, politically and militarily. When Jesus says, "The kingdom of God is at hand" he must be talking about a completely different kind of kingdom and kingship than that of David.
The story of Absalom, Tamar, and Amnon, reads like a romance novel. (At this point, both David and God seem only minor characters, if present at all.) It is a little hard to imagine what it would have been like to live in the large, extended royal family. The force of individual personalities drives the action--as is probably true in most families. In this story, the women are bit players who have only one scene that drives the plot.
going on to the OT tour, I'm intrigued by the audacity of Deborah, Jael, Ruth, and Elijah in his duel with Queen Jezebel. Also by the idea of young women spending A YEAR soaking in ointments and spices.
The leaders of the Bible Reading Challenge (2) are the moderators of the blog.