Like a Rock (Samuel 21-22)

A famine, lasting three years, has struck. This is bad news because studies show that you should eat every two to three hours to optimize your metabolism. But this probably isn’t on the minds of the Israelites. Apparently, this famine is God’s revenge on them for killing most of a tribe of people called the Gibeonites (Gibeonite sounds like a kind of monkey so I think it’s fair to say that they were probably monkeys). To pay penance, David has to sacrifice seven sons to the Gibeonites. Not his own, mind you, anybody’s sons will do. So he grabs five of Merab’s sons and two of Rizpah’s (slightly more variety and you could call it a sacrifice medley). And he hands them over to the Gibeonites who hang them upon a mountain. And they die.

Then the Israelites and the Philistines go to war again in a place called Gob. Some of the Philistines are descended from giants. This is what I love about the Bible: it offhandedly mentions things like giants every now and again without explanation. So giants are a thing. Read on. Anyways, this one giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot is a ringer and he’s hard for the Israelites to take down. But they manage to do it.

After the battle, David forces everybody to listen to an ode to God that he’s written. On the subject of sensitive guys, I went on this date with this one guy (if you remember my Pizza Pizza story… it’s the same guy) who told me he wrote a lot of poetry. This sent shivers down my spine. Not because I think poetry is lame but because I immediately imagined him trying to read some to me while I squirmed uncomfortably. This is possible my worst nightmare. Don’t get me wrong – I like romance and all that but I prefer that it be wrapped up in some sort of ironic presentation. I guess that makes me part hipster.

David’s ode frequently compares God to a rock, which makes it sound like a Budweiser commercial. It also praises the complete and violent annihilation of one’s enemies, which makes it sound like a communist country’s national anthem.

Is being in a “party frenzy” the same as having rabies?

 

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Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dance, Monkey, Dance (Judges 7-8)

Gideon is all set to take his people into battle with the Midianites. But there’s a hitch: there’s just too many people for God to protect with his heavenly hand so he asks Gideon to cull the herd for him. And apparently, it’s table manners that will be the deciding factor.

Gideon directs everyone down to the river for a drink (but really it’s a test). God tells him, “Every one that laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself; likewise every one that kneels down to drink” (Jud 7:5). I expected the opposite. God wants to save the people who lack either the brains or patience to go get a scoop or jug or something that would allow them to imbibe without doing a face-plant in the water. This is basic early hominid tool. We should be well beyond it at this point. It’s not surprising to me that God would choose these people on dance-monkey-dance terms since, looking back at the rest of the Bible up until this point, he really wants unquestioning allegiance.

Out of all the thousands of Israelites, three hundred dumbasses are God’s extra-special chosen people.

Predictably, Gideon puts down the Midianites. His army manages to get a hold of the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb (who are, judging by their names, originally from the Ozarks) and beheads them. Their heads are sent express back to Gideon. Gideon himself tracks down the kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmumna, kills them and nicks “the crescents [rolls] that were on the necks of their camels” (Jud 8:21).

Now that Gideon has supplied the Israelites with delicious crescent rolls, they unequivocally want him to be their leader (I would). He accepts because it’s a better gig than that wheat-shearing he was doing before (plucked out of obscurity – just like a Ford model). Gideon has an impressive seventy sons by a veritable stable of women who all clearly have very basic emotional needs. But when he dies, the Iraelites go back to their wayward ways and beging to worship Baal again because they have the collective memory of a goldfish. 

Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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