Through the Bible in a Year – May 24th

The scheme for May – June can be found here

1 Sa 17-18; Jas 4-5; Psalm 33

The story of David, as we were thinking yesterday, looms large over the Old Testament narrative. Indeed we know more of David than of any other figure in Scripture, Christ included if we deal merely in biographical details.

This distinction though is a significant one. For the life of David is a thing of myth – and the myth is set up in this most famous of stories concerning David, his confrontation with Goliath. Here the plucky young lad, armed with only five stones and faith in God, slays the giant. All sorts of powerful themes captivate our imagination herein. He is being set up as the Hero. Of course we read the narrative knowing the end from the beginning. Here is a Great and Powerful beginning, but the end of the David story finds him reduced to small minded politics upon his death bed. What is the narrator trying to get us to see here? Are we merely dealing with the archetype of the flawed hero – or indeed is the myth of the Heroic, the Strong, The Powerful, the Faithful Man being dealt a fatal blow in this story.

Is the story of David and Goliath and what ensues in the first part of his story not an exemplary story, but rather a setup, carefully written to disabuse us of such simplistic but powerful suggestions?

Certainly, when we consider Christ, it is hard to read him as the Son of David . . .

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