Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Grow Up to Be a Dirty Old Man”

“So,” said AdventureMan, sitting down with me to eat a pizza after an unusually disrupted Friday, our day off, “tell me more about King David. Like wasn’t he the one who killed Goliath?”

He is asking, because the sermon at our church this morning was like eight sermons in one sermon. While the priest stuck close to the gospel and readings, he made so many good points that we had already discussed with our friend over breakfast, but there were still so many to discuss.

“Yeh, King David is problematic, once you get to be a grown-up,” I started. We have to start with the Israelis arrival in the promised land.”

“Israelites.” He corrected me.

“Yes. Them. They wanted a king. God said ‘no’ that they didn’t need a king, but they kept whining that all the other peoples had a king and they wanted one, too.”

(Please keep in mind, I am not a theologian, and this is my summary, as best as I can figure it out, so you can argue with me, I am no expert, but I DO read scripture.)

“They kept begging for a king, and I am guessing it annoyed God so much that he gave them one. (Who knows what God is thinking?) The prophet Samuel annointed Saul, and Saul became king over all the tribes of Israelites, but he got in major trouble because he didn’t do what God told him to do.”

“What did he do?” AdventureMan is fascinated.

“He was supposed to kill ALL the males of the tribe he had conquered, but he didn’t. When Samuel confronted him, he argued, then he said he would go back and kill the ones he had promised God he would kill and he had promised these guys he would not kill them, but he went back and killed them anyway. He thought going back and doing what he was supposed to do would make it all right with God, but it didn’t.”

“Where does David come in?” AdventureMan asks.

“Samuel anoints David king, at God’s instruction, so for a while there are two kings of Israel.” I explain.

“Isn’t that the one where Samuel looks at all the sons and doesn’t see the one who is supposed to be king?” AdventureMan asks. (Good! He was listening in Sunday school!)

“Yep. God told him none of the sons he saw was the one, so he asked the father if he didn’t have any other sons and he sent for David, who was out taking care of the sheep in the fields, and God said ‘that’s the one.

So David kills Goliath, and Saul invites him to come live with him in the castle, and Saul’s son Jonathan loves David and David loves him, and Saul’s daughter Michal also loves David, and David marries her. Saul knows God’s spirit isn’t with him anymore, and he has these fits when he tries to kill David because David is very successful in battle and the people love him and Saul has a sneaking suspicion that God’s spirit is with David, so he is really jealous, even though a part of him loves David. There are a lot of times he throws his spear at David, trying to kill him, and finally Michal and Jonathan help David escape totally.

Eventually Saul dies, David becomes king, but David has some odd behaviors.”

“I remember last week, or the week before, when the arc of the covenant was being moved and David told one man to stop and it ended up killing that man,” AdventureMan said, “it was supposed to be about moving God’s home on earth, but it turned into being all about David.”

“Yeh, during that same procession, he took off all his clothes and danced wildly. It may have been exultation, but there is this strange verse about Michal watching from her window and despising him in her heart. Really an odd event.”

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“OK, so what happened with Bathsheba?” he asks.

“Pretty much what we heard today in the gospel reading.” I respond. “After Uriah is killed in battle, she marries the king and bears him a son who becomes Solomon, who turns out to be really wise.”

“So what is your problem with David?” AdventureMan asks.

“We all grow up thinking he is a great guy, but the bible tells us he was also greatly flawed,” I respond. “After Michal helped David get away, Saul married her to another guy, and they really loved each other, but once David became king, he sent his men to take her away from the other guy, even though he already had two other wives. He did that naked dancing thing. God made him really sick for disobeying, and being more focused on his kingliness than this responsibilities, but David repents heartily, and tells God if God will heal him, he will serve God with all his heart. I guess it is a mystery to me why God loves David so much. But it might have more to do with Solomon than with David.”

It’s not often that AdventureMan and I are so engrossed in a bible reading that we discuss it over dinner, and the discussion went on and on, because it was such a human story, and also sort of a mystery.

During the sermon, the priest made us vote as to who was wrong, Bathsheba, for bathing on her roof, or David. We all voted, every single person, for David being in the wrong.

At the end of the service, when the priest sends us forth to love and serve God, he added this prayer, which I am certain referred to King David, but it caused a collective gasp nonetheless:

“Lord, please keep us far away from pornography. Please don’t let me grow up to be a dirty old man.”

We love this priest. He is direct. Very straightforward. At the same time, he is very practical about people and their fallibilities. I suspect we will be thinking about this sermon the whole week. That’s a really good sermon!

(I found a fascinating discussion of the passage about King David dancing naked in a writing on Passionate Spirituality and Worship written by a Mennonite theologian which presents another interpretation / explanation of what is going on)

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July 25, 2009 - Posted by | Community, Family Issues, Mating Behavior, Random Musings, Relationships, Spiritual, Values

5 Comments »

  1. looool I really like your priest!

    I would have voted against David, too – after all, Bathsheba was an exhibitionist but David plotted the death of her husband. But I’m guessing that in some parts of the world, the vote would go against her.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. Holy Smoke! What a sermon!! Was the preacher our esteemed Canon B?

    Missing you guys. Have now got Rianne new school uniform for KES – she is really looking forward to it.

    Blessings

    Comment by revq8 | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  3. Yeh, you would have been amazed at this sermon, Little D, he brought in a lot of different threads and tied them all together and kept everyone totally compelled at the same time. He made a lousy case against Bathsheba – he said all the right things, but his heart wasn’t in it – blaming the victim. He added one thing that killed his case – “but then when a King brings you to him to sleep with you, can you say no?” He also asked WTH King David was doing lolling around his castle, napping, and sleeping with other soldiers wives when HIS ARMY was out fighting an important fight, and he should have been out there leading them, the warrior king. Interesting.

    RevQ8 – This guy is a policeman/priest; I can only imagine Jesus adores him. He says shocking things – a whole lot like Jesus. AdventureMan was telling our good friend how he always took notes on your sermons, and learned such interesting things by looking up the references – and he wished he had brought his notebook for this guy, too!

    Hugs hugs and more hugs to the family, and how exciting for Rianne! Wooo HOOOOO!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  4. interesting post, even though im no longer very interested in theology and religion. and may i add:

    hahahahhahahahahaaaaaahahahahaaaaaff @ ur husband’s plea to god!

    Comment by Mrm | July 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. LLOOOLLLL, Mrm, it wasn’t my husband, it was the priest, praying that for all of us!

    Theology and religion fascinate me, how we believe, how our beliefs share the same values, where we differ – few areas hit at the core of who we are more than those which shape our values.

    BTW, I am just so delighted to see you again. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 28, 2009 | Reply


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