Thursday, May 3, 2018

Samuel 15

Dear Bible Blog Readers, 

I haven't missed this book, but I've missed you. Let's forget it has been over a month and I have no consistency. Baby, I can change, just give another hundred chances. 

Saul is still king, his son is still alive, and Samuel will never fully retire from judging people. 

Chapter 15:

Saul is warring against the Amalekites, not to be confused with the Ammonites (the ones with the eyeball collecting king). 

The book does nothing to make the Amalekites memorable sooo let's just say they really like flying kites. Get it? You see what I did there? 

They have a kite festival every year and it is beautiful. They hold this festival in spite of the constant warring around them, holding onto the ephemeral nature of beauty and happiness whenever they can, the kite string wound tightly around their hands, knowing that like the wind which carries the kite above them, that both beauty and happiness are fleeting and can turn in a new direction at any moment. 

Wait, was that the metaphor in The Kite Runner? I've got to e-mail my old English teacher.


Saul and his men defeat the Amalekites in battle. That's right, no more imaginary kite festivals. Fly one today in their memory. 

Samuel, god's carrier pigeon, told Saul that he must not spare a single Amalekite, not even the animals. All men, women, and ESPECIALLY children must die. 

Who am I meant to be rooting for here?

At least Breaking Bad was kind of intentionally funny, sometimes?

Saul, shockingly, does not listen to Samuel or God. He keeps the king of the Amalekites alive along with all the livestock. 

God sounds like that friend who keeps complaining about their boyfriend/girlfriend as though the problems are somehow new:

" ' I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.' "

Yeah, we get it, he doesn't get emotional labor and never listens to you. We already knew this God. Just break up with him already, for the love of God. 

Samuel, despite all his judginess, was shipping Saul and God pretty hard. He is angry and cries all night. Angry cries. I understand how you feel Samuel. I felt the same when Amy Poehler and Will Arnett divorced. 

I'm sure your children will be fine, but why couldn't you make it work for my sake?

Samuel goes to tell King Saul that he done messed up. Saul is just...the dumbest:

"When Samuel reached him, Saul said, 'The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord's instructions!'"

Samuel:"'What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?'"

Saul the idiot: "'The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.'"

I know God can be nit-picky, but honestly speaking as a teacher...when kids don't listen to instructions, sometimes I wish I could plague away my frustration too. 

Samuel continues to call Saul out, Saul continues to make excuses. Samuel asks why he didn't follow pretty basic "destroy everything" instructions. Saul says that he totally did follow all the instructions, he just wanted to save the animals as a surprise offering to the Lord. 

Samuel gets creepy and implies that obeying the Lord is more important than getting the Lord gifts. i.e. he is really not into the "ask for forgiveness, not permission" philosophy. 

Saul is devastated and asks how he can fix things. Baby, give me one more chance. 

Samuel walks away and Saul grabs onto his robe, and a piece of it tears. Samuel quickly turns this into a metaphor: 

"'The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today'

See what he did there? eh? eh? Someone was an English major. 

Samuel continues to say that the Lord is giving the kingdom to someone else now "'to one better than you. He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.'"

Yeah, this new king, who is totally real, he knows how to appreciate me, unlike some kings.

Music video by Carly Simon performing My New Boyfriend. (C) 1985 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Man, getting dumped by the Lord is almost as intense as getting dumped by Taylor Swift. You know there's definitely going to be a song about it. I'd put a T.Swift video in as an example, but lawsuits seem to be one of her hobbies. 

Saul cannot let this go and asks how he can fix this. Samuel suggests actually killing the Amalakite king, Agog, they have held hostage. Saul does so and honestly, gets some killer dialogue (see what I did there? eh eh?): 

"'As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women.'"

Wow, Savage Saul, pretty good line for a man without a spine. 

After the execution, Samuel leaves and never judges Saul again (yeah, they keep saying that) and Saul continues to be king. 

End of chapter.

So, if you could pick any biblical character in this book so far to have a relationship with, who would you choose? Personally, I pick Samson, but you probably could have guessed that already

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