Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Samuel 16-17

This book is finally starting to understand plot and drama. For now. Let's enjoy it while it lasts by taking a shot every time something dramatic happens.

Chapter 16:

God is ready to get his groove back with a new king, and has no patience for Samuel still shipping him and King Saul:

"How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way."

God tells Samuel that he is going to find a new king, one of Jesse's sons. The name Jesse does not really seem very medieval and feels out of place in this book, and now I just have the song "Jessie's Girl" stuck in my head.

Samuel is concerned with Saul. If Saul finds out Samuel's helping God look for a new king, Saul might get murdery. Where's all that brave Maggie Smith energy you were serving earlier Samuel?

God provides Samuel with an alibi. Samuel will take a heifer to Jesse's as a sacrifice to the Lord or you know...just have a BBQ.

Samuel goes to Bethlehem to meet with Jesse and his family. Jesse is worried he's in trouble. People are always after his ...girl...amiright?

I'm so sorry.

Anyway, Samuel reassures Jesse that he's not in trouble, that he's just there to choose one of his sons to be king anointed by God or whatever. No biggie.

Jesse does not ask any further questions and immediately presents his finest sons to the strange old man. Samuel rejects them all and Jesse is confused.

Samuel says: "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

God cares about what's on the inside. The fact that King Saul was super hot was only a coincidence

There is still one more son to see. The youngest. The sheephearder, David. Lord said he only cares about the heart but coincidentally this future king, is also hot:

"He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features."

The Lord tells Samuel that David is the one. Samuel gets the olive oil and the spirit of the Lord comes powerfully on David. What? It's in the book. It's in there. Don't shoot the messenger. 

Since the spirit of the Lord is with David now, it has left Saul. The spirit of the Lord is monogamous. Instead, Saul is left with an evil spirit of the Lord that torments him. You do not want to be one of Lord's exes. 

Saul's servants suggest that music might help keep the evil spirits away. They suggest finding a lyre player. Clearly, a fiddle would be better at besting evil spirits. 

It just so happens, David the new future king, is a lyre player. King Saul's servant tells him all about David.

 "'I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.'"

I'm not really sure why you need to be a warrior to be a good lyre player, but Saul is sold on David and sends for him. That's right you guys, the boy who will replace him as king is going to be his personal musician. 

Every time David plays music, the evil spirit leaves Saul. Saul likes David so much, that he makes him his armor bearer. The logical promotion for a musician. 

Chapter 17:

Remember the Philistines? Yeah, they're still around. Like Team Rocket. This time they've got a giant named Goliath who might be 9 feet tall or just like 6 feet tall. We're not given a lot of details. He's just like a tall, strong guy and he's got a lot of confidence so that can be scary. 

Goliath challenges the Israelites. The Israelites want to gather forces and fight him off but he challenges their masculinity and stuff:

"'Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.'" 

Goliath says that even though he's a big confident guy, it'd be pretty pathetic if they all needed to gang up on him. They need to choose one warrior to defeat him and if he wins (which he probably will), they will become Philistine slaves. He says this with a lot of confidence so they have no choice but to listen to his demands. Goliath keeps coming up to challenge them for 40 days and 40 nights. 

Meanwhile at the Jesse household, the three oldest sons are in King Saul's army and David goes back and forth sheephearding and playing music for the Mad King. Jesse asks David to bring the oldest sons some food and come back to reassure Jesse that they are okay. David the boy wonder goes to his brothers. Just as he gets there, he overhears Goliath's challenge. Everyone is afraid and runs away but David is not afraid. 

A random bystander gives all the exposition necessary very conveniently for David:

"'Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.'"

Thank you for that information no one asked for, random stranger. 

David is a bit slow on the uptake:

"'What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?'"

Literally what he just said David. What. He. Just. said. 

God likes his kings dumb. 

When David's oldest brother Eliab hears David's dumb question, he gets angry but not because David's question is dumb, "'Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited your are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.'"

Wow get a load of that sibling rivalry. The angst. 

Eliab makes a good point. Does David just leave the sheep alone? Come on David. 

David replies in typical youngest sibling fashion: "'Now what have I done?' Said David 'Can't I even speak?'" 

David goes to Mad King Saul: "'Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.'"

Saul is confused as to why the part time sheephearding musician thinks he can fight a giant (or just a really tall confident guy). 

David reassures him with Samson levels of crazy: 

"'Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.'"

TLDR? David is not a very responsible sheephearder. He keeps letting his sheep get taken by large predators so he can then prove how tough he is by fighting and killing the predators with his bare hands. Eliab may have been right about his youngest brother's negligent sheephearding. 

Saul is sold because crazy likes crazy. 

It's time for the David Vs. Goliath showdown. 

They give David armor to wear but he's not into it. 

"'I cannot go in these,' he said to Saul, 'because I am not used to them.'"

Yeah, why try new things? Even if your life depends on it? 

David decides to take only his staff, 5 smooth stones, and a sling. The Bart Simpson weapon. 

David goes out to face Goliath and Goliath is displeased:

"He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, 'Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?'" . . . "'I'll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!'"

David replies that Goliath has all the weapons, but David just needs the Lord, which sounds very Kumbaya, until David says he will also cut off his head and feed his body to the birds and wild animals. 

Goliath moves to attack David, but our little sociopath runs up to meet him, takes a stone and slings it at Goliath. The stone strikes his forehead and he falls to the ground. That...that's it. 

David runs over to Goliath, takes his own sword, and cuts off his head. Finally, a political leader who sticks to his promises. 

The Philistines all run away in fear much like Team Rocket and the Israelites chase after them and plunder their camps. 

David takes Goliath's head to Saul but look out for that soap opera twist. King Saul the Mad King suddenly does not recognize David. 

"'Whose son are you, young man?' Saul asked him."

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