college travels

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Value of Stories # 3

As we continue to think about the significance of the narrative sections of the Old Testament we turn our attention to David. David gives us a rare glimpse into the role a lover. David made Saul feel very threatened but elsewhere he generates great affection and loyalty. His friendship with David is a prime example.

..So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the LORD call David's enemies to account." 17 And Jonathan made David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.. (1Samuel 20:16-17)

.. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.. (2Samuel 1:26)

Individuals within the homosexual lobby have seen this as evidence of David’s homosexuality, but it is better understood as the description of a strong and loyal friendship between two like-minded men, that has been forged through participation together in daring and dangerous tasks, like the liberation of Israel from Philistine domination.

David is an individual who adds to the experience of life, through his friendships, through his poetry, his music and singing. He brought with him a calmness and helped people to enjoy life (1Samuel 16:23), a ministry that he continued towards the king even after Saul had shown that he wanted David dead (1Samuel 19:9). If the stories about David are understood as representative of who he was, then he encouraged people and to give themselves to the celebration, such as when he danced before the ark (2Samuel 6:5), without regard for how this might look to the more conservative (6:20).

And yet just as David could not always keep the sovereign in check so too he allowed the lover to get out of control, not least in his involvement with Bathsheba. It is a reminder to us to enjoy the emotions that God has given us, but not to allow them to take over and dictate our behaviours and a reminder of just how hard it is to walk along that tightrope (cf. 1Cor 10:12-13).

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  • Andy, thanks for this!

    I wrote something sort of similar yesterday, about the 'bromance movement', and the idea of Biblical Bromance.

    I'd love to hear your input!

    By Anonymous Matt Jacobs, at 4:27 pm  

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