Sunday, December 13, 2009

99: Man on the Run

2 Samuel 16-18
When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself. - 2 Samuel 17:23

As David flees from Jerusalem, he meets a man names Shimei who curses him and throws rocks at him. He is from the house of Saul and tells David that he is being payed back by God for killing so many Israelites. David's men really want to chop off Shimei's head, but David won't let them. He says that if God is telling Shemei to curse him then he cannot kill him for it.

Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, Absalom has taken over as king. He seeks advice from one of his servants, Ahithophel. Ahithophel tells Absalom that he should sleep with all of David's concubines to assert his authority. Absalom doesn't have to be asked twice and screws the ten concubines that his father left behind to guard the castle.

Ahithophel's next piece of advice is for Absalom to take 12,000 men and go kill his father. Ahithophel would have him spare the men guarding David, and only try to kill David himself. This advice seems good to Absalom but he asks another man (Hushai) just in case. Hushai suggests that he gather men "as numerous as the sand" to go attack David's men and completely destroy them. As with most things in the bible, complete destruction is generally the chosen alternative. Hushai's advice is taken and Ahithophel's advice is ignored. It turns out that Hushai is really an informant for David but that doesn't seem to make much difference. Ahithophel is so upset when he finds out his advice is not being taken that he goes home and hangs himself.

I want you to read a sentence from the bible and tell me how anyone can think that this is the perfect word of God:
Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, "Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do such and such, but I have advised them to do so and so."
Such and such? So and so? What kind of writing is this? Let's hope this doesn't sound like eighth grade writing in Hebrew. You'd think God could take a writing lesson or two.

Absalom goes out with his men to fight the armies of David. Absalom's armies are routed by David's. This turns out to be his last decision. As he is riding through the forest on a mule, he gets caught in a tree (watch for those low hanging branches). When David's men find him, they stab him through the heart with javelins. David mourns for his son.

Shocker of the week: most people who aren't religious are Democrats.

Gallup has released an interesting poll that outlines party affiliation and Obama approval rating based on religion.

It seems a little silly that the party of smaller government has turned into the religious party and the party of larger government has turned into the party of the non-religious. I'm curious where this got started. I guess the bigger question is when did conservative get paired with republican and liberal get paired with democrat.

Obama mentioning the non-religious must be like mentioning that there are other holidays this time of year. Terribly offensive.
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