We take a brief hiatus today from our plot to examine the Wisdom Literature of the Bible: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. These three are all trying to get at the same question: Why are things the way they are? But they have very different takes on them, and that disagreement gives us license to try to solve these issues on our own.
In our last week of the United Monarchy, we examine the powerful and rich figure of King Solomon. But with that swell of power, we have to ask the question: On whose backs was that power gained?
What have you heard about David through church or through the culture? Most of what we hear about David is that he's an exemplary character. However, when we actually dive into the story, we see a much different story.
This week marks the beginning of the wonderful David saga—one of the finest pieces of ancient literature around. The first half of the saga focuses on Saul, a man chosen reluctantly to be king, who slowly slips into madness and instability at the prospects of his fate. He's one of the greatest tragic characters in the Bible.
Our sermon this week mixes it up a little bit from the plot we've been mapping. Whereas last week we saw the military might of the Israelites conquering Canaan, in this week's sermon, we look at a different story. The indigenous people are still around and thriving, and the Israelites have to fight them off again and again. A cycle of judges rise and fall, but eventually show the limitations of this form of government.
This week's section of the Bible is troubling on several fronts. On one hand, we have to figure out what to do with a text that commands Israel to commit genocide. And on the other, we have to figure out what to do when the historical evidence disagrees with the Bible's story.
This week we move from the Exodus to the Land of Canaan. We examine how these ex-slaves unlearn that which they internalized in slavery and learned a new way of being.
This week is all about myths. Not the myth vs. fact kind of myths, but the ancient stories that inform your life. For the Israelites, this myth was the Exodus story. We dive into it to look at what kinds of things the Israelites learned about who they are as a community.