Skip to main content

How Much Longer?

1 Samuel 16:1-13

“How much longer are you going to go on grieving for Sha’ul, now that I have rejected him as king over Isra’el?”

I took some time to look up something from another piece I wrote about the story of Samuel and Saul: the really bad thing that Saul did was to profit from the destruction of the Amalekites, by sparing the life of their king (not out of mercy, but out of expediency), and taking all their valuable goods. In doing so, Saul was revealing that he valued the lives of people less than the profit he could make, or the political advantage he might gain.” (The blog post is called “Until the Day of His Death” posted on 7-12-2017.) 

This story relates itself to my situation. Like Israel, we were faced with an absolute— something needed to be dissolved utterly— dismantled; ended. The circumstances called for dispassionate fairness and the administration of a quick and merciful death. That did not happen. Like King Agag of the Amalekites, I found myself facing a King Saul who had overstepped authority and abused power by holding me as if I were the dispossessed king of a conquered land; who kept me alive for the sake of profit; who stood over the ruins of my home and haggled for advantage and who, when that didn’t work out, pulled out a cleaver and started chopping with a bloody vengeance. Metaphors. The Inner Domain. Setting up Bad Kings. Grieving when our little idea-dictators fall in coup after coup. It’s evident that there are lots of false empires: The Realm of Self-Righteousness; The Suzerainty of S’not Fair; The Municipality of ‘It’s Mine’; The Province of Payback; The Kingdom of Quid Pro Quo; The Principality of Pouting; The Bailiwick of Blame; The Domain of Desire.

The only saving grace was this: I rejected the role of Ruler. My little domains were like bubble-wrap under my feet, and I enjoyed the snapping sounds of resentment, possessiveness, desire, revenge, and recrimination exploding into nothing when I stepped on them. I was not in charge of them, and when the burden of them was shoved into my arms, I remembered to let go and keep walking.

Ephesians 3:14-21

 16 I pray that from the treasures of his glory he will empower you with inner strength by his Spirit, 17 so that the Messiah may live in your hearts through your trusting.

The treasures of his glory, empowering. Yowza! Christ lives in our hearts through the action of trust. No one will ever figure out how that works, but luckily, it’s a pretty self-evident miracle.

Matthew 8:18-27

“Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Sorry, I couldn’t help it— I got a vivid image of Mardi Gras revelers in skeleton costumes carrying shovels and digging mock graves in which to bury effigies labeled “Resentment,” “Possessiveness,” “Desire,” “Revenge,” and “Recrimination.”

It made me laugh.

As far as how long the grieving goes on, I say, “As long as it takes.”

Popular posts from this blog

Apples and Carts

Acts 11:1-18 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 The emissaries and the brothers throughout Y’hudah heard that the Goyim had received the word of God; 2 but when Kefa went up to Yerushalayim, the members of the Circumcision faction criticized him, 3 saying, “You went into the homes of uncircumcised men and even ate with them!” 4 In reply, Kefa began explaining in detail what had actually happened: 5 “I was in the city of Yafo, praying; and in a trance I had a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it came down to me. 6 I looked inside and saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, crawling creatures and wild birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Kefa, slaughter and eat!’ 8 I said, ‘No, sir! Absolutely not! Nothing unclean or treif has ever entered my mouth!’ 9 But the voice spoke again from heaven: ‘Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled back up into hea…

Potter's Field

Matthew 27: 1-10

3 When Y’hudah, who had betrayed him, saw that Yeshua had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, 4 saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.” “What is that to us?” they answered. “That’s your problem.” 5 Hurling the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, he left; then he went off and hanged himself. 6 The head cohanim took the silver coins and said, “It is prohibited to put this into the Temple treasury, because it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use it to buy the potter’s field as a cemetery for foreigners.

Wow. Just….wow.

Blood money.  The priests seem to have been unaware of the irony that it was their own actions which tainted the money in the first place. It also seems that it never occurred to them that their own agent would repudiate them by returning the money. Talk about cognitive dissonance!

‘Dirty’ money; ‘blood’ money; ‘tainted’ money; ‘toxic’ money; money ‘laundering…

The Straight Path

John 1:19-28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
20 he was very straightforward and stated clearly, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 “Then who are you?” they asked him. “Are you Eliyahu?” “No, I am not,” he said. “Are you ‘the prophet,’ the one we’re expecting?” “No,” he replied. 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? — so that we can give an answer to the people who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” 23 He answered in the words of Yesha‘yahu the prophet,  “I am  'The voice of someone crying out:
‘In the desert make the way of Adonai straight!’”  (Isaiah 40:3)
English Standard Version (ESV)
23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight *the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
*Or ‘crying out, ‘In the wilderness make straight’

I was caught by the difference between “A voice crying out in the wilderness,” and “a voice crying out, “in the wilderness make straight”.”
I thought, “What difference does it make?” but I kept feeling that somehow it did.