Monday, May 11, 2009

1 Samuel 20-21, Luke 1:46-66

1 Samuel 20-21

This material covers two matters, both related to David's estrangement from Saul. Saul recognized that David was a threat not only to him as king (having no understanding of David's respect for the Lord's anointed), but also to the continuation of his house as the ruling house in Israel. Jonathan, in his friendship with David, seems to recognize that David is indeed the one appointed by God to succeed his own father, but he has no ambition for the throne. Jonathan;s close friendship with David serves further to anger Saul because it is further confirmation that the place of his house in Israel will not last beyond his own personal reign. Saul has moved from a humble acceptance to God's causing him to be made king to having a jealous grasp upon the throne of Israel.

Having Saul's murderous threats against him confirmed, David flees to the Philistines, apparently thinking there was no place in Israel for him. However, he finds he has jumped from the frying pan into the fire, and has to play the madman to escape. One of the humorous lines in this chapter is that of Achish, who says, "Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence?" One wonders how often other leaders have had similar feelings about some of those who serve under them.

Luke 1:46-66

This section is dominated by the Song of Mary, also called the Magnificat, from the first word of the song in the Vulgate. This song is thematically tied to the Song of Hannah in 1 Sam 2:1-10. In part this makes the point that God is still about the same work he was in the Old Testament, in the continuing display of his covenant faithfulness to his people. In part it certifies the son of Mary as the successor to the great prophets and kings of the Old Testament. Displaying Jesus as The Great Prophet (Deut 18:15-22) is one of the themes that runs through Luke, so it is important to recognize it early on in the book.

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