Friday, November 09, 2007


I've been reading the series of commentaries by Dale Ralph Davis (Joshua through II Kings minus Ruth). They are excellent. I'm never read anything like them...they have been incredibly helpful for my understanding of the OT and even just paying attention while I'm reading. Here's a few snippets from the begining of II Kings...

Second Kings begins on a positive note: Ahab is dead. You may think that is a nasty sentiment, but you must remember that Ahab was a conduit that allowed pagan sewage to engulf Israel (I Kings 16:29-34), one who tolerated injustice (I Kings 21), and who hated God’s word (e.g., I Kings 22). But the Ahabs always die—that is good news. The bad news is that Ahab, Jr., follows him. Ahaziah is a chip off the old, dead block. Welcome to Israel, 852 BC.

What do we meet in this section of the story? Above all, an intolerant God. The suave, self-appointed connoisseurs of religious taste in our time will be aghast if ever they happen on to this story. How can Yahweh in his wild, untamed holiness sentence a man to death simply for exercising his religious preferences in a critical hour of his life? Yahweh here is not the democratic son of God people crave, according to the polls.

But in the Bible we meet Yahweh and keep bashing ourselves against his first commandment (Exod. 20:3). Nor is it any better in the New Testament. Jesus goes around insisting folks must smash idols if they would follow as disciples (Mark 10:21-22). He is as obnoxious as Yahweh. Who does he think he is?

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