Saturday, April 13, 2013

On the Death of Saul and Jonathan - 2 Samuel 1:17-27

Some feel this passage is the most poetic and wrenching lament in the Bible, at least in the Old Testament. To read it, 3,000 years later, is to cry with David--to understand this great warrior as his heart was breaking. Saul's sword and Jonathan's bow were no more.

David was such a great warrior. Has history ever recorded anyone greater? In the same passage this mighty king speaks of his admiration for Saul and his love for Jonathan. But in the midst of this epic response, a startling passage is recorded: (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow:...) (2 Sam. 1:18).

In a time when men and boys show their skill at arms by playing video war games, it seems so archaic to speak of bows. Men in air conditioned rooms kill children, thousands of miles distant, with remote-controled drones, then knock off for lunch in the cafeteria.

Let's just imagine that the old ways are still alive in us, however stifled by the passage of time. Let us further imagine, that the old warrior-hunter flame has not been extinguished in the hearts of men. But what if such men have no access to any guns, or that ammunition is no longer available. Could King David's admonition still be of value after all this time?

There are many who have no money for a bow. They are buying food and gasoline with their credit cards. High tech to the rescue. No one knows who first thought of the following idea: make archery bows from plastic plumbing pipe. But many are doing it, even fancy recurves. I mean, a 40 pound-pull bow can be made of a single section of plastic pipe. Not counting the string, total cost $10.

In my recent hospital stay I was evaluated as having a "wandering mind". It is so true. My mind has just wandered from 1,000 B.C. to PVC.

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