Fools rush in ... I could only smile, as one whose own interests so outstrip her capability.
The well-known story of Elijah verses the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings 18 (read the study Bible notes), that the false prophets are all slaughtered at the end. I found myself protesting, "Yeah, but if they are leading the people astray ..." but I had to be honest. Anyway, he concluded that the people killed the false prophets while Elijah looked on (Acts 7:54ff), thereby exonerating the man of God.
And he's unsettled by how Jezebel dies in 2 Kings 9:33, thrown from a window by order of the newly anointed king who is establishing himself.
I could almost hear the line Arnie delivers when his on-screen wife Jamie Lee Curtis asks whether he ever killed anyone in True Lies:
Yeah, but they were all bad.However, the story that really got under his skin was First Kings 22 in which God wants Ahab so dead that he solicits a spirit who will entice the king of Israel to march against the Arameans to his own doom.
Now he said that if he were discussing this passage with his colleagues who believe in the "development of the text," it would be a matter of categorizing the clarifying vision as detail added later. And while the suggestion of a "bonehead" editor who so clumsily inserted these verses without connecting them to the surrounding text may explain why Zedekiah son of Chenaanah says the things he does, as if he hasn't heard Micaiah's vision, in a devotional setting (such as this), it's just as easy to say that Zedekiah was too self-absorbed in his own conceit to even hear everything Micaiah told the king.
Of course, "this was added later" leapt to my mind immediately, too, without the pastoral tempering. And when he concluded that Zedekiah merely incriminates himself in attempting to discredit Micaiah, well, I saw it myself, quite before he told us. It was all I could do to keep from blurting it out.
How can this not be literature? Are real-life court politics ever as cunning as this?
Jeff said yes. No reason to think it didn't actually happen.
And the following chapter has that story about Elijah sitting under the broom tree asking for death. You know, that we read last Sunday.
Now, I can't be sure that this "questioning" isn't an assumed posture for the sake of these lectures. At times, he seems sincere in his questioning. At other times, he's too ready with an answer. And perhaps willing to accept a weak answer.
He's said that belonging to a "confessional community" gives him both the freedom and the support to ask from the text. I'm not sure his audience understood what he meant by that - and he may be speaking a little more as a Lutheran than as a Presbyterian would - much less with they agreed with him on it. I agree with him on it. It's the safest, freest place to be. The stronger, the better. For this type of thing.
cf. Delaware River Valley Churches to Host Summer Education Series.