They say “you can’t take it with you when you’re gone.” King Solomon left quite a lot behind. His father, King David, also left a formidable legacy, which included imploring Solomon to remember God… but to no avail.
David, without regard for his throne, chose to flee Jerusalem rather than defend himself against his unfaithful, duplicitous son. His loyal followers included immigrant soldiers willing to trade their own highly sought-after security for David’s immediate defense.
In Philistine territory, Goliath and other descendants of Rapha proved no match for David and his men. But David still had a giant problem at home, where his polygamy and adultery caused scandal amongst his progeny.
Saul, having amassed an army of mighty men from Israel and neighboring nations, lost his army and his kingdom to David. While his parents harbored in Moab, David’s new army crowned him king of a united Israel in Hebron.
Jacob said of his youngest son: “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder.” Come see the scandalous transition from judges to kings in Benjamite-led Ancient Israel.
Othniel the first, Ehud the lefty, Gideon the fleece-watcher, Jephthah the impetuous, and Samson the fatally-flawed Nazirite: all leaders of the Hebrews before their first king. Meanwhile, Ruth and Boaz fell in love in Bethlehem.
Gaza, the Golan Heights, Hebron (now “H1” & “H2” split between Israeli and Palestinian control), and the West Bank: these areas ripped from today’s headlines all figured prominently in the book of Joshua.
The Bible says its proverbs are for gaining wisdom – for understanding parables, the scripts and riddles of the wise. If the Law is a guardrail around common pitfalls, proverbs are paths leading toward clarity, security, and prosperity.
Far beyond the ancient priesthood and the census, this not-to-be-missed episode highlights the power of habit, the Year of Jubilee, the literal scapegoat, and the original talking donkey (with apologies to Eddie Murphy). Come. It’s uncommonly good.