David, the King
What name appears throughout the Bible more than any other? David, the king. A millennium after Abraham and a millennium before Jesus, David united the 12 tribes of Israel for a brief moment of history; but more important, he emerges from the mists of ancient times as a person of God of inspiring nobility but also of base venality. In order that we may learn from David and appropriate his great truths for our own faith journey, David, the King recasts the dramatic events of his life into our own profane, secularized time.
The great stories of David posed as many questions as they did answers. How did the love/hate relationship between David and his predecessor King Saul come about? How could David endure the persecution by an increasingly manic Saul? What was it like for Jonathan to be torn between his love for his father, Saul, and his dear friend David? Why would noble David tolerate the murderous Joab? Why would David permit Amnon to get away with his cynical rape of Tamar? What happened to Abigail, David´s sweet love? What kind of God kills Bathsheba´s baby from David´s rape, then gives them Solomon? In David, the King the events of his life are set in our modern times so that we can more easily consider the greatness and failures of David´s life with and against and through God.
At the end of his life, we read in the Bible that a young woman was brought to him to warm him back to life, though not sexually. In this novel David has a surprise visit from Laurel, a granddaughter he has never met. She desperately wants to know him and learn of his life for reasons which she cannot disclose. He recounts his great story for her, a story set in the novel in the last three-quarters of the 20th century. In the course of his recounting all that happened to him, her critical need becomes apparent. In seeking to understand her grandfather´s faith journey, Laurel is launched on her own. And David, in order to help her, is once again aroused to find and put into action the qualities which made him David, the King for posterity.
In the novel Laurel finds David in the forests of the upper Midwest where he grew up in the family of Jesse, the youngest of eight sons. Before the famous encounter with the giant Goliath, there were intimations in the Bible of a brave and precocious child, one who could stand up to wild animals, who grew up to be a brave soldier. There was a secret anointing by Samuel of the lad. Also there were glimpses of early favorable contacts with King Saul--as Saul´s spear carrier and as a musician who can sooth the moody monarch. Therefore David, the King fabricates a childhood for David where he can encounter bears and lions and where dauntless courage can be developed. His preliminary involvement with King Saul and his family occurs, and the stage is set for David´s encounter with the Giant.
Saul has been employed as head of Kingdom Advertising Associates to try to pull together into a loose confederation 12 separate agencies scattered about the country. They are threatened by a powerful Eastern enemy, the Phillips Company, which--as David arrives on the scene--has challenged KAA on its home turf with The Giant. A huge, boisterous, arrogant politician, The Giant is determined to embarrass and so destroy KAA. David alone dares to face him. He leads a campaign which in effect cuts off the head of The Giant once and for all.
David, the King challenges us to ourselves risk the leap of faith, to find courage where it is needed, to discover we are God´s choice for our present circumstances, to learn for ourselves we are never alone, and therefore to believe we can always live with hope.
- Xlibris, April 2001
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