Biden, Saul & David vs. Jesus the Prophet 

Readings for 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 1 Samuel 26: 2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23; Psalm 103: 1-13; 1 Corinthians 15: 45-49; John 13: 24; Luke 5: 27-38

More than any other group in the world, American Christians love war, don’t they? At least it seems that way.

Joe Biden’s a case in point. He’s a Catholic. But it looks like he’s doing his best to provoke war with Putin and Russia. It’s like he’d love nothing better than a fight over Ukraine of all places. It’s not clear why. 

(Btw, can someone please tell me what is Ukraine to us or we to Ukraine?  I can’t figure that one out.) 

Nonetheless, the mainstream media (MSM) seems fully on board with war. In a nation where 80% claim to be Christian, journalists love the sound of sabre rattling. It’s what the American elite and its publicists do. By now we should know that.

Today’s Readings

This Sunday’s readings show the elite have always been like that. Gangster kings like Saul and his successor David were just like Biden and the rest. They were like the royal classes depicted in “The Game of Thrones” – constantly at war with one another, with foreign kings – always hungry for more power, more land, more wealth, concubines, and spoils.

In doing so, they invariably claimed that God was on their side. Theirs was a God of war as blood thirsty as the royal classes themselves have always been.

However, biblical prophets like Yeshua of Nazareth consistently opposed such heresy. They insisted that Israel’s God did not belong to kings and queens, but to the indebted poor who constituted the perennial victims of the royals. 

The prophets constantly reminded the powerless that kings and queens were not their friends. How could they be? The poor were always in hoc to them. Moreover, the royals tirelessly tried to convince commoners that the enemies of the rich were also somehow the foes of “the nation,” “the realm.”  If successful, such attempts at persuasion always obliged the non-elite to fight and die in wars against rivals that were not really theirs.

In contrast to all that, a prophet like Yeshua taught his followers to have no enemies at all, to realize that debt and interest that held them in bondage are scams, and that the wealthy should give wealth away rather than hoard it. 

Can you imagine what would happen to our world – what a paradise it would become – if American Christians refused the warmongers and actually accepted wisdom like Yeshua's rather than the propaganda of those involved in contemporary Games of Thrones?

The “translations” that follow suggest what I mean. They contrast the royal games of Saul and David with the prophetic voice of the Master Prophet from Galilee. (Please read the originals here to see if I got them right.)

Readings Translated

1 Samuel 26: 2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23

Like a scene from
“Game of Thrones”
The crown seeker
David
Steals into the field barracks 
Of the throne sitter 
Saul 
Who’s asleep
And surrounded by his gang
Of 3000 brainwashed thugs
All snoring, belching  
And farting away.
(Imagine the din!)

The insurgent’s acolyte
Abishai 
Whispers
“Let me kill the S.O.B.
Right now.
I’ll nail him to the ground
With my spear
You know how good I am
With steel.
No one would even hear.”

“Hell no!” 
David whispers back.
“The Game’s rules 
Forbid killing 
A throne sitter
Who claims he’s been 
Appointed by God.
Who knows?
Maybe he was.
It might be unlucky.”

So, instead
The intruders 
Silently steal
Saul’s own spear
And water jug,
Run to a safe distance,
Wave their plunder
And taunt:
“Coulda killed you
But didn’t.
Your days 
Are numbered, old man.”

It all
Frightened the hell
Outta Saul!

Psalm 103: 1-13

Despite the pretensions
Of gangsters
Like those,
Life’s Great Spirit
Has nothing to do
With Throne Games
Taunting, killing, or war.

The Great Spirit is instead
Kind and merciful
Compassionate and benevolent.
It’s a healer
Full of grace
And above all
Forgiving.

1 Corinthians 15: 45-49

Source
Has been like that
Since before
It breathed life
Into the first Earth Creatures.
The Spirit loves what’s living,
Loves the earth
And everything natural.

That’s the order 
Human beings 
Misleadingly call
“Spiritual” and “heavenly.”
It’s found here on earth
Not somehow
“Up there.”

To be spiritual
Is to love everyone
And Life’s natural order.
That’s what
Yeshua taught us.

John 12: 24

By his
Very life
And words.

Luke 6: 27-38

Specifically,
Here’s what
The Master said and implied
About earthy spirituality
In contrast to
Games of Thrones
Played by kings 
And would-be’s:

Have nothing to do 
With their values.

Games of wealth
And accumulation
Contradict 
God’s natural order.

It demands
Hating no one
Having no enemies.
Loving the haters.
Striking no one
Even if they hit you first
Or take 
What you think is yours.

Instead,
Loans should be free
And without interest
Or expecting repayment.
Don’t judge or condemn
Anyone
Or hang on to wealth.
Give and forgive
Again, and again.

If you do all that
You’ll be like
The Great Spirit
Earlier described
In Psalm 103
Experiencing
Unbelievable abundance
Beyond anything
Sought by “kings”
Gamers and gangsters
Like Saul and David. 
(Or their counterparts
Today!}
. 

Conclusion

The bottom line here is don’t listen to Biden or the MSM. According to Yeshua’s words, Putin is not our enemy. Ukraine is not our concern. All of that is the business of our “royals” and Russia’s with their shared preoccupations about presidential polling, gas pipelines, arms sales, market share, and imagined threats. Those are the concerns of the elite rich; they are not ours.

In the light of today’s readings, what should be our concern is the New Order proclaimed by Yeshua. He called it the “Kingdom of God” It’s a world without enemies, war, debt, interest payments, violence, taunting, or retaliation.

Accepting that viewpoint would change our world. Don’t you agree?

Published by

Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

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