Can a Person Actually Melt?

What You’ve Missed…
* Lots of psalms praising God.
* Lots of psalms asking God for help.
* Lots of psalms thanking God.
* In short. Lots of psalms.

Day 139
Daily Reading: More Psalms

As I’ve continued to read through the psalms of King David it seems each one falls into at least one of three categories. There are psalms of praise and thanksgiving. Psalms of David asking for help. And lastly, there are psalms of…what I’ll call…crazy bloodlust.

Turns out our friend King David is a serious Guns N’ Roses fan because the dude has a major appetite for destruction. (I really, really wish our Internet technology allowed me to insert some sweet 80’s guitar riffs right here. I mean, TED, Skype and are amazingly fantastic uses of technology and everything…I just wish it included more 80’s electric guitar is all.) Not only does David often ask God to help him, to rescue him from his enemies, but he usually takes it one step further. David often asks God to pretty much obliterate his enemies in the process. Exhibits A through D:

“Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continuously. Pour out your fury on them; consume them with your burning anger.” (Psalm 69:23-24)

“Let burning coals fall down on their heads. Let them be thrown into the fire or into watery pits from which they can’t escape. Don’t let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.” (Psalm 140:9-11)

“Rise up, O God and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.” (Psalm 68:1-2)

“May they be like snails that dissolve into slime, like a stillborn child who will never see the sun. God will sweep them away, both young and old, faster than a pot heats on burning thorns.” (Psalm 58:8-9)

Melt them like wax in a fire? David, I thought you were a man of compassion. Let burning coals fall down on their heads? David, that sounds like medieval torture bro. Let them be thrown into the fire? David, ease up with all the fire and burning people alive talk buddy. Make their bodies shake continuously? Seriously David? You’re asking that they have a constant barrage of seizures? May they be like a stillborn child? Geez man! I’m not even fully sure what that means, but it’s repulsive.

What is the deal with this guy? To quote one of the great philosophers of our time, a brilliant and insightful woman known as Fergie, “Where is the love?” Seriously David…where is it? You seem to want God to shower you with love, yet shower others with…well with torture, pain and death.

Those were my first thoughts. But as I continued to read, I discovered more and more of this man’s humanity. He’s just a guy. A regular, imperfect guy. (Why is it that Christians tend to think of people in the Bible as “characters” who are one-dimensional, and only capable of displaying a single emotion or character trait? Aren’t they just as wildly dynamic as we are?)

And a regular, imperfect guy can be a little emotional at times, a little over-zealous. Even a little outrageous. (Me trying to live life in my 20’s is a solid example. I was Steve Martin in The Jerk, just less charming, way, way more jerkish and equally as aloof.) I think that’s what’s going on here. Regular guy David has been harassed, attacked and hunted by his enemies and he’s had enough. He’s ready for it to end.  And…he gets a little extreme in the process.

I’m not trying to give the guy an out to be a crazy pyscho or anything. I mean, I think we can all agree that the movie Seven does a great job of showing that weirdo torturers don’t mingle too well with the rest of society. But I am trying to see David as a regular dude, struggling through his emotions and thoughts like I do

So what am I saying?  I’m saying David’s desire to see his enemies suffer and die caught me a little off guard. Really off guard actually. Especially because I was beginning to think of him as a weak and humble man. But that’s the point! He’s not JUST that. He’s also a ferocious warrior who has real enemies and knows they are a serious threat to his kingdom and who need to be removed from the equation. He’s a multifaceted man, capable of grace and love, who’s also capable of seriously laying the smack down.

He’s like Andre the Giant. In the ring the dude would mess you up. In The Princess Bride he warmed your heart with charming peanut comments. In real life, he was just a man.

Bible Body Count: More Than Robocop

What You’ve Missed…
* Moses sings a song. It’s a bit long, kind of a downer, and without any kind of infectious pop beat. I’m sure Simon would hate it, Paula would love it and Randy would still be trying to get everyone to think he’s really cool.
* Moses makes Joshua the new leader of Israel. (And the dude is ready to get down to business. Just keep reading.)
* Moses dies and God personally buries him. Which makes you wonder, did God give an amazing eulogy? And did He have an after funeral party to attend? And since that party was in heaven, was Moses there, attending his own after funeral party? (Also, is it possible to have seen Zoolander too many times? I mean, really?)
* The Israelites have a seven day music festival outside the walls of Jericho that makes Bonaroo look like amateur night at The Apollo. They literally brought the house down. Lots of houses actually. And then they killed everyone.

Day 84
Daily Reading: Joshua 10-12

So the forty years in the desert have come to a close and Israel is about to cross over the Jordan River and move into the Promised Land. There’s only one problem…it’s inhabited by tons of people who don’t really want to hand over everything to this crazy group of gypsies wandering through the desert who think they’re entitled to everyone else’s stuff simply because their God told them they could have it. Except, it isn’t really a problem at all because God is leading Joshua, and Joshua is a firm believer in killing anyone who gets in his way.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us on the brink of an epic war equal to those fought in the land of Middle Earth. (What’s Middle Earth? It’s where nerds pretend they live. It’s also the setting for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.) The word is out that the Israelites have defeated a couple of nations in the past, and this time around, no one is taking any chances. So five local kings in the area team up to fight and dominate Israel.

Things don’t go as planned for those kings, and they quickly find themselves impaled on poles, by Joshua. And as scripture so delicately states, “So Joshua and the Israelite army continued the slaughter and completely crushed the enemy. They totally wiped out the five armies…” (Joshua 10:20) Five armies down, and that’s only the beginning.

As God continued to hand city after city to Joshua, he continued to annihilate person after person.

“That same day Joshua captured and destroyed the town of Makkedah. He killed everyone it…leaving no survivors. He destroyed them all…Then Joshua and the Israelites went to Libnah and attacked it. There, too, the LORD gave them the town and its king. He killed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. From Libnah, Joshua went to Lachish…” (Joshua 10:28-31)

I think you get the idea. God leads Joshua to a city. Joshua and the Israelites destroy everyone. They move on. I imagine this to be, well, I imagine it to be a lot like this…

Only with less John Cleese, and more blood spraying all over the place…also with a lot more moaning, suffering, and recently amputated limbs flying everywhere. So, I guess what I’m saying is maybe it was really more like that scene in Kill Bill where Uma Thurman turns a cool Japanese nightclub into a modern day Thunderdome with her Samurai sword.

The Israelites do this again and again and again. They are an unstoppable force, completely wiping out, killing and destroying everyone who is not part of Israel. The Bible even says, “So they [Israel’s enemies] were completely destroyed without mercy, as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Joshua 11:20)

At the end of it all, Joshua and God’s army had completely destroyed thirty-one kings and their kingdoms. They went on a 31-0 killing streak. That’s some serious conquering and a whole heck of a lot of killing. That body count had to be in the millions. And that’s about the same as Robocop.

So…why isn’t the Bible rated R?