Saturday, June 09, 2012

Lessons from Ehud & Eglon

I'm finding Dale Ralph Davis to be the best commentator on the book of Judges. Others are great for exegetical details (and wrestling with liberal approaches)--and I need that--but Davis has a knack for getting to the meat, appreciating the genre with all of its rough edges, and communicating the application with verve and humor.  Unlike some popular commentaries, he gets the interpretation right and connects it with life.

Today's pithy example, as I prepare to preach on Judges 3:

"The way the Israelites told or heard this episode shows they weren't the least bit embarrassed about it. Instead Israel enjoyed telling about it--so much so that when the writer relates it to us, he writes it in the form of humor (or with flashes of it). and what is this meant to teach us? This - (1) that it is a very perilous matter to oppress and crush God's people (even if you're a big man like Elgon), for you may well become the butt of one of God's 'jokes'; (2) that God makes his people able to laugh after their sorrow and to smile over the funny ways he has of delivering them from their troubles; (3) that there is no reason why God's way must be dull and boring. The people who know Yahweh as their god will never lack for excitement. (In fact, the humorous way the story is told is Israel's way of rejoicing in the undeserved grace of Yahweh; the narrative itself is a form of praise to Yahweh.)"  (pg. 61-62 of Judges: Such A Great Salvation).