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Posts Tagged ‘Ahab’

Disclaimer.  You will get no spiritual enrichment from this post.  If anything, the time you spend reading this will amount to time that was wasted from your life.  And with that….

You know trash talk, that way of insulting each other on the playground, on the court, or on the field that professional athletes seem to have mastered with Reggie Miller and Kevin Garnet being the patrons of this group.

I think I know where it started.

The Book of Kings.

I’ve got two examples as evidence.

First example comes from 1 Kings 20.  The context, Ahab is King of Israel/Samaria , which since 922 B.C. has been the collection of the northern 10 tribes of Israel that split off from Judah and Benjamin in the South.  And Ahab is a seriously bad dude.  He married Jezebel, who is a crazy Baal worshipper and he essentially has no backbone when it comes to her as she walks all over Ahab, taking him away from Yahweh worship and towards the worhsip of Baal.

But apparently Ahab has a little backbone when it comes to Ben-hadad, the King of Aram.

At the moment, Assyria is the big boy on the block in the Middle East so Ben-hadad decides to pick a fight with someone he thinks he can actually beat, Ahab and Israel.  So, Ben-hadad sends a message to Ahab telling him that all his gold and silver belongs to Aram.  Ahab initially agrees.  But when Ben-hadad demands even more, Ahab finally refuses.  And Ben-hadad gets angry and sends the following message to Ahab.

May the gods do thus and so to me if there is enough dust in Samaria to make handfuls for all my followers.  Translation?  I’m gonna kick your butt and run all over your sorry excuse for a kingdom.

But Ahab responds with the only thing redeamable about this otherwise bad and pathetic man.

Ahab gives us a good line.  A good trash talking line.  Here it is, from 1 Kings 20:11

“The King of Israel replied, “Tell him, ‘it is not for the man who is buckling his armor to boast as though he were taking if off.”

Bad job Ahab for being a petty murderous tyrant.  Good job for giving us a good line.  Its not quite “That’s bold talk for a one eyed fat man” Ned Pepper to Rooster Cogburn good, but its still pretty good, right?

It may not sound super current for 2012, but that’s what will make it so awesome when you use this line next time the opportunity arises.   Like lets say the next time you happen to be in the middle of a bar room brawl.  Some guy is talking about how much tougher he is than you as he breaks a beer bottle open so he can shank you.  (Happens all the time right?)  Then you just look this coward right in the eye  “it is not for the man who is buckling his armor to boast as though he were taking it off.”  You’ll not only diffuse the situation with this brilliant line, the guy will probably buy you a drink when your done.

Okay, ready for the next example?

Bueller.  Bueller.

It comes from 2 Kings 1.  The context is this.  That scumbag of a king Ahab has died and his equally crappy son Ahaziah has taken the throne of Israel.  He does evil just like mom and dad and is a committed Baal Worshipper.  Anyways, after he takes the throne, Moab sees an opportunity to rebel against the new king…so Ahaziah is already tense.  And then one night, he falls through the roof of his terrace in Samaria and injures himself.

He is in bad shape and looks to the gods for some help.  And no, he doesn’t go to Yahweh for help, I mean why ask the God of the Universe for help.  Instead he asks his messenger to “Go and inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.”

This time, the trash talking is happening from the writer of the story.

The joke is that Ahaziah would have never called the god Baal by the term Baalzebub, rather he would have called him by the name Baalzebul.   Baalzebul was a term of honor and respect, it meant “Prince Baal” kind of like our Lord God appellation.

BUT.  When you make a little change and turn Baalzebul into Baalzebub…it no longer means “Prince Baal” it means “Baal of flies”.

While Ahaziah is trying to get advice from the god Baal, the author of the story keeps referring to this god Baal as “Baal of the flies”.

HA!  HA HA!  HA!

In the ancient world, the contest was always about who or what god was the toughest, the baddest, the strongest.  Part of that came from what was your god the god of.

Israel made the awesome claim that their God, Yahweh, was the God of EVERYTHING.

And Ahaziah, this unfaithful Baal worshipping King of Israel, he kept crawling to his god Baal for his needs and desires.

And what was Baal the god of?

According to 2 Kings 1, Ahaziah’s god was only…..”god of the flies”.

Who you gonna choose?   God of everything…….or…….god of the flies?

 

Again, I apologize for the last several minutes and no you will never get it back but I do have a little, teeny, god of the flies puny, sort of a point.

And its this.

There are all sorts of reasons to read the Bible.  Most of them are really spiritual and good and important.

But what’s wrong with occasionally picking up the Bible for another reason?  Because its full of great stories, interesting characters, and good cheesy lines?

God, Yahweh, Holy Trinity,  the God of Everything, is strong enough and smart enough and cool enough that He can bring you in your door and take you out through His.

God Bless and Good Reading!

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