20 April 2010

The Morality of David: How to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord

If believers want to know what God thinks is right, they should look at the life of David. He is the gold standard of biblical morality.

How do we know that that? Because it says so in the Bible.

Everything David did "was right in the eyes of the Lord," except for one thing: "the matter of Uriah."

David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15.5

So as long as we stay away from the Uriah affair, we can be absolutely certain that we are doing right in the eyes of the Lord whenever we follow David.

And since there are so many stories about David in the Bible, we can derive an infallible, Bible-based morality from them. That is what God wants us to do. That's why he put those stories in the Bible.

So let's get started.

Here are some of the things that we know are "right in the eyes of the Lord."

  1. It's OK to kill people.

    As long as your killing is similar to one of David's, you can be sure that it's perfectly moral and that God will bless it.

    But before you start, check the context of David's killings to make sure that yours is OK with God.

    Here is a list of 22 killings that David either performed himself or had other people do for him. God approved of every one of them. He even helped out on many. It should be easy to find one to serve as a model for the killing that you have in mind.

    David or Elhanan killed Goliath 1Sam 17.51, 2Sam 21.19
    David killed 200 Philistines for their foreskins (to buy his first wife) 1Sam 18.27
    David slew the Philistines with a great slaughter 1Sam 19.8
    The Lord said to David, Go and smite the Philistines 1Sam 23:2-5
    David committed genocides for the Philistines 1Sam 27.8-11
    David spends the day killing Amalekites 1Sam 30:17
    David killed the messenger 2Sam 1.15
    David killed Rechab and Baanah, cut off their hands and feet, and hung their dead bodies over the pool 2Sam 4.12
    God helps David smite Philistines from the front and the rear 2Sam 5:19-25
    David killed 2/3 Moabite POWs and enslaved the rest 2Sam 8.2
    David killed 22,000 Syrians 2Sam 8.5
    David killed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt 2Sam 8.13, 1Kg 11.15-16, 1Chr 18.12
    David killed 47,000 Syrians 2Sam 10.18, 1Chr 19.18
    David's massacre of the Ammonites 2Sam 11.1, 1Chr 20.1
    David's army killed 20,000 Israelites 2Sam 18.7
    Adino killed 800 at one time with a spear 2Sam 23.8
    Eleazar the son of Dodo smote the Philistines with a great slaughter 2Sam 23.9-10, 1Chr 11.12-14
    Shammah slew the Philistines 2Sam 23.12
    Abishai killed 300 with his spear 2Sam 23.18
    Benaiah slew two lion-like men of Moah and a giant Egyptian 2Sam 23.20-21, 1Chr 11.22-23
    Solomon carries out the deathbed wish of his father David by having Joab murdered 1Kg 2.29-34
    Solomn has Shimei murdered (another of David's death bed wishes) 1Kg 2.44-46

  2. It's OK to decapitate people after you kill them. (1 Samuel 17.51)

  3. You can kill Philistines and Amalekites pretty much whenever you see them. Still, it's a good idea to ask God first. (1Sam 18.27, 19.8, 23:2-5, 30:17; 2Sam 5:19-25, 23.9-10, 23.12)

  4. Moabites, Syrians, Edomites, Ammonites, and Egyptians are generally OK to kill, too. But some restrictions may apply. See your Bible for context, just to be sure. (2Sam 8.2, 8.5, 8.13, 10.18, 11.1)

  5. It's OK to kill up to 200 men for their foreskins to pay for a wife. (1Sam 18.27)

  6. You can have as many wives as you like. No one knows how many David had; no one needs to know how many you have either. (It's nobody's business but God's, and he approves of that sort of thing.) (1 Samuel 18:25-27, 25:39, 25:41-44, 2 Samuel 3:2-5, 5:13, 12:7-8)

  7. Genocide is OK, at least when you are doing it for the Philistines. (1 Samuel 27:8-11)

  8. It's OK to lie, if it will help you out of a difficult situation. (1 Samuel 21:2-8)

  9. Cut off the hands and feet of executed people and hang their dead, mutilated bodies up for everyone to see. They make nice decorations. (2 Samuel 4:12)

  10. Encourage others to kill people with disabilities -- like "the lame and the blind that are hated of David's soul." (2 Samuel 5:8)

  11. A good rule to follow with prisoners of war is this: kill two-thirds of them and enslave the rest. (2 Samuel 8:2-3)

  12. If your concubines have sex with your son in front of God and everybody (because God is punishing you for your adultery), just refuse to have any more sex with them and force them to "keep house" for you for the rest of their lives. (2 Samuel 20:3)

  13. If God sends a famine, you might try killing the sons and grandsons of your predecessor and then hang their dead bodies up to God so that he will stop starving people to death. It worked for David. It should work for you too. (2 Samuel 21:1-9)

  14. When you are old man and can't get any more heat, look around for a young virgin to "lie in your bosom" and "minister" to you so you can get your heat back. (1 Kings 1:1-4)

  15. And when you are dying, be sure to ask your son to murder any enemies that you didn't get a chance to kill. No enemies left behind. That was David's rule; it should be yours, too. (1 Kings 2:1-9)

See how easy that was? It makes you feel sorry for all those atheists who have to actually think about what is right and wrong, doesn't it?


Matthew Blanchette said...

Don't try to crack me up about atheism, Steve; I've gotten enough flack from my very Catholic parents about apparently "not having morals", now that I'm an atheist.

Hell, due to them, I even feel uncomfortable with the word, even though that's my personal convictions; can you imagine going through life cringing inwardly at your own personal convictions? :-(

busterggi said...

I just can't be as good as David - I don't have the bloodlust for it.

skanksta said...

I really feel for you blanchette. Maybe it works against you in the US that you have strict separation of church and state...

In UK everyone is pretty much forced to go to all kinds of church stuff at school, we have to do compulsory "religious studies", all state occasions are in churches etc. etc. - yet you rarely meet any open 'BELIEVErs' - you probably do, but it's THEM that keep quiet about it !
Strange ?

Danny Profit Jr. said...

You are making the same error that fundamentalists on the right make when they read the Bible. You are trying to read that verse in a strictly wooden literal sense that disregards the context and the intent in which the author composed it. Clearly David committed other wrongs besides Bathsheba. If you read 2nd Samuel 24, you would see this. The point of 1st Kings 15 is to contrast Abijah's rampant sinfulness as king of Judah against David's remarkable overall character when he was king.

In any event, my point is simply this: you must learn to read the Bible literally, that is, reading it in the sense in which it was intended. You would not read any other kind of literature the way that you are trying to read the Bible, now would you? I encourage you to learn to do the heavy lifting of reading the text in the sense in which it was intended, and if you do, you will avoid the kinds of conclusions that you come to in this post.