June 24, 2012
First Samuel 17:1a, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49
Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, stood ten feet high, wore armour weighing a hundred pounds, and carried a spear weighing twenty pounds. Today we have the story (highly cut) of his being knocked out by a naked boy with a sling shot. The point of the story is that he was able to do this because he was God’s chosen.
David’s weapon was not made of a Y stick and a rubber band. It was a weapon of war, a six foot rope with a pocket for a stone in the middle. The slinger held both ends, swinging the stone above his head again and again to maximize the momentum, and then releasing one end of the rope to send the stone flying at high speed. The full story is bloody: David murders the unconscious Goliath with his own sword, cuts off his head, and carries the head around with him for the rest of the day.
Second Corinthians 6:1-13
Christ has offered grace. Now is the time to accept it, before the perusia, the coming of the Lord in judgment.
There follows Paul’s passionate description of himself and other itinerate teachers which is reminiscent of the beatitudes—“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” etc. (Matt. 5:10). If there is a barrier between members of the congregation and God, it is the members who have raised it, not their teachers.
Arthur H. Cash is a historian and distinguished professor emeritus, State University of New York at New Paltz.