Weird Verse Wednesday: My Favorite Groomsmen Gift - 1 Samuel 18:27
I got married at the height of Christian hipsterdom. Scarves were worn all year round, beards were patchy, and weird music abounded. If you know what I’m talking about, then you also know that it was drink weird beer season. Christian men knew a lot about beer – specifically craft beer that tastes like grass clippings. If you were a Christian man, you better have an answer when someone asked you what your favorite beer was.. and it better be obscure. So obviously, the gift I gave to my groomsmen was personalized beer mugs. A solid gift for Christian men in 2013.
But sometimes I sit at home in complete darkness and wonder..what kind of wedding gifts did God’s men give each other in Bible times? Would Peter have given his bros some new fishing nets? Would Gideon give his guys some sick wool fleeces?
I had to know. And what I found was not disappointing.
Check out what David gave to Saul –
1 Samuel 18:27
27 David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.
Wow. Talk about a great wedding gift.
Now you might be thinking – why is David such a weirdo? In fairness to David, he did this at the request of Saul.
1 Samuel 18:25a
25 Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king's enemies.’”
So there. It makes sense. The only question you may have left is… “I still don’t get it.” My response to this would of course be twofold. Firstly, that wasn’t a question. Secondly, the reason behind all of this was Saul’s fear of David.
Saul knew the clock was ticking on his kingship. There are several instances where
Saul tried to kill David, and this was another one of those. Saul knew that there were some romantic feelings between David and his daughter Michal (isn’t that a boy’s name?) so this was a plot to get David killed. In that time, it was customary for a man to pay a price for the woman he wanted to marry to her father. David was self-admittedly a poor man and therefore couldn’t pay the king much. So, Saul was pretending to be a good father-in-law and told him not to worry
about paying a big price for her, just kill some guys and bring me their foreskins. Dismembering your enemies after defeat in battle has been seen quite a bit throughout history. The dismembered body parts were like trophies brought back from war. The Egyptians often cut off genitals or hands and brought them back. There is another instance in Genesis 34 where the foreskins were collected, and then the men were all killed. Even in recent history, people used to be “scalped” during the Indian wars in the USA. People's scalps, including their hair, would be removed from their head and collected.
Saul used his daughter as a way to get David killed in battle. The plan was intricate, though. Even if David succeeded in bringing Saul the foreskins of these men, he would now be the king’s son-in-law. That would make him a prime target whenever he accompanied the Israelites in battle. Saul was trying to use his position and the love David and Michal had for each other in order to satisfy the desires of his wicked heart, and it didn’t matter if they were satisfied now or later.
Sometimes it surprises us how wicked certain people in the Bible were. How could Saul set up his future son-in-law to be killed? However, it is the heart that our Lord looks at. Not just the actions. In Saul’s heart, David was enemy number one. 1 John 3:14-15 says this –
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
How do you feel about your enemies? A lot of us read verses about enemies and brush them off because we associate enemies with war or something else that’s more serious than everyday life. How do you feel about your boss that belittles you? How do you feel about your relative that gossips about you? How do you feel about the mechanic that ripped you off? Do you love them?
Just something to think about as you go through your day. With the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, God can remove our hard hearts and replace them with soft hearts that are full of love. Remember what Jesus did for you on the cross. He loved you when you did not love Him yet.
I love you guys
Happy Weird Verse Wednesday!