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Posts tagged ‘abner’

David, the shrewdest king of Israel!


My dad asked me, ” Why did David try to get Michal, daughter of Saul, after he was accepted by the tribe of Judah as their king, considering the fact that she was cohabiting with another person by name Phlatiel?”

With his vast sense of righteousness and the commandment : THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, to back him, he thought he had stumped me.

I had thought it all out!

I said, IT IS NOT WHY, BUT WHEN, that we should occupy our consideration. David knew he was gypped in the case of Mehrab, when he defeated Goliath. Through his second attempt to get to be the son-in-law he gets the foreskins of the uncircumcised, and gets Michal. The RIGHT to have Michal had been sealed through performance of the bride price, and he had CONSUMMATED his relationship as his wife, yet Saul to spite him uses the old old civil death concept and gets her married to Phlatiel! 

David did not go after her like Samson before him, just because his wife has been wrongly given to someone else. HIS PATIENCE COUPLED WITH HOPE made him wait till he was crowned the king at Hebron.

The TIDE TURNED.

Ishboseth asks a foolish question regarding another woman called Rizpah to his commander Abner and Abner, who was sensing the dwindling fortunes of Ishboseth, quickly abandons Ishboseth, citing the Rizpah episode as the reason.

It is at this juncture that David the shrewdest king CLAIMS HIS RIGHT TO MICHAL.

David was no fool, there is no point in being a wise one like Solomon and own an array of foreign princesses and spending his TIME on aesthetic pursuits without consolidating the foundation laid by his father David, ASSIDUOUSLY.

Nor was David a victim of the woman’s VANITY. David cared a fig for what Michal thought of David’s naked performance before his God! In fact he says that it was the same God who made him the King of Israel instead on being merely the son in law of the king! Therefore HE DIDN’T MIND LOOKING VILER IN THE EYES OF THE PRINCESS’ HANDMAIDENS!

Whereas, the biggest fool Solomon, who was running on the steam of his father David, expends the steam in the service of all those alien princesses who adorned his outward magnificence as accessories to his Kingship!

David tells Abner, get the woman Michal, for whom David had made a tally of 100 foreskins as the bride price! Abner, who was the Commander to the Army of Saul and for Abner and his brothers David had carried parched gram, figs etc. when the Giant Goliath was challenging the Israelites to send a challenger to fight him. Further, Abner was the one who once took him to Saul and recommended David as the challenger to Goliath. Abner now returns meekly and yanks the woman from the bosom of Phlatiel and “restores” Michal to David !

That’s MANLINESS OF DAVID coupled with COURAGE to withstand the guile of the woman worshiping men, and advantage seeking tantrum-ing princesses!

David KNEW WHEN TO CLAIM EVEN HIS RIGHTS! That made him the man he was, not succumbing to the sinuous, sensuous and emotional appeals of the feminine LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI!

David was the Man, maybe Jehu comes close, but without the poetic skills or the pioneering spirit of David, though!

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FGAG – Paul Thangaiah!


In INDRA NAGAR, Bangalore there is a very popular church among Christians by name Full Gospel Assemblies of God, the chief pastor being one Paul Thangiah. He speaks forcefully and i like listening to him! I do not go to his church as fundamentally the beliefs subscribed to by FGAG is contrary to my belief system. However, as a Christian who is open minded and listen to the various interpretations of the Bible, i am not averse to listening to his sermons. Pastor Paul Thangiah is a forceful speaker and appears to believe in the brand of Christianity which places a lot of emphasis on personal  epiphany of Christianity.

What is PERSONAL EPIPHANY OF CHRISTIANITY?

Well when Paul of Tarsus, was on his way to Damascus armed with letters for persecution from the Synagogue of Jerusalem, he was struck with blindness and subsequently converted to Christianity and also cured of his blindness through the prayers of one Annanias of Damascus. This personal intervention of Jesus was cited by Paul to be the reason for his choice by Christ himself, for him to become the Apostle of the Gentiles. Good luck to his beliefs! The brand of Christianity which Paul spread through his ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES is still seen as the model to be emulated by some Christians. Paul Thangiah belongs to that class of Christians who believe in the CHURCH ORGANIZATION more than eternal personal vigilance to be a Christian of DEEDS. This i believe, should also exist, as without an ORGANIZATION there is no way Christianity would be ably represented in POLITICAL FORA. But  this Sunday, i heard Pastor Paul Thangiah speak of some junior pastors who are supposed to be working against the Church leadership of his FGAG. Those are internal issues a i have nothing against it, nor should i have and therefore i have no issues against it.

However, he compared those rebellious minded pastors to that of Joab , the Commander-in-Chief of the army of David, the king of Israel. Joab killed Abner, the Commander-in-Chief of Saul. Abner had met David privately, and had assured David of bringing the tribes of Benjamin and others under the authority of David. It is not clear from the Bible, if that was to be brought about through a rapprochement between Ishbosheth and David, or through betrayal of Ishbosheth by Abner. In any case, before such an arrangement could take effect, Joab kills Abner citing avenging the earlier killing of Joab’s brother by Abner. Later, Joab supports Adonijah in his succession efforts, but gets upstaged by the cleverness of Bathsheba and Solomon, is made King of Israel. As per Solomon, his father David at the time of his death had told Solomon that Shimei and Joab should not be allowed to have a natural death, as the former had insulted David while David was fleeing the takeover bid of Absalom and the latter, as Joab had shed blood during peace time by killing Abner.

If there was one person who was loyal to David, it was Joab, as he was firstly a blood relative to David, their mothers were sisters! In Bathsheba’s matter, it was he who carried out the orders of  David in executing Uriah, so that David could legitimize his relationship with Bathsheba. Moreover, there is at least one instance wherein Joab sent for David just before taking over a city in a battle, so that David could have the GLORY and not him (Joab). Joab’s advice to David after the death of Absalom is laudable. So to malign Joab is merely falling into the HISTORY WRITTEN BY THE VICTOR. Since Solomon’s elder brother was supported by Joab and as Joab probably had the letter of David sent for setting up Uriah, Solomon’s mother’s first husband, Solomon MUST HAVE BEEN KEEN on eliminating Joab and therefore USED DAVID’S NAME TO JUSTIFY SOLOMON’S ACTS!

Pastor Paul Thangiah uses the symbol of Joab, to describe the pastors who had probably undermined his authority in FGAG. This seems to be without a proper parallel. Pastor Paul Thangiah’s outburst was interesting- at least it showed how offended he was by others’ deeds.

Of Leaders & Leadership!


There have been a lot of discussion and opinions strewn about Leaders and Leadership with reference to the recently concluded LIST II elections in the various states of India, especially with reference to UTTAR PRADESH.

LEADER  is a post- facto determination OF A PERSON’S LEADERSHIP.  Anointment as a leader may legitimize his decisions and also empower him, but to exhibit LEADERSHIP, he should PERFORM & DELIVER. Otherwise, like Humayun in the string of the Great Mughals, would be treated as a mere HYPHEN which connected the other two Great Mughals, Babur and Akbar!

Let me expatiate on this point through the story of DAVID & GOLIATH.

Goliath was a Philistine champion. A person who prided on his skills in a one-to-one battle. He had a spear and sword to offend, a buckler, greaves and a helmet to defend and  heckled at the Jewish forces to engage him in a duel. On the other side was the King Saul and his chief of his army Abner. So both Saul and Abner were LEADERS! But they did not want to engage, as they were too big to get into duels with single individuals and expose themselves to the vagaries of a battle. They, though were LEADERS were relying on their POSITIONAL ADVANTAGE to find a person who could win the combat, yet were not willing to engage themselves in the combat.

So SAUL & ABNER went around scouting for a suitably skilled person  to defeat GOLIATH. This was extent of the leadership by Saul. He used his KINGLY position to side-step facing a combat. He was also a trained warrior- at least after he became a King, he was trained. But ABNER was in that position as a WARRIOR only, so he should have stepped in and taken GOLIATH head on. Yet he skirted the combat and wanted somebody else to fight GOLIATH and get the Jews the victory. Their LEADERSHIP WAS CONFINED TO STRATEGY NOT ACTION!

Eventually DAVID was chosen to combat GOLIATH, I am sure DAVID must have demonstrated his skills as a slinger and Saul and Abner would have seen the advantage in sending DAVID, as  – if David’s skill worked- he would be able to finish off GOLIATH before DAVID came into the range of the spear or sword of Goliath. A good ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION. Saul and Abner were great ADMINISTRATORS, but exhibited poor  LEADERSHIP qualities. 

DAVID grabs the opportunity. DAVID slings GOLIATH to his death and cuts off the head of GOLIATH with Goliath’s own sword!

DAVID DID NOT RETIRE LEAVING THE VICTORY IN THE HANDS OF THE ADMINISTRATORS! He exhibited LEADERSHIP.The women, show to Saul who the REAL LEADER was: they sang, “Saul got his thousands and David his ten thousands!”

He had earlier refused to wear the coat-mail of Saul . David relied on his own USP – SLING AND SWING THE VERDICT. He did it. That was LEADERSHIP. But still Saul and Abner were the leaders of the Jewish group. They reduced themselves to figure heads!

SIMPLE, TO BE A LEADER YOU NEED A CROWD WHICH RECOGNIZES YOU AS THE LEADER. BUT TO EXHIBIT LEADERSHIP YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO DIE FOR THE CAUSE.

DAVID WAS WILLING TO DIE, BUT WON THE BATTLE WITH HIS SKILLS. That makes for LEADERSHIP.

Like what Benjamin Netanyahu said, “IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK, LOOKS LIKE A DUCK AND QUACKS LIKE A DUCK, WHAT DO YOU CALL IT? A DUCK. IF IT IS FITTED WITH A NUCLEAR HEAD THEN IT IS A NUCLEAR DUCK!”

So PERFORMANCE (which means FUNCTIONS) matter. Merely calling someone a LEADER is nothing but a feudal technique of management. One should exhibit LEADERSHIP TRAITS to be called a LEADER in a DEMOCRACY.

Let us get our fundamentals right!!

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