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Joab – NEVERMORE! 


As David was ageing, Joab told David: My lord, I am your cousin and I take the liberty of this relationship to tell you that Kingdom is not easy to divide like other property. My Lord should decide who is going to rule in your stead. Again taking advantage of my relationship of an uncle to all My Lord’s sons, I should say that Adonijah would fit well. David shot back: Where does that leave Solomon? Is he not superior in all imperial skills to Adonijah?
I agree! Yes I agree, but we should consider pedigree.

Bathsheba was an adulteress once. That My Lord regularised it through breach of at least four commandments of Moses, notwithstanding.
But that is known to only three of us and only you are not the interested party, and that’s why your thoughts stray thus, said an angry David.

Abhishaag had been reporting all these conversations to Solomon, when ever he came to see his father alone.
For Solomon, that was a shock, that his mother was an adulteress. Now his fertile imagination wanted a proof as to whether Bathsheba had become a fallen woman before her marriage or after her marriage to David.

In the former case, he deduced that she ought to have been married to someone else than David his father. Adultery had not had such a low threshold then, it had to be physical. Solomon couldn’t handle that his mother had lied to him. But when no occasion arose, how could I hold it against her? , thought Solomon.
But given to nuanced thinking he thought: yeah, it was for my father David’s sake Bathsheba had committed adultery. After all who could have resisted him except Mehrab, with her princessly arrogance at a skillful upstart!

There was a pristine side to the man who gave mankind the fifty first Psalm – How to handle adultery, post-facto, with abject surrender before God. Uriah wasn’t alive for David to fall at his feet. There he surrenders to God unconditionally.

So Solomon thought: But she was an adulterer, for whose sake, didn’t matter.

There Solomon felt a certain sense of uncurious forgiveness for Bathsheba. A bonding, shiningly built on decency of a mom-son relationship.
Solomon wanted the kingdom now, not to hold power but to keep that secret between just his father David and his mother Bathsheba.
Joab has to go! Joab HAS TO GO! No IAM GOING TO SEND HIM FROM WHERE THERE IS NO RETURN!
Joab never ever returned to haunt his mother or his mind!!!!!!

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.

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