and Robbers? Think about the pervasive presence of
speed limits in the USA and many other countries.
Clearly, some people feel that they are capable of assigning these speed limits and others, maybe some of the same people, feel that they are capable of enforcing these speed limits. Unfortunately, what motivates so many of these speed limits seems to not be particularly really in the interest of public safety.
I think that both these groups of people, lawmakers and enforcers, should be excited by the opportunity to have their driving speeds be constantly monitored in order to impress on us the importance of these laws and their abilities to follow them as they would have others follow them.
Unfortunately, we all know this will never happen. But, in addition, I'm confident that many of us know of built-in systems where these lawmakers, enforcers and likely some of their friends/family gain exemptions from being subjected to these laws.
Even worse, almost all of these people think/feel they should be paid quite well to force this sort of hypocrisy on everyone else. So who's being the robbers in this situation?
|What if these people are
actually being evaluated by more spiritual, much less hypocritical
beings and it really has impact on many other aspects of their
Most claim they are, but seem to forget this when convenient.
Biblical Story. I am going to cite much of chapter
12 from the Second book of Samuel of the Bible and then discuss it some
to illustrate some major issues. I'll copy some verses from The
New English Bible since most people aren't going to be
familiar with details of the story. A brief summary of the background is in chapter
11. I'll summarize further. David, leader of Israel and
Judah, has set up the husband, Uriah, of a love interest, Bathsheba, to
be killed in battle to cover their liaisons that resulted in a
child. David tried all sorts of ruses to hide the source of the
pregnancy, but they all failed resulting in the battlefield contrivance.
The chapter finishes with Nathan reciting to David what the Lord says will be the consequences of his way of life.
|While issues of whether David
should really be considered a "king" or whether it was common
practice in that day for the men to share their wives with David have
impact on the overall story, the lack of respect for Uriah is
But one major thing I want to point out is that the Lord, through Nathan, did not cite any specific pre-determined laws that David had broken. David was led to convict himself by his own standards, probably higher than typical for the day. This can be seen in the stories since they indicate that this was one of the reasons this Israelite God would have made such efforts with David. In addition, from the perspective of other people, apparently, there was considerable trust for David in order for him to have attained such a position in the midst of large conflict while working for some sort of peace.
"You have pronounced your own sentence!"
It seems to me that several Biblical stories show the prophets working very hard to get their earthly leaders to do this. Why? This effort to get one's self to see one's self may have been because there was no exact law that applied or it may have been that there was no law that came close. It was also likely to have been in large part to get them to see their hypocrisy, maybe develop more empathy and grow.
Even if there is a
specific law, such as "thou shalt not lie", who defines what a lie is?
|My last major comment about
this situation and story has to do with how seldom Nathan appears to
have approached David to correct him when he was clearly in error.
I think this is also clear in the relationship between Samuel and
Saul. While this is my own impression based on some
"evidence", I bring this up because of a belief that people
diminish their impact when they try to dictate too much to others.
They are almost certainly going to be hypocritical to some extent in
doing it, they are also much more likely to be flawed because they get
too sloppy or controlling. Does it also seem to others that the
prophets were quite focused on very large issues and not truly wrapped
up in trying to dictate approaches to a lot of smaller day-to-day
What sorts of things did the prophets truly try to impact?