I love biographies. I read a lot of them because there is no better way to learn about life and ideas. In fact, I have come to believe that history is best understood through personal stories. While summations and generalizations may be useful at times, none of us actually lives in the general. For each of us, life is an immersion in the personal. There is no escaping how we are implicated and involved in what happens to us and through us. What I like about biography is that nothing is abstracted, nothing is generic. Everything is immediate and personal: challenge and character, moment and decision, grace and folly. Biography helps us see the dramatic quality of what we are part of. Biography keeps us tuned to how life actually works. This summer we are going to immerse ourselves in the stories of David, take on his biblical biography as it were. David is one of the most extensively narrated characters in Scripture and we need to get to know him and his story well. What adds to the interest is this: not only do we have an extensive record of his outer life -- the pathway he took to become king of Israel, his successes and failures, joys and heartbreaks -- we also have an extensive record of his inner life, the collections of songs and prayers we know as the Psalms. Approximately half of the psalms were written or inspired by David, and many of them are rooted in real historical moments.
So let me suggest that you take on the letters of Samuel and the Psalms as your summer Bible reading. They go together, outer and inner life, what can be seen in the world of action and event, and what can only be known because the heart has been exposed through words. You will find the stories of David to be a tremendous learning experience, and that is because these are real and honest stories, and always deeply personal.
Here is our summer series, The Stories of David, the third installment in our Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Bible. We hope that you can take it all in, whether live or through podcast.
June 26 -- David and Samuel: upsetting the order I Samuel 16:1-13
July 3 -- David and Goliath: living with a God-dominated imagination I Samuel 17
July 10 -- David and Saul: service in hostile settings 1 Samuel 16:14-23; 18-19
July 17 -- David and Jonathan: friendship in the midst of struggle 1 Samuel 18-20
July 24 -- David and the Desert: life in wait 1 Samuel 21-24
July 31 -- David and his Company: a community of misfits 1 Samuel 22:2
August 7 -- David and the Kingdom: the city, the kingdom, and the promise 2 Samuel 5-7
August 14 -- David, Abigail, and Mephibosheth: kindness received and given 1 Samuel 25; 2 Samuel 9
August 21 -- David, Bathsheba and Nathan: correction and repentance 2 Samuel 11-12
August 28 -- David and Absalom: heartbreak and loss 2 Samuel 15-18
September 4 -- David and God: worship and a truly human life the Psalms