Category: 1 Samuel

Saul’s narcissism and rage

Saul’s narcissism and rage

In our previous post, we looked at some of King Saul's blame-shifting tactics, and now we come to consider Saul's narcissism and rage. When Saul's desires were frustrated, he lashed out at others. In the story of Israel's war with the Philistines at this time, Samuel...

Saul’s blame-shifting tactics

Saul’s blame-shifting tactics

Saul's blame-shifting tactics are typical of abusers When we consider the theme of non-apologies in the Bible, Saul's blame-shifting tactics stand out. But one of the amazing things we see in his story is the difference between him and his son, Jonathan. Jonathan is...

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Jesus talked about the difference between good and bad people with directness and clarity we don’t often hear repeated. He certainly never claimed we could be perfect. He died, willingly, knowing that was the depth of our need for God’s help. But at the same time, Jesus was very clear about standards of behaviour that we could follow, despite our imperfect ethics. He continually reinforced how critical it was for us to follow those standards, for the sake of others.

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

"Sons of Belial" is a Hebrew term that can help us find stories of abuse in the Bible. There are many examples of abuse in the Bible, but as mentioned previously, the Bible doesn’t categorise abuse in the same way we do now. It refers to abusive behaviours as specific...

Abuse of Power and Influence

Abuse of Power and Influence

In his book, Principle-Centred Leadership, Stephen Covey wrote about the difference between the power and influence that come from coercion and structures, and what can come from character. It appears that in his time on earth Jesus waived his structural...

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Yesterday we started looking at Hophni and Phinehas’s behaviour with the women who served at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Was it sexual assault? The strong power imbalance made consent unlikely. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Hophni and Phinehas...

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault?

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault?

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault? The writer of 1 Samuel tells us: Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.1 Samuel...

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Today we start a series looking at Eli, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

When we read 1 and 2 Samuel, and look for what it has to say to us about abuse, we are flooded with stories and examples. This makes sense because what we now categorise broadly as abuse is a grouping of different harmful or toxic behaviours: different sins.

Am I losing my faith? (Anxiety)

Am I losing my faith? (Anxiety)

This series has been looking at the turmoil of abuse and leaving abuse. In that mess, it’s common for a Christian person to wonder, “Am I losing my faith?” Others might have the opposite experience. Yesterday we had a brief look at depression. By brief, I mean we...

Why didn’t Jesus help Lazarus sooner?

Why didn’t Jesus help Lazarus sooner?

Why didn't Jesus help Lazarus sooner? We have been looking over the last few days at the story of Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and Jesus. We've looked at the shock of Jesus not turning up in time to help, and at his deep respect for boundaries. So far, the focus has largely...

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