good villains bad heroes
The Bible is filled with apparent heroes. Heroes of the faith. I use the word very loosely, because, the more I’ve spent looking and hearing about these people, I’m not sure any of them measure up to Batman.
We did a series on 1 Samuel and one of my big take-aways was this: Samuel was a jerk. He put Saul in one of the worst positions possible. He put an inordinate amount of pressure on Saul to be this amazing king and then threw him under the bus whenever he could.
This guy was not a hero and we named the book after him?
Then comes David. Oh great King David. If you play out his little war deception and murdering of villages so his deception wouldn’t get out to other countries... if you translate that story in modern times with US military and ISIS as the characters, well, we would hate David. He’s a selfish traitor. That’s before he kills a guy under his control so he can take his wife.
Solomon was called out by God for doing the same thing that Egypt had done. Building a military superpower on the backs of slave labor and trusting in chariots. He was the wise King?
And even Joseph. The great Joseph - one of the greatest stories in all the Bible. Pretty amazing to think that the reason that Jews were enslaved in Israel was because of Joseph.
He stocked up a bunch of Pharaoh’s crops during a famine and then charged the Israelites (his own people) for seven consecutive years, eventually demanding their enslavement as payment.
And we could go on and on but what’s the point?
There are no good guys and bad guys. Pharisees wanted to put labels on good guys and bad guys. They loved pointing out the bad guys thinking they were the good guys.
Unfortunately, they ended up killing the good guy and becoming the bad guys themselves.
We spend a lot of time calling out bad guys. Maybe the good guys recognize that the bad guys are just like them and maybe the bad guys still think there are good guys and bad guys.