Of Robin Hood and Corrective Lenses

Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood; a screenshot ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him…. But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
1 Samuel 22:1-2;5 (NIV)

Most people know the childhood story of David and Goliath. Many people know the more adult story of David and Bathsheba. Many people know of King David the great. Few people really know that between the time Samuel anointed David as king and the time that David actually became king, there were over two decades in which David was an outlaw, a wanted man, and a man on the run.

This morning’s chapter is a description of the early days of David’s years as a successful outlaw. There are two observations I made this morning as I read:

  • David is a cunning warrior and a charismatic leader. Wanted by the king, he gathers around himself a rag-tag group of followers who were themselves outcasts. On the advice of the local friar, they take up residence in the forest. Think about that for a second. Does it sound like anyone familiar? Yep, David is the original Robin Hood.
  • The group of people who become David’s closest followers are described as in distress, in debt, and discontented. These are not the polished, educated and well-to-do members of society. These people who gather around David are the dregs of society, and in this David becomes a type of Jesus, who started his own career on the outskirts of Israel with a rag-tag group of disciples who were themselves outcasts and societal leftovers.

As a culture it is easy to become enamored with the best and the brightest, and yet God continually reminds us that His ways are not our ways. As we journey through God’s Message we find that, time and time again, God eschews the best and brightest and surrounds Himself with the dregs. This morning I am once again faced with the hard reality that I spend most of my life looking at things through the lens of contemporary culture and fail to perceive things with a Kingdom perspective.

God, forgive me my spiritual astigmatism. Heal my eyes, or at least give me corrective lenses, that I might see life, circumstance, and others with 20/20 vision of your Kingdom’s perspective.

7 thoughts on “Of Robin Hood and Corrective Lenses”

  1. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander.

    Some leaders attract those who need to be lead. I’m not sure whether I fall into that category, but what I do know is that over the years people have come to me with concerns in every role I’ve been in. My sales role, my leadership role at church, my leadership role in other civic activities, people come to complain and share concerns. It has given me an incredible opportunity to learn from other leaders and the Message how to appropriately handle that leadership role. People go to people they trust. People go to people who listen. People go to people who don’t over-react. Can you and I be people who create calm out of chaos?

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