Hi Jane, My name is Andrew. I live in Fremont, California. It is not very hot here even in the summer.
Guidelines for Gaps in Biblical NarrativesI wrote about the importance of recognizing gaps in biblical literature. Some gaps exist because the inspired author had no interest in filling in the information.
At other times, however, gaps are an artistic way in which the author draws us more deeply into the story by providing tantalizing clues which we are expected to investigate and draw conclusions about.
In my book Family Portraits: Character Studies in 1 and 2 SamuelI seek to do that. Below is an excerpt from my book which seeks to provide an answer to the mysterious actions of Abiathar. In his old age Abiathar makes the fateful error of aligning himself with the wrong man for the throne.
It appears from 1 Kings 1—2 that Solomon was the choice of both David and God for the throne 1: Abiathar is an example of this. Other passages which speak of Abiathar show him to be a loyal follower of David, who carries the ark of God 2 Sam.
Zadok is also mentioned as high priest along with Abiathar, and seems to have eclipsed him in importance.
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It is natural to suppose that, under such circumstances, Abiathar could easily succumb to envy. Scripture provides meager information regarding this dual high priesthood.
Zadok may have been appointed high priest to appease the northern tribes and strengthen the fragile unity between north and south. Whether David preferred Zadok for political, religious, or other reasons, we are not told.
For Abiathar this would have meant that he, and his son Jonathan, would continue to be subordinate to Zadok. Perhaps he even feared that Zadok would become sole high priest. And it seems he succumbed to this temptation. From this small exercise of reading between the lines, we learn an important lesson about accepting the role that God has assigned us.
Grasping for power and importance is a pitfall for many. It is particularly sad to see power and status pursued within the church, and yet, as fallible human beings, like Abiathar, we sometimes succumb to this temptation.
It is far better to have less power and importance and be in the will and blessing of God, than to strive for what God has not ordained for us.
Ironically, in his desire to be the only high priest, he lost his position totally. He and his family were relegated to obscurity as he was forced to retire to his hometown of Anathoth. Like the others involved in the attempted coup, Abiathar was deserving of death. It was only the restraint of Solomon and the mercy of God that kept him from that fate 1 Kings 2: God is merciful, and will even show mercy when we step outside his will, but in our selfishness we can lose his best for our lives and must experience the consequences of our choices, like Abiathar.
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