Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Crazy Man

Whilst David was on the run from Saul, he took his band of men into Philistine territory to settle. There, the locals picked him up and took him to one of their authorities, concerned that this "Israelite" was actually a spy - someone who was going to infiltrate them from the inside. Being not a spy and desperately needing a place to hide out from Israel, David begins acting like a madman in the official's presence (think: drooling on himself and speaking nonsense) and the authority is convinced that he's nothing at all. In fact, he dismisses both David and the locals and says, "What? Do I have any shortage of madmen on my own?" There are enough crazy persons in the world; why did you bring me another one?

Except...David might have actually been crazy.

The Philistine town to which he ran, with at least 600 men, was Gath. That may sound familiar to you from the name of a semi-famous character from the Bible - Goliath of Gath. If you're playing along at home, this is the giant that David killed just a few chapters ago, sealing a victory for all of Israel. So David-the-Giant-Killer runs to the hometown of the giant he killed while trying to escape the friend-turned-enemy for whom he secured the victory. 

Who's crazy now?

And don't think, oh, the people of Gath probably don't know anything about that. It's not like there was social media or even a legitimate newspaper back then. They probably thought nothing of little David except that he was an Israelite (which was enough). They probably didn't even know how Goliath died. 

Except...when the Philistines later kill Israel's King Saul, they behead him in exactly the same way that David beheaded Goliath. They knew. And they didn't forget. And every man on that battlefield that day, many of whom likely came from Gath with Goliath, knew what this little runt of a man, David, looked like. 

It's a strange place, then, to hide out with a massive army of followers. By yourself, you slew the champion of the town and now, you stroll in with 600 men and asked for a place to stay so that your former boss doesn't kill you. And now, drooling on yourself and speaking nonsense makes perfect sense.

David was insane.

It's not that the leader of Gath was wrong - there are enough crazy persons in the world. More than enough, really. But David wasn't just crazy; he was a brilliant, faithful kind of crazy. And that...that's rare. We could use more of that in our world. 

Because somehow, by his special kind of crazy, David was able to hide in the last place that Saul would ever think to look for him - among his enemies, among the family of the man he just killed - and he was able to convince his enemies that he wasn't worth bothering about. Somehow, David found safety in the most dangerous place in all the world for him. It's crazy, but that's how God works. That's exactly how God works.

Could you use a little more crazy in your life? I could. Not drooling-on-yourself, speaking-nonsense kind of crazy, but a brilliant, faithful kind of crazy that ends up safe amid danger, loving amid hate, living amid death. It's the kind of crazy God uses, and it's the kind of crazy we need. 

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