The History Channel's The Bible is starting to hit its stride. In the second installment covering the Old Testament, we're taken from The 10 Commandments to David's rise and fall as king. The Old Testament is full of juicy, gritty and brutal stories filled with seduction, murder, adultery and betrayal. It hardly seems like good family fare, but it makes a great story.
Perhaps the real meat of the tale tonight is the rivalry between disgraced King Saul and the newly anointed King David. David does spare Saul's life even when he has him trapped in a cave and easily could have killed him. When Saul dies on a battlefield after a crushing victory for the Philistines, David doesn't rejoice in the news.
In the Old Testament, what's interesting is even the heroes are deeply flawed. While King David conquers Jerusalem and plans to build a glorious temple to God, he seduces and impregnates his best friend's wife, Bathsheba. He then sends his betrayed friend to die to cover up his adultery. The plot seems right out of a soap opera.
Compared to the view of the New Testament, God seems to punish the innocent quite often in the Old Testament. A lot of babies and first borns die in the Old Testament and David's first-born son is no exception. The child David has with Bathsheba from that adulterous night dies as retribution for their sin. That's ridiculously cruel justice even by divine standards.