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Carole Boshart– who basically took over the “a simple desire” scripture commentary blog that I and a few others used to contribute to — had a good post this weekend. Reblogging it here because it dovetails with my own present writing project: a musical comedy stage play called *Uncertain Shepherds*, featuring the shepherds to whom angels appeared outside Bethlehem upon the birth of Jesus. Also, my home church is doing an E100 trip thru the Bible this spring, and we read some similar material from I Kings not long ago.
Originally posted on a simple desire:
“I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep that have no shepherd; and the Lord said, “These have no master; let each one go home in peace.” (I Kings 22:17b-c from I Kings 22:1-40)
Context is important. Jesus noted the similarity between the people he was sent to and lost sheet who had no one to lead them; “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35 + 36)
But this is not the situation here in I Kings. Micah was asked by the king of Israel what the success of the King of Israel and the King of Judah would be going up against Ramoth-gilead and the king of Aram. Micah at first did not want to say, but then revealed that the soldiers of Israel (and Judah) would be scattered and lost. It would have been better than for both kings to stay home. The king of Judah survived the battle but saw his soldiers defeated. The king of Israel was wounded and died from his wounds.