Wednesday, March 07, 2007

2 Kings, The Power and the Fury

2 Kings, The Power and the Fury, Focus on the Bible,
by Dale Ralph Davis, Christian Focus, 2005, 344pp.
I had heard about the commentaries of Dale Ralph Davis on the historical books of the Old Testament from Joshua to 2 Kings and read some appreciative reviews. But it was only recently that I bought and read one of these books. Here is a commentary with a difference. It is written by a scholar who is abreast of all the critical and interpretive problems of the Old Testament historical texts. But unlike many modern commentaries, this work is a joy to read, shot through as it is with deep theological insight, shafts of quirky humour, lively illustrations and timely application. Davis treats 2 Kings as the Word of God where we can expect to encounter the Lord in all his holiness and grace. His comments on 2 Kings 1 leave us with this thought,
"Of course, you can do what you want with this strange story. You can call it a legend; you can aver that it deals with a primitive level of religion; you can claim that it is morally offensive; or you can face the God of whom it speaks."
You can tell that the commentator is a preacher, not simply an academic! We are taken though 2 Kings in all its power and fury. The Prophets and kings, the heartening reformations and the tragic apostasy are all there as Davis brings the narrative to life. He is sensitive to the thread of Messianic promise that runs though the book and that is visible even at some of the bleakest points of Israel and Judah's checkered history. We are left contemplating God's stubborn determination to redeem his people through "Great David's greater Son". This is no "quiet time" devotional study. This is a commentary that provokes, surprises and challenges us with the uncomfortable truth that the living God cannot be tamed or domesticated. We must meet him on his own terms whether in grace or judgement.
I'll certainly be catching up with the earlier volumes in the series.

1 comment:

Alan Davey said...

Do it quick. They are cracking.

You can get them from on cd-rom.

Good stuff.