I just want to share some thoughts on 1 Samuel 19 today. In addition to John 21:15.

Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.

1 Samuel 19:13 (NIV)

After having had two spears thrown at him by Saul, David finally had enough and fled for his life. Since being on the run was no life for his wife, David left Michal at home. Verse 19 tells us that “Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed.” Then, she covered it with a cloth and put some goat hair on the top. Perhaps not the best disguise in the world, but it worked for Ferris Bueller, and it would do long enough for David to flee. The problem is that she uses an idol.

Some translations call it an image or maybe a teraphim. Except for the Septuagint that says it was a goat’s liver. Hmmm. It turns out that a goat’s liver allegedly palpitates after it’s dead and might look like a sick person’s chest rising and falling if it were covered by a blanket. Since the Hebrew word used for an idol is “teraphim,” I’m sticking with that. What is a teraphim? An idol that is believed to perform some sort of function. A household god. They might have looked like something we see in this image. We know they vary in size since the one Michal used was large enough to be mistaken for a person in bad light when it had a blanket covering it, while the one that Rachel stole was small enough to fit into her saddle (cf. Genesis 31:19).

Even though the Israelites were to only worship God, it’s apparent that they still had idols around. Maybe something like the idol Michal used was only a “good luck” charm, but it was still an idol with some sort of belief instilled into it. We do the same thing. I have a tie that I used to always wear for job interviews since it seemed to be my “lucky tie.” Do you ever read your horoscope, take those Facebook “quizzes” that reveal your personality, etc? While these are not exactly the same as the idol Michal used, I see them as sort of the same thing. 

Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?”

Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?'”

1 Samuel 19:17 (NIV)

Whenever I read this verse it bothers me because Michal threw David under the bus. I understand that she was probably afraid of Saul, but she didn’t need to give him more ammunition to hate David. Given that women had little rights in those days, she probably could have just said David told her to do it. In contrast, we have Jonathan, who went to Saul, reminding him of how good a guy David was. Jonathan told Saul he shouldn’t be trying to kill David. Saul indeed tries to kill Jonathan later on, but at this point, I sort of see a juxtaposition between Michal and Jonathan. 

Onward to John

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

John 21:15 (NIV)

At this point in the Gospel, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter three times, crucified, and then raised from the dead (very short version). Peter and several other disciples were out fishing, saw the Lord, and are now sitting down and eating with him. Jesus then asks Peter the question we see in John 21:15. When I read that today, I noticed that Jesus didn’t refer to Peter as “Peter.” He referred to him as “Simon son of John.” Why doesn’t Jesus refer to him as Peter?

In John 1:42, Jesus says to Peter, “you are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas.” This new name reflected Peter’s new life as a disciple of Christ. When Peter denied Jesus, he “stumbled” as a disciple. He turned away from the path of following God and back to where he was before. Therefore, when Jesus calls him “Simon son of John” again in John 21:15, I see it as a reflection of who Peter turned back to. Peter had turned away from the path he had been on back to his old life. This is why Jesus asks him if he loves him more than “these.” The “these” are the nets, fish, and those things that represent Peter’s old life before Jesus. 

Well, that’s all I have for today. I hope this Resurrection Sunday finds you well. Thanks for stopping by!