Israel reported last week that it successfully tested its latest missile defense system. Known as “David’s Sling,” it is designed to shoot down midrange missiles from Hezbollah rockets originating from Lebanon.
I don’t want to get bogged down in a discussion about Israel’s right to defend itself. What I want to do is explore the biblical reference to “David’s Sling” and what it might mean for us. The name is an obvious allusion to the story of David’s victory over Goliath. It’s a favorite biblical story for many Sunday school teachers, but a conundrum for those teachers who take mimetic theory seriously. Mimetic theory claims that violence belongs to humans, not to God. It also states that the Bible progressively reveals this message about violence to us. And yet, the connection between God and violence permeates the Bible, with God apparently sanctioning violence against God’s enemies.
So we rightly ask, “What about all the violence in the Bible?”
Another amazing grassroots effort in the Middle East is Combatants for Peace, a group of former Palestinian fighters and Israeli soldiers who have united to reject violence and tell their stories to each other as a way of finding peace.
When President Obama was giving his speech in Cairo, I was just across the Red Sea in Aqaba, Jordan, and caught a glimpse on a corner store TV, the translation making it hard to hear his words.