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Gordon Brown – disingenuous?

David … was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. So he changed his behaviour before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let spittle run down his beard. Then Achish said to his servants, “… you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen…?” … David departed from there and escaped …              1 Samuel 21: 12-15    [circa 1010 BC]


Gordon Brown’s appearance before the Chilcott Inquiry last week gave rise to accusations from leading figures in the British military that he had been disingenuous.


Have you been accused of that?    I have.   


To be “ingenuous” is to be “artless, innocent, straightforward.” Originally an “ingénue” was an “artless, innocent or inexperienced young woman”. To be disingenuous is, well, to be deceitful. And to be deceitful is to be a liar. Oh, dear.


Gordon Brown stands accused. But, possibly, it is those who accuse him who being disingenuous.......


More likely, both sides were, last week, being disingenuous.


Whatever –--- the point is that a certain illustrious king almost exactly 3,000 years ago to the day was also disingenuous. See bold above.


But this King David was the writer of a significant number of Psalms in the Christian Bible. He was God’s appointed King of Israel and to him Almighty God gave promises, including one particular promise that one of his sons would become an everlasting King on an eternal throne. And Jesus was a son of this very King David, born in Bethlehem, David’s birthplace, in Israel in AD 0.


Could such an illustrious, godly, Bible-writing King be disingenuous? Yes, to save his skin.


King David, some years later but whilst still on the throne of the nation, wrote a psalm, a song, about this event.


The song David wrote is preserved, with many others in the Jewish national archives, as Psalm 34 – and now printed into Christian Bibles. It’s headed “Of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.” (Abimelech was a cognomen of Philistine kings – like the ‘Pharaoh’ of the Egyptian kings.)


The two quotations alongside this “Info” are from that Psalm. What do you think about them?


In the first David publicly declares that his own deceit had not saved him......... No. What had?


In the second David publicly declares that the only way forward for any and every person who longs for life and longs to see good is to turn away from disingenuousness. Yes, turn from lies.


Jersey folk face, every single hour, similar dilemmas. Jersey’s bosses and business leaders are in the same position. Jersey’s Ministers also...


Are we all going to pretend? Shall we all continue to feign, maybe, like David, to generate false images of our true selves? Shall we continue to do this in order to escape from the consequences of our disastrous self-seeking and self-protecting decisions? (Before feigning madness King David had foolishly turned to the Philistine king for asylum despite that king’s enmity towards Israel.)


And from whom does help come? Is the God of David on our side? Will he deliver us? Even when we’re disingenuous and (unlike David) ignore him?


If Gordon Brown writes a similar song one day will it be when he is still PM?

‘I sought the LORD and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and delivered him from all his fears.’(King David, Psalm 34: 4, 6, 1040-970 BC)
 ‘Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.’ (King David, Psalm 34: 12-14, 1040-970 BC)
Richard Syvret

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