Last night was the second installation of The Bible miniseries, and unlike the excitement I found myself feeling during the first week, this week I felt a sense of frustration, mostly because I wanted more than the abridged versions of the stories that we saw.
During last night’s episode we dipped our toes into the Books of Joshua, Judges and 1&2 Samuel. The show started with Joshua and God’s plan for the Israelites to enter into the Promised Land by taking the city of Jericho. Joshua’s obedience to do exactly as God’s angelic messenger advised, proved once again the faithfulness of God to fulfill all He promised.
We next jump into the Book of Judges, a time when Israel was in great political and religious turmoil. It was a time when Israel followed this crazy cycle. They’d turn away from God through idolatry or disbelief, God would then bring judgement through foreign oppressors, and then He would raise up a deliverer-or judge. The people would turn back to God, and then the cycle would start over again. Last night we met one of the more iconic judges of the Bible, Samson. The mini-series sort of brushed over the fact that Samson was a Nazirite, and what that meant. They did show how Samson’s mother, who was barren, received an angelic message that she would have a son, who would be favored of God and have great strength, and who must never cut his hair. I wish that more explanation had been given to this, and that it didn’t come off sounding like some randomly weird promise.
Next came the story of Saul, the first king of Israel and the prophet Samuel. This section of the series unfolded into several bloody battle scenes, which was capped off with the disobedience of Saul to God’s orders in battle. This act of disobedience led to Saul losing favor with God. Samuel then sought out to find David, a young shepherd, to be the next king of Israel. After the well known battle between he and Goliath, David became a great warrior, obedient to not only God but to King Saul. This proved tricky though, since Saul sought to kill David. When Saul finally died, falling on his own sword, David indeed did become the King of Israel. Victoriously dancing in the streets of Jerusalem, as he brought the Ark of the Covenant to the place where a great temple would be built to house it. Prophet Nathan advises David that not he, but his son would actually build God’s Temple.
There was a good deal of time spent of the lustful and adulterous behavior between David and Bathsheba. While the series covered the sin part well, I wanted to see David more repentant. Knowing the great love David had for God, I wanted to see that displayed on the screen.
As this miniseries unfolds, I’m left with a bit of ambivalence. I understand that ten hours is not enough time to adequately tell these amazing Bible stories, especially when 1/3 of that time is spent on commercials. I’ve read so many comments about this series, both positive and negative. But does watching this series make you want to open your Bible? If you, who already know Scripture say, “yes”, we can only pray that others who may not even own a Bible are just as intrigued by these characters. We can pray that this series, with all its flaws, will still serve as a catalyst to get people interested in God’s Word. And not only His Word, but His plan of Salvation through Jesus! If God can use flawed men (and women) of the Bible to bring about His will and share His message, I’m positive He can use an imperfect script and a somewhat poorly cast miniseries, too!
Did you watch The Bible last night? What was your take on the series so far?
Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributing writer/blogger to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She has been a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville,TN. Follow her personal blog posts on Talking Like A Girl.