Schrödinger’s David

In the Bible, we are presented with two Davids. The one is a proprietor king, stealing a man’s wife and then having his life taken; a schemer in his own way, and someone corrupted by power.

But there is also the David of the Psalms, who glorifies God, is repentant, and sings poems to the heavenly Zion.

So, is Schrödinger’s David at play here? Are both David’s both here and there at the same time?

In the essay On a Limb, the following point was made:

Therefore, the path between the will of the flesh (i.e., our will) and that of God wholly resides with us. What direction will our life take? I think this is part of what Saint Paul was getting at. I also think he is saying that even the children of slavery can become free children, full members of the household of God. Your path is not predetermined. All it takes is to be born according to the Spirit, whoever you are, whatever your social status, and wherever you may live.

In Genesis 9, in the aftermath of the Flood, Noah pronounces a curse on Canaan, the son of Ham, and a blessing on Shem. In the Table of Nations from chapter 10, we have the territory of the sons of Canaan and that of the sons of Shem intersecting.

So, where Canaan begins and ends geographically. . . is tricky. The ambiguity is intentional, in that the land can become either a place filled with God’s blessing, or a curse, depending on human behavior.

In this sense, there is no one David. The David of the Bible can be either the one who glorifies God, or the one who harms the neighbor. Shem or Canaan.

What path will your life take?