Iron Man and King David

Iron Man. Tony Stark as King David

The Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart. The Lord lifted him up. He went from being the least respected son of a family to becoming the greatest king of Israel despite his flaws.

Tony Stark the weapons manufacturer in “Iron Man” reminds me of King David. Tony is a deeply flawed man who managed to rise above his shortcomings to do great good.

Tony’s ego, arrogance, recklessness, and brashness are legendary. He ignored common sense advise and chose to do things his own way, often leaping before he looked. He loved women, fast cars, and drinking to excess. He totally lived for himself and his appetites.

He even admitted his shortcomings: “Well, good, because that would be outlandish and, uh, fantastic. I’m just not the hero type. Clearly. With this laundry list of character defects, all the mistakes I’ve made, largely public.”

His quest to do good started after his kidnapping by terrorists who wanted him to create a powerful weapons system. He saw they had stockpiled a huge cache of the weapons his company had created.

After this, too, Stark improved upon the crude body armor suit he and another captive scientist had created, giving birth to Iron Man. His new superhero role did not eliminate his ego and arrogance, although it did redirect his creative energies.

He powered the Iron Man suit with an Arc Reactor that protected his heart from shrapnel embedded in his chest. Tony could not live long without the reactor. He used the power source that was vital to his heart to do good.

Like Tony, King David had a powerful heart. David performed mighty works in God’s name, such as slaying the giant Goliath. David refused to dress up as a warrior, instead relying on his faith in God to carry him through the battle (1 Samuel 17).

For all his faithful actions, David was a flawed, sinful man like all other people. His failings include adultery and murder. Yet he always repented and sought after God.

The Ark of the Covenant was a holy, awe-inspiring object that carried God’s presence among the Israeli army to wipe out their enemies. It contained the Ten Commandments tablets. It was supposed to be carried on a particular set of poles in a systematic way that God had specified. Yet King David tried carrying it on a cart (2 Samuel 6). During the transport, the Ark shifted and a man, Uzzah, touched the Ark to steady it. That would be an understandable reaction. However, David had not been following God’s directions, nor was a person supposed to touch the Ark in that manner. So God smote Uzzah. David quickly began transporting the Ark the correct way.

David even acted weird like Tony—in a way. David danced in a procession with the Ark. There is confusion on what happened with the dance. Some people believe he danced naked. However, if you read the Bible closely, you see that David wore a linen ephod, a priest’s garment (Exodus 39).

Michal, David’s first wife, was upset. She confronted David and accused him of dancing half-naked in front of the female servants and basically said his behavior was not fit for the king of Israel. David retorted that God chose him as king, not her father, and so he would “play before the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:21). The Lord must have been pleased by David’s dancing; the king was humbling himself by wearing simple priests’ robes and not his royal garments, and he was worshiping the Lord with enthusiasm. The 23rd verse goes on to say, “Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.”

Despite his flaws, God called David a man after His own heart.

Scripture

Psalm 25:11—For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

Questions

  • Why do you think God punished Uzzah and Michal? Do you believe those to be just punishments? Why? Does God have the ultimate right to decide what is right and wrong?
  • What does the Bible mean that David is a man after God’s own heart? If a man who has sinned can be a man after God’s own heart, what does that mean for you and everyone else?
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