It is great that the stories of the Bible are so integral to children’s curricula. But I am concerned that it often focuses too heavily on exploring what the human characters do.
Consider the story of David and Goliath. Traditional approaches make David the hero, whose behavior is to be imitated. Goliath is the villain and his behavior is to be avoided (if his role is explored at all). The actions of King Saul and the other soldiers (for example, David’s brothers) are also noted as negative examples of fear.
Who is this story really about? Ask David. Whose reputation is David concerned about? How is it that David has so much confidence when everyone around him is terrified? David’s heroic behavior arises from his worldview that sets his beliefs and grounds his values. David knows who the main character is–God!
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. (1 Samuel 17:45, 46 NIV)