April 15, 2014

​Taking the Book to Heart

By Mary Therese Biebel

king and his rebellious son struggle to control the kingdom.

warrior is caught by his hair on a tree branch, dangling and vulnerable to an
enemy who has a sword.

a powerful man sees a woman taking a bath, decides he must have her, and orders
her husband into the most dangerous part of a battle, where he is sure to be

this drama can be found in 2 Samuel, an Old Testament book young members of the Wyoming Valley Falcons
Pathfinders Club had to study to prepare for an international competition
affectionately called “the Bible Bowl.”

Shae-Lyn Briggs, right, and Micaela Herman of the Wyoming Valley Falcons Pathfinders Club have each concentrated on different chapters in the book of 2 Samuel. [Photo: Sunday Dispatch] “Set
BLANK in the BLANK of the BLANK and BLANK from him,” Fred “Papa” Herman said
during a recent practice at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Hudson section of Plains Township [Pennsylvania].

Uriah in the forefront of the battle and withdraw from him, that he may be
struck down and die,” one of the young Pathfinders said, filling in the blanks
in a message King David sent to arrange the death of Uriah the Hittite.

of the 90 questions that were asked on Saturday April 12 in Takoma Park,
Maryland, in a competition for more than 80 teams from North America, United
Kingdom, and the Philippines, were completed that way.

questions took a different format, such as: “What was the message Bathsheba
sent to David?”

am with child.”

kind of tools did the people of Rabbah use?

used saws, iron picks and axes.”

David told a foreigner named Ittai to go home, how did he respond?

the Lord lives, and as my Lord the king lives, wherever my Lord the king may
be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”

Pathfinders, whose Bible-centered club sports uniforms similar to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,
seemed to know all the answers word for word.

they came close.

one point Herman asked about a woman named Tamar. Fifteen-year-old Adam McElwee
said her clothes were torn and she had ashes on her head to show she was in

shook his head. “Not ashes but dust,” he said.

If a
scorer at the international competition deemed “ashes” incorrect, the students
had a right to appeal to judges, pointing out, for example, that “ashes” and
“dust” can mean the same thing.

for an example of how their Bible Bowl preparation helped in real life,
16-year-old Shae-lyn Briggs said, “I can be a perfectionist sometimes, and I
like to think of the verse, ‘I can do all things through God who strengthens
me.’ Then I won’t be so hard on myself.”

story about King David taking Uriah’s wife and having Uriah killed teaches a
lesson that “if you sin you can always come back and God will forgive you,” the
students said.

“But you’ve
got to ask,” McElwee added.