When I study the scriptures, I try to really “read between the lines” to get a sense of the humanity of scriptural characters. I love the scriptures. I also love love.
We have our classic love stories- Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, etc.- but I often wonder about the love “back stories” of many others. It is my dream to produce a series of films titled “The Untold Love Stories of the Scriptures.”
Here are some of my ideas:
1. Adam and Eve. Let’s start at the very beginning. This film would really just be a variation on the story of the creation and the fall, but with an emphasis on the relationship between Adam and Eve. They’re in the garden and everything is all good until Eve meets the serpent. In most biblical depictions, Eve’s decision to partake of the fruit is rather immediate. But in my story, she would emotionally and mentally labor for weeks (or whatever that translates to in Eden time) over the decision to stay with her dear, lovely, Adam, or to seek self-fulfillment by partaking of the fruit. Her decision to partake of the fruit serve as the main plot-thickening agent. The climax happens when she tells Adam what she has done, and the resolution comes when Adam decides that he loves her enough to also partake of the fruit and be cast out with the woman who was willing to be cast out even without him.
2. David and Bathsheba. David is one of my very favorite characters of the Old Testament. He was a spiritual giant who defeated a literal giant, and his exhibition of such great faith is what makes his demise (his affair with Bath-sheba and the killing of her husband, Uriah) particularly cutting. But what if it wasn’t so simple? I picture David and Bath-sheba s having been childhood sweethearts, promising to one another that they would be together forever. As a matter of fact, when Samuel first sends for him, he isn’t with the sheep, but with Bathsheba, hanging out in a tree and flirting over fruit. He promises that he will see her soon, but learns that that very evening she and her family were captured by the Philistines. So his defeat of Goliath is really an act of love. Israel defeats the Phillistines, but Bathsheba and her family are unable to be found…that is, until the night David sees her bathing from his roof. He inquires after her and learns that her husband, Uriah, while being a faithful soldier, beats Bath-sheba and is a wine bibber. David can’t handle the idea of his childhood love being hurt and sends for her to come visit him. They go on a walk to the very fruit tree where he left her, and an affair ensues. Upon learning of her pregnancy and wanting to protect her honor, David sends Uriah home to be with his wife. But Uriah has caught word of the affair and refuses to protect the king and his wife in their adultery. He now hates David and wants to expose him, so he doesn’t go home. David gets angry, but the decision to put Uriah at the front lines of battle is actually Bath-sheba’s.
3. Laman and the oldest daughter of Ishmael. Poor Laman and Lemuel, they get such a bad reputation! Can you imagine being one of their wives- a daughter of Ishmael? One day your dad tells you that you are going off into the wilderness to follow some visionary guy because his apostate sons need wives. Sounds like a pretty bad deal, if you ask me. Unless there’s more to the story. Let’s say that back in Jerusalem, before Lehi and his family left, Laman and the oldest daughter of Ishmael were actually in love. The daughter becomes pregnant, and gives Laman the exciting news. That very night, however, the people of Jerusalem show up at Lehi’s house and run them out of town. Laman has to decide between staying with his love and possibly endangering her and their unborn child (since the angry mobs will continue to target him), or leave and probably never see them again. He decides to leave, and swears in his wrath that he will never forgive his father or brother for the circumstances they created. On one of his trips back to Jerusalem, he visits the daughter, and swears that if she will but wait, he will come for her. He and his brothers come for her and her entire family just a few weeks before their baby girl becomes the first child to be born in the wilderness.