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31. 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, Psalms (David and Bathsheba; Consequences)

A Chronological Daily Bible Study of the Old Testament
7-Day Sections with a Summary-Commentary, Discussion Questions, and a Practical Daily Application

Week 31

Sunday (2 Samuel 11-12, 1 Chronicles 20, Psalms 32, 51)

David Commits Adultery with Bathsheba

11:1 In the spring of the year, at the time when kings normally conduct wars, David sent out Joab with his officers and the entire Israelite army. They defeated the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed behind in Jerusalem. 11:2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. Now this woman was very attractive. 11:3 So David sent someone to inquire about the woman. The messenger said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”

11:4 David sent some messengers to get her. She came to him and he had sexual relations with her. (Now at that time she was in the process of purifying herself from her menstrual uncleanness.) Then she returned to her home. 11:5 The woman conceived and then sent word to David saying, “I’m pregnant.”

11:6 So David sent a message to Joab that said, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 11:7 When Uriah came to him, David asked about how Joab and the army were doing and how the campaign was going. 11:8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your home and relax.” When Uriah left the palace, the king sent a gift to him. 11:9 But Uriah stayed at the door of the palace with all the servants of his lord. He did not go down to his house.

11:10 So they informed David, “Uriah has not gone down to his house.” So David said to Uriah, “Haven’t you just arrived from a journey? Why haven’t you gone down to your house?” 11:11 Uriah replied to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah reside in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and my lord’s soldiers are camping in the open field. Should I go to my house to eat and drink and have marital relations with my wife? As surely as you are alive, I will not do this thing!” 11:12 So David said to Uriah, “Stay here another day. Tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem both that day and the following one. 11:13 Then David summoned him. He ate and drank with him, and got him drunk. But in the evening he went out to sleep on his bed with the servants of his lord; he did not go down to his own house.

11:14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 11:15 In the letter he wrote: “Station Uriah in the thick of the battle and then withdraw from him so he will be cut down and killed.”

11:16 So as Joab kept watch on the city, he stationed Uriah at the place where he knew the best enemy soldiers were. 11:17 When the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, some of David’s soldiers fell in battle. Uriah the Hittite also died.

11:18 Then Joab sent a full battle report to David. 11:19 He instructed the messenger as follows: “When you finish giving the battle report to the king, 11:20 if the king becomes angry and asks you, ‘Why did you go so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you realize they would shoot from the wall? 11:21 Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman throw an upper millstone down on him from the wall so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go so close to the wall?’ just say to him, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.’”

11:22 So the messenger departed. When he arrived, he informed David of all the news that Joab had sent with him. 11:23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and attacked us in the field. But we forced them to retreat all the way to the door of the city gate. 11:24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall and some of the king’s soldiers died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 11:25 David said to the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing upset you. There is no way to anticipate whom the sword will cut down. Press the battle against the city and conquer it.’ Encourage him with these words.”

11:26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for him. 11:27 When the time of mourning passed, David had her brought to his palace. She became his wife and she bore him a son. But what David had done upset the Lord.

Nathan the Prophet Confronts David

12:1 So the Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to David, Nathan said, “There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 12:2 The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. 12:3 But the poor man had nothing except for a little lamb he had acquired. He raised it, and it grew up alongside him and his children. It used to eat his food, drink from his cup, and sleep in his arms. It was just like a daughter to him.

12:4 “When a traveler arrived at the rich man’s home, he did not want to use one of his own sheep or cattle to feed the traveler who had come to visit him. Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and cooked it for the man who had come to visit him.”

12:5 Then David became very angry at this man. He said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 12:6 Because he committed this cold-hearted crime, he must pay for the lamb four times over!”

12:7 Nathan said to David, “You are that man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I chose you to be king over Israel and I rescued you from the hand of Saul. 12:8 I gave you your master’s house, and put your master’s wives into your arms. I also gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all that somehow seems insignificant, I would have given you so much more as well! 12:9 Why have you shown contempt for the word of the Lord by doing evil in my sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and you have taken his wife as your own! You have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 12:10 So now the sword will never depart from your house. For you have despised me by taking the wife of Uriah the Hittite as your own!’ 12:11 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to bring disaster on you from inside your own household! Right before your eyes I will take your wives and hand them over to your companion. He will have sexual relations with your wives in broad daylight! 12:12 Although you have acted in secret, I will do this thing before all Israel, and in broad daylight.’”

12:13 Then David exclaimed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord!” Nathan replied to David, “Yes, and the Lord has forgiven your sin. You are not going to die. 12:14 Nonetheless, because you have treated the Lord with such contempt in this matter, the son who has been born to you will certainly die.”

12:15 Then Nathan went to his home. The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and the child became very ill. 12:16 Then David prayed to God for the child and fasted. He would even go and spend the night lying on the ground. 12:17 The elders of his house stood over him and tried to lift him from the ground, but he was unwilling, and refused to eat food with them.

12:18 On the seventh day the child died. But the servants of David were afraid to inform him that the child had died, for they said, “While the child was still alive he would not listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He will do himself harm!”

12:19 When David saw that his servants were whispering to one another, he realized that the child was dead. So David asked his servants, “Is the child dead?” They replied, “Yes, he’s dead.” 12:20 So David got up from the ground, bathed, put on oil, and changed his clothes. He went to the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then, when he entered his palace, he requested that food be brought to him, and he ate.

12:21 His servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? While the child was still alive, you fasted and wept. Once the child was dead you got up and ate food!” 12:22 He replied, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, ‘Perhaps the Lord will show pity and the child will live. 12:23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Am I able to bring him back? I will go to him, but he cannot return to me!’”

12:24 So David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and had marital relations with her. She gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. Now the Lord loved the child 12:25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that he should be named Jedidiah for the Lord’s sake.

David’s Forces Defeat the Ammonites

12:26 So Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal city. 12:27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and have captured the water supply of the city. 12:28 So now assemble the rest of the army and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will capture the city and it will be named for me.”

12:29 So David assembled all the army and went to Rabbah and fought against it and captured it. 12:30 He took the crown of their king from his head – it was gold, weighed about seventy-five pounds, and held a precious stone – and it was placed on David’s head. He also took from the city a great deal of plunder. 12:31 He removed the people who were in it and made them do hard labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, putting them to work at the brick kiln. This was his policy with all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.

20:1 In the spring, at the time when kings normally conduct wars, Joab led the army into battle and devastated the land of the Ammonites. He went and besieged Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem. Joab defeated Rabbah and tore it down. 20:2 David took the crown from the head of their king and wore it (its weight was a talent of gold and it was set with precious stones). He took a large amount of plunder from the city. 20:3 He removed the city’s residents and made them do hard labor with saws, iron picks, and axes. This was his policy with all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.

Battles with the Philistines

20:4 Later there was a battle with the Philistines in Gezer. At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the Rephaim, and the Philistines were subdued.

20:5 There was another battle with the Philistines in which Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear had a shaft as big as the crossbeam of a weaver’s loom.

20:6 In a battle in Gath there was a large man who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot – twenty-four in all! He too was a descendant of Rapha. 20:7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

20:8 These were the descendants of Rapha who lived in Gath; they were killed by the hand of David and his soldiers.

Psalms

32:1 By David; a well-written song.

How blessed is the one whose rebellious acts are forgiven,

whose sin is pardoned!

32:2 How blessed is the one whose wrongdoing the Lord does not punish,

in whose spirit there is no deceit.

32:3 When I refused to confess my sin,

my whole body wasted away,

while I groaned in pain all day long.

32:4 For day and night you tormented me;

you tried to destroy me in the intense heat of summer. (Selah)

32:5 Then I confessed my sin;

I no longer covered up my wrongdoing.

I said, “I will confess my rebellious acts to the Lord.”

And then you forgave my sins. (Selah)

32:6 For this reason every one of your faithful followers should pray to you

while there is a window of opportunity.

Certainly when the surging water rises,

it will not reach them.

32:7 You are my hiding place;

you protect me from distress.

You surround me with shouts of joy from those celebrating deliverance. (Selah)

32:8 I will instruct and teach you about how you should live.

I will advise you as I look you in the eye.

32:9 Do not be like an unintelligent horse or mule,

which will not obey you

unless they are controlled by a bridle and bit.

32:10 An evil person suffers much pain,

but the Lord’s faithfulness overwhelms the one who trusts in him.

32:11 Rejoice in the Lord and be happy, you who are godly!

Shout for joy, all you who are morally upright!

51:1 For the music director; a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love!

Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!

51:2 Wash away my wrongdoing!

Cleanse me of my sin!

51:3 For I am aware of my rebellious acts; I am forever conscious of my sin.

51:4 Against you – you above all – I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. So you are just when you confront me; you are right when you condemn me.

51:5 Look, I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.

51:6 Look, you desire integrity in the inner man; you want me to possess wisdom.

51:7 Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.

51:8 Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!

May the bones you crushed rejoice!

51:9 Hide your face from my sins!

Wipe away all my guilt!

51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God!

Renew a resolute spirit within me!

51:11 Do not reject me!

Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!

51:12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!

Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!

51:13 Then I will teach rebels your merciful ways, and sinners will turn to you.

51:14 Rescue me from the guilt of murder, O God, the God who delivers me!

Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance.

51:15 O Lord, give me the words!

Then my mouth will praise you.

51:16 Certainly you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it; you do not desire a burnt sacrifice.

51:17 The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit – O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject.

51:18 Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her!

Fortify the walls of Jerusalem!

51:19 Then you will accept the proper sacrifices, burnt sacrifices and whole offerings; then bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.

Prayer

Lord, how quickly we go from intimacy with You to rebellion, because our flesh is weak and the constancy of our awareness of You falters. May I strive to be so constantly alert to Your presence that the indwelling Holy Spirit is able to get my attention before I allow tests to become temptations which then blossom into overt sin.

Scripture In Perspective

Not long after David had brought the ark of God to Jerusalem the season changed to Spring and the army of Israel went to do battle with their enemies as the cold and mud of Winter was not conducive to war- making.

David, as was sometimes his practice, had not gone out with his army but allowed Joab to lead them. The prior text (in 1 Samuel) described David leading directly only when they had some difficulty, as in the case of the regrouped and threatening coalition of enemy forces.

In the evening, when it was cool enough to be on the roof of the palace, David walked around and saw a woman on top of another building who was bathing. In keeping with his often-impetuous nature David sent someone to find out who she was and then to bring her to him. His immaturity was such that he committed adultery with her, even though she was known to him as the wife of one of his soldiers, a man currently on the battlefield.

Bathsheba returned home and in a while discovered herself pregnant by David. David attempted to cover-up his sin by calling her husband home, under cover of inquiring about the battle, but really to get him to be with his wife so that he’d think the child was his. Uriah was a more honorable man than David and refused to even go into his home so long as his fellow soldiers were in harms-way.

When David’s sneaky plan failed he escalated his scheming and instructed Joab to manipulate the placement of Uriah in the battle so that he’d be exposed and killed by the enemy – which is what happened.

After the mourning for her husband, Uriah, David summoned Bathsheba to the palace and added her to his wives.

Nathan, the prophet, confronted David with a parable and David’s condemnation of the selfish man in the story convicted him for the taking of Uriah’s wife and causing him to be killed by the Ammonites. Nathan reminded David that he had sinned first against the Lord God, and David confessed and repented of that.

Nathan told David that while he was forgiven, keeping the Lord God from striking him dead, he would no longer have peace with his enemies, his own wives would be taken and sexually assaulted by a relative, and his illegitimate child with Bathsheba would die.

David fasted and prayed but the boy still died. Although his servants could not get him to eat or to drink while the child was sick but not yet dead, once the child died David rose and bathed and worshiped, then he ate; explaining to astonished servants that there was no longer any chance that the Lord God would relent from His punishment, so he must go on with life.

Bathsheba bore David another son whom they called Solomon, but whom the Lord God instructed them through Nathan to also call Jedediah, meaning “loved by the Lord”.

Joab had finally about overcome the resistance at the Ammonite fortress so he sent word for David to lead the final assault so he, not Joab, would receive the credit. David did so, the plunder was great, and the Ammonites were forced to do heavy labor for Israel.

David’s thirty-second Psalm was a wisdom-song in which David used his own refusal to confess his sin, followed by his confession and repentance, as a teachable-moment for others to break free of the trap of prideful isolation from the Lord God.

David’s fifty-first Psalm was his repentant reaction after the prophet Nathan confronted him in the matter of Bathsheba. His Psalm contained a number of doctrinal/theological principles:

Guilty of sin from birth (inherited sin, due to the Fall of all Creation, from Adam and Eve).

Sin against Bathsheba, Uriah, and Israel really against the Lord God.

External sacrifice inadequate. (God wants a contrite and repentant heart.)

The Lord cleanses and then keeps one from future sin – if we let Him.

Interact with the text

Consider

After all that the Lord God had done for and through David, and his very recent wild praise and worship of Him which had so offended his wife Michal, how quickly the lust of the flesh motivated David to forget God in a moment of illicit passion. Joab was careful that David receive credit for the military victory, perhaps to avoid the appearance of competing with him as was the appearance under Saul when David received credit for major victories, or perhaps simply out of respect for him.

David’s doctrine/theology from Psalm 51 remains true for NT Christians:

Discuss

How could David imagine that he could get away with such conduct? How could he think that no one would notice his affair with Bathsheba, his effort to manipulate Uriah, and his arranged-murder of Uriah?

Reflect

David had it made and for the sake of a fling with a pretty, married, woman he kicked it all away – and even worse he dragged down his family and the whole nation with him.

Share

When have things been going really well in your life and then one poor decision has created a mess of things?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you may be headed for a really poor decision which could create serious trouble for you, and perhaps others as well. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you His truth about the doctrine/theology of David.

Act

Today I will pray and listen closely so that the Holy Spirit will find me alert and teachable. I will repent of the path I am on where I may have been rationalizing a poor decision I was about to make and will now stop every movement in that direction – no matter the cost. It may be something involving money or relationships, substance abuse or angry revenge, compromising with the world for to earn the approval of others, or something else. I will praise the Lord God for his clarity as to my standing before Him, and my dependence upon Him, and then ask Him to cleanse me and keep me clean.

Be Specific ________________________________________________

Monday (Psalms 86 & 122, 2 Samuel 13-15, Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55)

Psalms

86:1 A prayer of David.

Listen O Lord! Answer me!

For I am oppressed and needy.

86:2 Protect me, for I am loyal!

O my God, deliver your servant, who trusts in you!

86:3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I cry out to you all day long!

86:4 Make your servant glad, for to you, O Lord, I pray!

86:5 Certainly O Lord, you are kind and forgiving, and show great faithfulness to all who cry out to you.

86:6 O Lord, hear my prayer!

Pay attention to my plea for mercy!

86:7 In my time of trouble I cry out to you, for you will answer me.

86:8 None can compare to you among the gods, O Lord!

Your exploits are incomparable!

86:9 All the nations, whom you created, will come and worship you, O Lord. They will honor your name.

86:10 For you are great and do amazing things. You alone are God.

86:11 O Lord, teach me how you want me to live!

Then I will obey your commands. Make me wholeheartedly committed to you!

86:12 O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks with my whole heart!

I will honor your name continually!

86:13 For you will extend your great loyal love to me, and will deliver my life from the depths of Sheol.

86:14 O God, arrogant men attack me; a gang of ruthless men, who do not respect you, seek my life.

86:15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God. You are patient and demonstrate great loyal love and faithfulness.

86:16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me!

Give your servant your strength!

Deliver your slave!

86:17 Show me evidence of your favor!

Then those who hate me will see it and be ashamed, for you, O Lord, will help me and comfort me.

Psalm 122

122:1 A song of ascents, by David.

I was glad because they said to me, “We will go to the Lord’s temple.”

122:2 Our feet are standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.

122:3 Jerusalem is a city designed to accommodate an assembly.

122:4 The tribes go up there, the tribes of the Lord, where it is required that Israel give thanks to the name of the Lord.

122:5 Indeed, the leaders sit there on thrones and make legal decisions, on the thrones of the house of David.

122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

May those who love her prosper!

122:7 May there be peace inside your defenses, and prosperity inside your fortresses!

122:8 For the sake of my brothers and my neighbors I will say, “May there be peace in you!”

122:9 For the sake of the temple of the Lord our God I will pray for you to prosper.

2 Samuel

The Rape of Tamar

13:1 Now David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. In the course of time David’s son Amnon fell madly in love with her. 13:2 But Amnon became frustrated because he was so lovesick over his sister Tamar. For she was a virgin, and to Amnon it seemed out of the question to do anything to her.

13:3 Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very crafty man. 13:4 He asked Amnon, “Why are you, the king’s son, so depressed every morning? Can’t you tell me?” So Amnon said to him, “I’m in love with Tamar the sister of my brother Absalom.” 13:5 Jonadab replied to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes in to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come in so she can fix some food for me. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I can watch. Then I will eat from her hand.’”

13:6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came in to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come in so she can make a couple of cakes in my sight. Then I will eat from her hand.”

13:7 So David sent Tamar to the house saying, “Please go to the house of Amnon your brother and prepare some food for him.” 13:8 So Tamar went to the house of Amnon her brother, who was lying down. She took the dough, kneaded it, made some cakes while he watched, and baked them. 13:9 But when she took the pan and set it before him, he refused to eat. Instead Amnon said, “Get everyone out of here!” So everyone left.

13:10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the cakes into the bedroom; then I will eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes that she had prepared and brought them to her brother Amnon in the bedroom. 13:11 As she brought them to him to eat, he grabbed her and said to her, “Come on! Get in bed with me, my sister!”

13:12 But she said to him, “No, my brother! Don’t humiliate me! This just isn’t done in Israel! Don’t do this foolish thing! 13:13 How could I ever be rid of my humiliation? And you would be considered one of the fools in Israel! Just speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 13:14 But he refused to listen to her. He overpowered her and humiliated her by raping her. 13:15 Then Amnon greatly despised her. His disdain toward her surpassed the love he had previously felt toward her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and leave!”

13:16 But she said to him, “No I won’t, for sending me away now would be worse than what you did to me earlier!” But he refused to listen to her. 13:17 He called his personal attendant and said to him, “Take this woman out of my sight and lock the door behind her!” 13:18 (Now she was wearing a long robe, for this is what the king’s virgin daughters used to wear.) So Amnon’s attendant removed her and bolted the door behind her. 13:19 Then Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went on her way, wailing as she went.

13:20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Was Amnon your brother with you? Now be quiet, my sister. He is your brother. Don’t take it so seriously!” Tamar, devastated, lived in the house of her brother Absalom.

13:21 Now King David heard about all these things and was very angry. 13:22 But Absalom said nothing to Amnon, either bad or good, yet Absalom hated Amnon because he had humiliated his sister Tamar.

Absalom Has Amnon Put to Death

13:23 Two years later Absalom’s sheepshearers were in Baal Hazor, near Ephraim. Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 13:24 Then Absalom went to the king and said, “My shearers have begun their work. Let the king and his servants go with me.”

13:25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son. We shouldn’t all go. We shouldn’t burden you in that way.” Though Absalom pressed him, the king was not willing to go. Instead, David blessed him.

13:26 Then Absalom said, “If you will not go, then let my brother Amnon go with us.” The king replied to him, “Why should he go with you?” 13:27 But when Absalom pressed him, he sent Amnon and all the king’s sons along with him.

13:28 Absalom instructed his servants, “Look! When Amnon is drunk and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ kill him then and there. Don’t fear! Is it not I who have given you these instructions? Be strong and courageous!” 13:29 So Absalom’s servants did to Amnon exactly what Absalom had instructed. Then all the king’s sons got up; each one rode away on his mule and fled.

13:30 While they were still on their way, the following report reached David: “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons; not one of them is left!” 13:31 Then the king stood up and tore his garments and lay down on the ground. All his servants were standing there with torn garments as well.

13:32 Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said, “My lord should not say, ‘They have killed all the young men who are the king’s sons.’ For only Amnon is dead. This is what Absalom has talked about from the day that Amnon humiliated his sister Tamar. 13:33 Now don’t let my lord the king be concerned about the report that has come saying, ‘All the king’s sons are dead.’ It is only Amnon who is dead.”

13:34 In the meantime Absalom fled. When the servant who was the watchman looked up, he saw many people coming from the west on a road beside the hill. 13:35 Jonadab said to the king, “Look! The king’s sons have come! It’s just as I said!”

13:36 Just as he finished speaking, the king’s sons arrived, wailing and weeping. The king and all his servants wept loudly as well. 13:37 But Absalom fled and went to King Talmai son of Ammihud of Geshur. And David grieved over his son every day.

13:38 After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he remained there for three years. 13:39 The king longed to go to Absalom, for he had since been consoled over the death of Amnon.

David Permits Absalom to Return to Jerusalem

14:1 Now Joab son of Zeruiah realized that the king longed to see Absalom. 14:2 So Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman. He told her, “Pretend to be in mourning and put on garments for mourning. Don’t anoint yourself with oil. Instead, act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for some time. 14:3 Go to the king and speak to him in the following fashion.” Then Joab told her what to say.

14:4 So the Tekoan woman went to the king. She bowed down with her face to the ground in deference to him and said, “Please help me, O king!” 14:5 The king replied to her, “What do you want?” She answered, “I am a widow; my husband is dead. 14:6 Your servant has two sons. When the two of them got into a fight in the field, there was no one present who could intervene. One of them struck the other and killed him. 14:7 Now the entire family has risen up against your servant, saying, ‘Turn over the one who struck down his brother, so that we can execute him and avenge the death of his brother whom he killed. In so doing we will also destroy the heir.’ They want to extinguish my remaining coal, leaving no one on the face of the earth to carry on the name of my husband.”

14:8 Then the king told the woman, “Go to your home. I will give instructions concerning your situation.” 14:9 The Tekoan woman said to the king, “My lord the king, let any blame fall on me and on the house of my father. But let the king and his throne be innocent!”

14:10 The king said, “Bring to me whoever speaks to you, and he won’t bother you again!” 14:11 She replied, “In that case, let the king invoke the name of the Lord your God so that the avenger of blood may not kill! Then they will not destroy my son!” He replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, not a single hair of your son’s head will fall to the ground.”

14:12 Then the woman said, “Please permit your servant to speak to my lord the king about another matter.” He replied, “Tell me.” 14:13 The woman said, “Why have you devised something like this against God’s people? When the king speaks in this fashion, he makes himself guilty, for the king has not brought back the one he has banished. 14:14 Certainly we must die, and are like water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered up again. But God does not take away life; instead he devises ways for the banished to be restored. 14:15 I have now come to speak with my lord the king about this matter, because the people have made me fearful. But your servant said, ‘I will speak to the king! Perhaps the king will do what his female servant asks. 14:16 Yes! The king may listen and deliver his female servant from the hand of the man who seeks to remove both me and my son from the inheritance God has given us!’ 14:17 So your servant said, ‘May the word of my lord the king be my security, for my lord the king is like the angel of God when it comes to deciding between right and wrong! May the Lord your God be with you!’”

14:18 Then the king replied to the woman, “Don’t hide any information from me when I question you.” The woman said, “Let my lord the king speak!” 14:19 The king said, “Did Joab put you up to all of this?” The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, there is no deviation to the right or to the left from all that my lord the king has said. For your servant Joab gave me instructions. He has put all these words in your servant’s mouth. 14:20 Your servant Joab did this so as to change this situation. But my lord has wisdom like that of the angel of God, and knows everything that is happening in the land.”

14:21 Then the king said to Joab, “All right! I will do this thing! Go and bring back the young man Absalom! 14:22 Then Joab bowed down with his face toward the ground and thanked the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord the king, because the king has granted the request of your servant!”

14:23 So Joab got up and went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 14:24 But the king said, “Let him go over to his own house. He may not see my face.” So Absalom went over to his own house; he did not see the king’s face.

14:25 Now in all Israel everyone acknowledged that there was no man as handsome as Absalom. From the sole of his feet to the top of his head he was perfect in appearance. 14:26 When he would shave his head – at the end of every year he used to shave his head, for it grew too long and he would shave it – he used to weigh the hair of his head at three pounds according to the king’s weight. 14:27 Absalom had three sons and one daughter, whose name was Tamar. She was a very attractive woman.

14:28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without seeing the king’s face. 14:29 Then Absalom sent a message to Joab asking him to send him to the king, but Joab was not willing to come to him. So he sent a second message to him, but he still was not willing to come. 14:30 So he said to his servants, “Look, Joab has a portion of field adjacent to mine and he has some barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set Joab’s portion of the field on fire.

14:31 Then Joab got up and came to Absalom’s house. He said to him, “Why did your servants set my portion of field on fire?” 14:32 Absalom said to Joab, “Look, I sent a message to you saying, ‘Come here so that I can send you to the king with this message: “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there.”‘ Let me now see the face of the king. If I am at fault, let him put me to death!”

14:33 So Joab went to the king and informed him. The king summoned Absalom, and he came to the king. Absalom bowed down before the king with his face toward the ground and the king kissed him.

Absalom Leads an Insurrection against David

15:1 Some time later Absalom managed to acquire a chariot and horses, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard. 15:2 Now Absalom used to get up early and stand beside the road that led to the city gate. Whenever anyone came by who had a complaint to bring to the king for arbitration, Absalom would call out to him, “What city are you from?” The person would answer, “I, your servant, am from one of the tribes of Israel.” 15:3 Absalom would then say to him, “Look, your claims are legitimate and appropriate. But there is no representative of the king who will listen to you.” 15:4 Absalom would then say, “If only they would make me a judge in the land! Then everyone who had a judicial complaint could come to me and I would make sure he receives a just settlement.”

15:5 When someone approached to bow before him, Absalom would extend his hand and embrace him and kiss him. 15:6 Absalom acted this way toward everyone in Israel who came to the king for justice. In this way Absalom won the loyalty of the citizens of Israel.

15:7 After four years Absalom said to the king, “Let me go and repay my vow that I made to the Lord while I was in Hebron. 15:8 For I made this vow when I was living in Geshur in Aram: ‘If the Lord really does allow me to return to Jerusalem, I will serve the Lord.’” 15:9 The king replied to him, “Go in peace.” So Absalom got up and went to Hebron.

15:10 Then Absalom sent spies through all the tribes of Israel who said, “When you hear the sound of the horn, you may assume that Absalom rules in Hebron.” 15:11 Now two hundred men had gone with Absalom from Jerusalem. Since they were invited, they went naively and were unaware of what Absalom was planning. 15:12 While he was offering sacrifices, Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s adviser, to come from his city, Giloh. The conspiracy was gaining momentum, and the people were starting to side with Absalom.

David Flees from Jerusalem

15:13 Then a messenger came to David and reported, “The men of Israel are loyal to Absalom!” 15:14 So David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come on! Let’s escape! Otherwise no one will be delivered from Absalom! Go immediately, or else he will quickly overtake us and bring disaster on us and kill the city’s residents with the sword.” 15:15 The king’s servants replied to the king, “We will do whatever our lord the king decides.”

15:16 So the king and all the members of his royal court set out on foot, though the king left behind ten concubines to attend to the palace. 15:17 The king and all the people set out on foot, pausing at a spot some distance away. 15:18 All his servants were leaving with him, along with all the Kerethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites – some six hundred men who had come on foot from Gath. They were leaving with the king.

15:19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come with us? Go back and stay with the new king, for you are a foreigner and an exile from your own country. 15:20 It seems like you arrived just yesterday. Today should I make you wander around by going with us? I go where I must go. But as for you, go back and take your men with you. May genuine loyal love protect you!”

15:21 But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the Lord lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king is, whether dead or alive, there I will be as well!” 15:22 So David said to Ittai, “Come along then.” So Ittai the Gittite went along, accompanied by all his men and all the dependents who were with him.

15:23 All the land was weeping loudly as all these people were leaving. As the king was crossing over the Kidron Valley, all the people were leaving on the road that leads to the desert. 15:24 Zadok and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. When they positioned the ark of God, Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city.

15:25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back to the city. If I find favor in the Lord’s sight he will bring me back and enable me to see both it and his dwelling place again. 15:26 However, if he should say, ‘I do not take pleasure in you,’ then he will deal with me in a way that he considers appropriate.”

15:27 The king said to Zadok the priest, “Are you a seer? Go back to the city in peace! Your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan may go with you and Abiathar. 15:28 Look, I will be waiting at the fords of the desert until word from you reaches me.” 15:29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and remained there.

15:30 As David was going up the Mount of Olives, he was weeping as he went; his head was covered and his feet were bare. All the people who were with him also had their heads covered and were weeping as they went up. 15:31 Now David had been told, “Ahithophel has sided with the conspirators who are with Absalom. So David prayed, “Make the advice of Ahithophel foolish, O Lord!”

15:32 When David reached the summit, where he used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite met him with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. 15:33 David said to him, “If you leave with me you will be a burden to me. 15:34 But you will be able to counter the advice of Ahithophel if you go back to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king! Previously I was your father’s servant, and now I will be your servant.’ 15:35 Zadok and Abiathar the priests will be there with you. Everything you hear in the king’s palace you must tell Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 15:36 Furthermore, their two sons are there with them, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. You must send them to me with any information you hear.”

15:37 So David’s friend Hushai arrived in the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.

Psalms

3:1 A psalm of David, written when he fled from his son Absalom.

Lord, how numerous are my enemies!

Many attack me.

3:2 Many say about me, “God will not deliver him.” (Selah)

3:3 But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me; you are my glory and the one who restores me.

3:4 To the Lord I cried out, and he answered me from his holy hill. (Selah)

3:5 I rested and slept; I awoke, for the Lord protects me.

3:6 I am not afraid of the multitude of people who attack me from all directions.

3:7 Rise up, Lord!

Deliver me, my God!

Yes, you will strike all my enemies on the jaw; you will break the teeth of the wicked.

3:8 The Lord delivers; you show favor to your people. (Selah)

4:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of David.

When I call out, answer me, O God who vindicates me!

Though I am hemmed in, you will lead me into a wide, open place. Have mercy on me and respond to my prayer!

4:2 You men, how long will you try to turn my honor into shame?

How long will you love what is worthless and search for what is deceptive? (Selah)

4:3 Realize that the Lord shows the godly special favor; the Lord responds when I cry out to him.

4:4 Tremble with fear and do not sin!

Meditate as you lie in bed, and repent of your ways! (Selah)

4:5 Offer the prescribed sacrifices and trust in the Lord!

4:6 Many say, “Who can show us anything good?”

Smile upon us, Lord!

4:7 You make me happier than those who have abundant grain and wine.

4:8 I will lie down and sleep peacefully, for you, Lord, make me safe and secure.

12:1 For the music director; according to the sheminith style; a psalm of David.

Deliver, Lord!

For the godly have disappeared; people of integrity have vanished.

12:2 People lie to one another; they flatter and deceive.

12:3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that boasts!

12:4 They say, “We speak persuasively; we know how to flatter and boast. Who is our master?”

12:5 “Because of the violence done to the oppressed, because of the painful cries of the needy, I will spring into action,” says the Lord. “I will provide the safety they so desperately desire.”

12:6 The Lord’s words are absolutely reliable. They are as untainted as silver purified in a furnace on the ground, where it is thoroughly refined.

12:7 You, Lord, will protect them; you will continually shelter each one from these evil people,

12:8 for the wicked seem to be everywhere, when people promote evil.

13:1 For the music director; a psalm of David.

How long, Lord, will you continue to ignore me?

How long will you pay no attention to me?

13:2 How long must I worry, and suffer in broad daylight?

How long will my enemy gloat over me?

13:3 Look at me! Answer me, O Lord my God!

Revive me, or else I will die!

13:4 Then my enemy will say, “I have defeated him!”

Then my foes will rejoice because I am upended.

13:5 But I trust in your faithfulness. May I rejoice because of your deliverance!

13:6 I will sing praises to the Lord when he vindicates me.

28:1 By David.

To you, O Lord, I cry out!

My protector, do not ignore me!

If you do not respond to me, I will join those who are descending into the grave.

28:2 Hear my plea for mercy when I cry out to you for help, when I lift my hands toward your holy temple!

28:3 Do not drag me away with evil men, with those who behave wickedly, who talk so friendly to their neighbors, while they plan to harm them!

28:4 Pay them back for their evil deeds!

Pay them back for what they do!

Punish them!

28:5 For they do not understand the Lord’s actions, or the way he carries out justice. The Lord will permanently demolish them.

28:6 The Lord deserves praise, for he has heard my plea for mercy!

28:7 The Lord strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude.

28:8 The Lord strengthens his people; he protects and delivers his chosen king.

28:9 Deliver your people!

Empower the nation that belongs to you!

Care for them like a shepherd and carry them in your arms at all times!

55:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song by David.

Listen, O God, to my prayer!

Do not ignore my appeal for mercy!

55:2 Pay attention to me and answer me!

I am so upset and distressed, I am beside myself,

55:3 because of what the enemy says, and because of how the wicked pressure me, for they hurl trouble down upon me and angrily attack me.

55:4 My heart beats violently within me; the horrors of death overcome me.

55:5 Fear and panic overpower me; terror overwhelms me.

55:6 I say, “I wish I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and settle in a safe place!

55:7 Look, I will escape to a distant place; I will stay in the wilderness. (Selah)

55:8 I will hurry off to a place that is safe from the strong wind and the gale.”

55:9 Confuse them, O Lord!

Frustrate their plans!

For I see violence and conflict in the city.

55:10 Day and night they walk around on its walls, while wickedness and destruction are within it.

55:11 Disaster is within it; violence and deceit do not depart from its public square.

55:12 Indeed, it is not an enemy who insults me, or else I could bear it; it is not one who hates me who arrogantly taunts me, or else I could hide from him.

55:13 But it is you, a man like me, my close friend in whom I confided.

55:14 We would share personal thoughts with each other; in God’s temple we would walk together among the crowd.

55:15 May death destroy them!

May they go down alive into Sheol!

For evil is in their dwelling place and in their midst.

55:16 As for me, I will call out to God, and the Lord will deliver me.

55:17 During the evening, morning, and noontime I will lament and moan, and he will hear me.

55:18 He will rescue me and protect me from those who attack me, even though they greatly outnumber me.

55:19 God, the one who has reigned as king from long ago, will hear and humiliate them. (Selah) They refuse to change, and do not fear God.

55:20 He attacks his friends; he breaks his solemn promises to them.

55:21 His words are as smooth as butter, but he harbors animosity in his heart. His words seem softer than oil, but they are really like sharp swords.

55:22 Throw your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be upended.

55:23 But you, O God, will bring them down to the deep Pit. Violent and deceitful people will not live even half a normal lifespan. But as for me, I trust in you.

Prayer

Lord, You instruct us to gather within social constructs, because without them we quickly regress to very primitive ways of thinking and acting. May I pray for our leaders that they might listen to and obey You and enforce the law righteously that justice might insure freedom and peace. When evil goes unpunished the disease of injustice spreads like cancer, which is why in Your perfect wisdom You established a system of justice. May I be as willing to submit to justice as I am to seek it for others. When leaders and people talk all ‘religious’ but make things up as they go and fail to consult You then only confusion results. May I be humble and wise enough to always consult You before I make decisions, and obedient enough to do things Your way even when I’m not sure I will like the results. When unresolved bitterness enters the heart of a person it poisons them to rebel against all authority, even You. May I be careful to avoid bitterness but rather to forgive, reconcile, and restore relationships.

Scripture In Perspective

David’s Psalm, numbered eighty-six, was a prayer of petition for rescue.

Psalm 122 “For the sake of my brothers and my neighbors I will say, “May there be peace in you!”“

One of David’s sons was lusting after his half-sister (Absolom’s sister) and was encouraged to consummate his lust through trickery. David believed the lie that Amnon was ill and so he instructed Tamar to bring him food. Amnon asked her to feed him and when she came near he grabbed and raped her, then sent her away like a cheap whore, shaming her.

Absolom took Tamar into his home and was furious with Amnon, but said nothing as he nursed his anger. David was angry but did nothing to punish Amnon, even though the law required that Amnon be put to death.

Two years after Amnon raped his half-sister Tamor, her brother Absalom still seethed in anger, as no justice had been brought to bear upon him for the crime by King David.

Amnon was the eldest son of King David, his mother was Ahinoam (from the Jezreelites; 2 Sam 3:2).

Absalom schemed to get Amnon out of the palace to the shearing fields where he instructed his servants to kill him. The rest of David’s sons fled in fear.

David first received word that all of his sons had been killed by Absalom but then learned that it was only Amnon.

Meanwhile Absalom fled to Geshur, the home of his mother Maacah (one of David’s wives and an Aramean) and he remained there for three years. David mourned Amnon and, after the time had passed, he desired to see Absalom to reconcile.

David made it known that he wanted to see Absalom but did nothing about it so Joab took it upon himself, as he had done in the past, to invent a scheme to get Absalom back to Jerusalem.

In a manner somewhat similar to that of Nathan in the matter of Bathsheba, Joab instructed a woman to tell a story to David and when he agreed, to let him know that the person she wanted returned and protected from harm was really Absalom.

David challenged her to admit that Joab put her up to it, and she confessed, at which point David called Joab and instructed him to go and bring home Absalom.

Absalom arrived but David, for no apparent reason, refused to see him. Absalom make two requests to see Joab but was ignored so he had servants set a part of Joab’s fields on fire, which brought Joab to him angrily demanding to know why.

Absalom explained that he was being ignored by Joab when he needed to get a message to King David and that he would rather have remained in Geshur than to have traveled to Jerusalem only to be ignored by David. He insisted that if he was to be judged then so be it.

Joab delivered his message and the King relented and invited Absalom to visit. Absalom arrived and bowed before David.

Absalom conspired against his father, King David, and in secret began a campaign to replace in him in the hearts of the people. After a while he asked for and received David’s permission to travel to Hebron.

Absalom took with him his closest associates and 200 others who followed David’s orders to assist him but who were unaware of his scheme. In Hebron Absalom accelerated his plan and when David heard that he was planning a coup he gathered 600 men and his closest associates and family and fled – leaving behind 20 concubines to care for the palace.

David instructed the high priest and a few others to remain in Jerusalem with the ark of God, requesting that they keep him informed of Absalom’s activities, and waited on the Lord God’s decision as to who He would allow to rule.

David heard that Ahithophel, his former royal adviser, had sided with Absalom – so he asked the Lord God to curse him with bad advice for Absalom. David also sent Hushai, his friend and confidant, to make himself available to Absalom and to balance the counsel of Ahithophel.

David’s third Psalm was his reaction to his son Absolom’s rebellion, he pleaded with the Lord God to rescue him, and declared his confidence that the Lord would do so.

David’s fourth Psalm was a testimony to resting peacefully in dependence on the Lord and included a call to others to make their prescribed sacrifices and to turn away from wrong directed at David or to others.

David’s twelfth Psalm reflected his increased sense of isolation as he felt surrounded by the forces of evil and by wicked people; yet David continued to have confidence in the Lord.

David’s thirteenth Psalm reflected his frustration that the Lord God had not acted according to his schedule and relieved him from his distress; yet David continued to voice his certainty of the Lord God’s imminent rescue.

David’s twenty-eighth Psalm was a new cry to the Lord God for rescue; again fearing for his life, and again pleading for intervention for himself and for Israel against those who would harm him and the nation.

David’s fifty-fifth Psalm was his lament that one whom he had trusted and in whom he had confided had turned against him, and his cry one of desperation for a quick rescue, yet David remained confident in the Lord God’s deliverance.

Interact With The Text

Consider

When a crime has been committed, and the perpetrator is known, if there is no justice it is probable that the victim (or those close to them) will seek vigilante justice. David’s behavior was bizarre and inconsistent, failing to punish a heinous crime, then running from his less-powerful son – only to then (in self-exile) decided to consult God – including requesting a curse of poor counsel on his son’s new adviser (a former adviser to David). Between the poison of bitterness in his heart, and his divided loyalties between his mother’s original nationality and Israel, Absalom was a highly conflicted and confused man.

Discuss

Why would David do nothing to Amnon after he raped his half-sister when the law required action? Could David’s reluctance to bring justice to bear upon Amnon have been because he was his first born son? David’s inaction created confusion and frustration and disrespected Absalom again. Could David have been reluctant to see Absalom because he felt guilty for not punishing Amnon for the rape of his sister? Or is it that he was afraid of being told by the Lord God, or pressured by the people, to punish Absalom for vigilante ‘justice’? Why would David flee from Absalom rather than stand and fight, especially knowing that he was still the Lord’s chosen king?

Reflect

David had already created a problem through his illicit relationship with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah and now he made it worse by failing to enforce the law. David’s irresponsible favoritism toward Amnon, an incestuous-rapist, created an environment where the enemy poisoned the heart of Absalom against both Amnon and King David. Joab seems to be the lynchpin who made things happen on the battlefield, and at home. This was the wrong role for him, it should have be King David and Nathan the prophet, but David’s indecision created a vacuum. David was confident enough to ask for a curse on Absalom’s advisor but not to stand his ground and fight Absalom’s illegitimate attempted coup.

Share

When have you watched an organization be harmed because a leader failed to enforce the law (boundaries, guidelines, laws, rules) with consistency and justice? When have you experienced or observed an unpunished offense leading to further offenses, actual crimes or perhaps unresolved offenses? When have you observed a leader’s indecision leading to others filling the vacuum and a resulting confusion of authority and of vision? When have you observed someone in business, ministry, politics, or a relationship allow another person to illegitimately invade their space and do nothing, indeed to retreat even though they did not need to do so?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of a leader, who needs new courage and wisdom from the Lord God, for whom you are to pray and/or to make you aware of an injustice you are responsible to make right, or one for which you need to grant forgiveness and release to Him. Also, to reveal to you a place in your life where you may not be acting decisively, in consultation with Him, or where a leader needs your prayers for the same failure and to reveal a place where you need to reassess your confidence in God and your willingness to stand for the right in His strength.

Act

Today I will pray for the leader whom the Holy Spirit brings to my attention. I will pray for a leader I will do so at least once per day for at least a week. I will pray for them to listen to the Lord God and to obey Him. I will pray that they be convicted by the Holy Spirit of any area where they have been careless or venal. I will pray for my own commitment to obey legitimate authority. I will use my appropriate authority to mediate justice where a wrong has been done and has not been properly addressed, it may be in the role as parent, coach, educator, ministry leader, judge, or some other role. If the injustice has been against me I will walk through the process of forgiveness so that the enemy can no longer use it to poison my life and perhaps manipulate me into stealing from the Lord God His sovereign right to vengeance against those who sin. I will prayerfully review my responsibilities as a leader, whatever that looks like, be it as a parent, coach, counselor, teacher, ministry leader, business leader, political leader, etc. If the Holy Spirit shows me a place that I am making decisions without consultation with Him, or am avoiding decisions for fear of consequences, I will repent and set my path right. If a leader needs my prayers, and as-appropriate some words of counsel and encouragement, I will request courage and wisdom from the Holy Spirit and do so. I will also ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement that I will be faithful in standing for truth.

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Tuesday (2 Samuel 16-18, Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61-62, 64, 143-144)

David Receives Gifts from Ziba

16:1 When David had gone a short way beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth was there to meet him. He had a couple of donkeys that were saddled, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred raisin cakes, a hundred baskets of summer fruit, and a container of wine.

16:2 The king asked Ziba, “Why did you bring these things?” Ziba replied, “The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride on, the loaves of bread and the summer fruit are for the attendants to eat, and the wine is for those who get exhausted in the desert.” 16:3 The king asked, “Where is your master’s grandson?” Ziba replied to the king, “He remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give back to me my grandfather’s kingdom.’” 16:4 The king said to Ziba, “Everything that was Mephibosheth’s now belongs to you.” Ziba replied, “I bow before you. May I find favor in your sight, my lord the king.”

Shimei Curses David and His Men

16:5 Then King David reached Bahurim. There a man from Saul’s extended family named Shimei son of Gera came out, yelling curses as he approached. 16:6 He threw stones at David and all of King David’s servants, as well as all the people and the soldiers who were on his right and on his left. 16:7 As he yelled curses, Shimei said, “Leave! Leave! You man of bloodshed, you wicked man! 16:8 The Lord has punished you for all the spilled blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you rule. Now the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. Disaster has overtaken you, for you are a man of bloodshed!”

16:9 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head!” 16:10 But the king said, “What do we have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? If he curses because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David!’, who can say to him, ‘Why have you done this?’” 16:11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son, my very own flesh and blood, is trying to take my life. So also now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone so that he can curse, for the Lord has spoken to him. 16:12 Perhaps the Lord will notice my affliction and this day grant me good in place of his curse.”

16:13 So David and his men went on their way. But Shimei kept going along the side of the hill opposite him, yelling curses as he threw stones and dirt at them. 16:14 The king and all the people who were with him arrived exhausted at their destination, where David refreshed himself.

The Advice of Ahithophel

16:15 Now when Absalom and all the men of Israel arrived in Jerusalem, Ahithophel was with him. 16:16 When David’s friend Hushai the Arkite came to Absalom, Hushai said to him, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

16:17 Absalom said to Hushai, “Do you call this loyalty to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?” 16:18 Hushai replied to Absalom, “No, I will be loyal to the one whom the Lord, these people, and all the men of Israel have chosen. 16:19 Moreover, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you.”

16:20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?” 16:21 Ahithophel replied to Absalom, “Have sex with your father’s concubines whom he left to care for the palace. All Israel will hear that you have made yourself repulsive to your father. Then your followers will be motivated to support you.” 16:22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom had sex with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

16:23 In those days Ahithophel’s advice was considered as valuable as a prophetic revelation. Both David and Absalom highly regarded the advice of Ahithophel.

The Death of Ahithophel

17:1 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me pick out twelve thousand men. Then I will go and pursue David this very night. 17:2 When I catch up with him he will be exhausted and worn out. I will rout him, and the entire army that is with him will flee. I will kill only the king 17:3 and will bring the entire army back to you. In exchange for the life of the man you are seeking, you will get back everyone. The entire army will return unharmed.”

17:4 This seemed like a good idea to Absalom and to all the leaders of Israel. 17:5 But Absalom said, “Call for Hushai the Arkite, and let’s hear what he has to say.” 17:6 So Hushai came to Absalom. Absalom said to him, “Here is what Ahithophel has advised. Should we follow his advice? If not, what would you recommend?”

17:7 Hushai replied to Absalom, “Ahithophel’s advice is not sound this time.” 17:8 Hushai went on to say, “You know your father and his men – they are soldiers and are as dangerous as a bear out in the wild that has been robbed of her cubs. Your father is an experienced soldier; he will not stay overnight with the army. 17:9 At this very moment he is hiding out in one of the caves or in some other similar place. If it should turn out that he attacks our troops first, whoever hears about it will say, ‘Absalom’s army has been slaughtered!’ 17:10 If that happens even the bravest soldier – one who is lion-hearted – will virtually melt away. For all Israel knows that your father is a warrior and that those who are with him are brave. 17:11 My advice therefore is this: Let all Israel from Dan to Beer Sheba – in number like the sand by the sea! – be mustered to you, and you lead them personally into battle. 17:12 We will come against him wherever he happens to be found. We will descend on him like the dew falls on the ground. Neither he nor any of the men who are with him will be spared alive – not one of them! 17:13 If he regroups in a city, all Israel will take up ropes to that city and drag it down to the valley, so that not a single pebble will be left there!”

17:14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite sounds better than the advice of Ahithophel.” Now the Lord had decided to frustrate the sound advice of Ahithophel, so that the Lord could bring disaster on Absalom.

17:15 Then Hushai reported to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Here is what Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the leaders of Israel to do, and here is what I have advised. 17:16 Now send word quickly to David and warn him, “Don’t spend the night at the fords of the desert tonight. Instead, be sure you cross over, or else the king and everyone who is with him may be overwhelmed.”

17:17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying in En Rogel. A female servant would go and inform them, and they would then go and inform King David. It was not advisable for them to be seen going into the city. 17:18 But a young man saw them on one occasion and informed Absalom. So the two of them quickly departed and went to the house of a man in Bahurim. There was a well in his courtyard, and they got down in it. 17:19 His wife then took the covering and spread it over the top of the well and scattered some grain over it. No one was aware of what she had done.

17:20 When the servants of Absalom approached the woman at her home, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman replied to them, “They crossed over the stream.” Absalom’s men searched but did not find them, so they returned to Jerusalem.

17:21 After the men had left, Ahimaaz and Jonathan climbed out of the well. Then they left and informed King David. They advised David, “Get up and cross the stream quickly, for Ahithophel has devised a plan to catch you.” 17:22 So David and all the people who were with him got up and crossed the Jordan River. By dawn there was not one person left who had not crossed the Jordan.

17:23 When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and returned to his house in his hometown. After setting his household in order, he hanged himself. So he died and was buried in the grave of his father.

17:24 Meanwhile David had gone to Mahanaim, while Absalom and all the men of Israel had crossed the Jordan River. 17:25 Absalom had made Amasa general in command of the army in place of Joab. (Now Amasa was the son of an Israelite man named Jether, who had married Abigail the daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.) 17:26 The army of Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.

17:27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Makir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim 17:28 brought bedding, basins, and pottery utensils. They also brought food for David and all who were with him, including wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, 17:29 honey, curds, flocks, and cheese. For they said, “The people are no doubt hungry, tired, and thirsty there in the desert.”

The Death of Absalom

18:1 David assembled the army that was with him. He appointed leaders of thousands and leaders of hundreds. 18:2 David then sent out the army – a third under the leadership of Joab, a third under the leadership of Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under the leadership of Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the troops, “I too will indeed march out with you.”

18:3 But the soldiers replied, “You should not do this! For if we should have to make a rapid retreat, they won’t be too concerned about us. Even if half of us should die, they won’t be too concerned about us. But you are like ten thousand of us! So it is better if you remain in the city for support.” 18:4 Then the king said to them, “I will do whatever seems best to you.”

So the king stayed beside the city gate, while all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands. 18:5 The king gave this order to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “For my sake deal gently with the young man Absalom.” Now the entire army was listening when the king gave all the leaders this order concerning Absalom.

18:6 Then the army marched out to the field to fight against Israel. The battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 18:7 The army of Israel was defeated there by David’s men. The slaughter there was great that day – 20,000 soldiers were killed. 18:8 The battle there was spread out over the whole area, and the forest consumed more soldiers than the sword devoured that day.

18:9 Then Absalom happened to come across David’s men. Now as Absalom was riding on his mule, it went under the branches of a large oak tree. His head got caught in the oak and he was suspended in midair, while the mule he had been riding kept going.

18:10 When one of the men saw this, he reported it to Joab saying, “I saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree. 18:11 Joab replied to the man who was telling him this, “What! You saw this? Why didn’t you strike him down right on the spot? I would have given you ten pieces of silver and a commemorative belt!”

18:12 The man replied to Joab, “Even if I were receiving a thousand pieces of silver, I would not strike the king’s son! In our very presence the king gave this order to you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.’ 18:13 If I had acted at risk of my own life – and nothing is hidden from the king! – you would have abandoned me.”

18:14 Joab replied, “I will not wait around like this for you!” He took three spears in his hand and thrust them into the middle of Absalom while he was still alive in the middle of the oak tree. 18:15 Then ten soldiers who were Joab’s armor bearers struck Absalom and finished him off.

18:16 Then Joab blew the trumpet and the army turned back from chasing Israel, for Joab had called for the army to halt. 18:17 They took Absalom, threw him into a large pit in the forest, and stacked a huge pile of stones over him. In the meantime all the Israelite soldiers fled to their homes.

18:18 Prior to this Absalom had set up a monument and dedicated it to himself in the King’s Valley, reasoning “I have no son who will carry on my name.” He named the monument after himself, and to this day it is known as Absalom’s Memorial.

David Learns of Absalom’s Death

18:19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and give the king the good news that the Lord has vindicated him before his enemies.” 18:20 But Joab said to him, “You will not be a bearer of good news today. You will bear good news some other day, but not today, for the king’s son is dead.”

18:21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go and tell the king what you have seen.” After bowing to Joab, the Cushite ran off. 18:22 Ahimaaz the son of Zadok again spoke to Joab, “Whatever happens, let me go after the Cushite.” But Joab said, “Why is it that you want to go, my son? You have no good news that will bring you a reward.” 18:23 But he said, “Whatever happens, I want to go!” So Joab said to him, “Then go!” So Ahimaaz ran by the way of the Jordan plain, and he passed the Cushite.

18:24 Now David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate at the wall. When he looked, he saw a man running by himself. 18:25 So the watchman called out and informed the king. The king said, “If he is by himself, he brings good news.” The runner came ever closer.

18:26 Then the watchman saw another man running. The watchman called out to the gatekeeper, “There is another man running by himself.” The king said, “This one also is bringing good news.” 18:27 The watchman said, “It appears to me that the first runner is Ahimaaz son of Zadok.” The king said, “He is a good man, and he comes with good news.”

18:28 Then Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “Greetings!” He bowed down before the king with his face toward the ground and said, “May the Lord your God be praised because he has defeated the men who opposed my lord the king!”

18:29 The king replied, “How is the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz replied, “I saw a great deal of confusion when Joab was sending the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was all about.” 18:30 The king said, “Turn aside and take your place here.” So he turned aside and waited.

18:31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, “May my lord the king now receive the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today and delivered you from the hand of all who have rebelled against you!” 18:32 The king asked the Cushite, “How is the young man Absalom?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who have plotted against you be like that young man!”

18:33 (19:1) The king then became very upset. He went up to the upper room over the gate and wept. As he went he said, “My son, Absalom! My son, my son, Absalom! If only I could have died in your place! Absalom, my son, my son!”

Psalms

26:1 By David. Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have integrity, and I trust in the Lord without wavering.

26:2 Examine me, O Lord, and test me!

Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives!

26:3 For I am ever aware of your faithfulness, and your loyalty continually motivates me.

26:4 I do not associate with deceitful men, or consort with those who are dishonest.

26:5 I hate the mob of evil men, and do not associate with the wicked.

26:6 I maintain a pure lifestyle, so I can appear before your altar, O Lord,

26:7 to give you thanks, and to tell about all your amazing deeds.

26:8 O Lord, I love the temple where you live, the place where your splendor is revealed.

26:9 Do not sweep me away with sinners, or execute me along with violent people,

26:10 who are always ready to do wrong or offer a bribe.

26:11 But I have integrity!

Rescue me and have mercy on me!

26:12 I am safe, and among the worshipers I will praise the Lord.

40:1 For the music director; By David, a psalm.

I relied completely on the Lord, and he turned toward me and heard my cry for help.

40:2 He lifted me out of the watery pit, out of the slimy mud. He placed my feet on a rock and gave me secure footing.

40:3 He gave me reason to sing a new song, praising our God.

May many see what God has done, so that they might swear allegiance to him and trust in the Lord!

40:4 How blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord and does not seek help from the proud or from liars!

40:5 O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things; you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us.

No one can thwart you!

I want to declare them and talk about them, but they are too numerous to recount!

40:6 Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not your primary concern. You make that quite clear to me!

You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings.

40:7 Then I say, “Look! I come!

What is written in the scroll pertains to me.

40:8 I want to do what pleases you, my God. Your law dominates my thoughts.”

40:9 I have told the great assembly about your justice. Look! I spare no words!

O Lord, you know this is true.

40:10 I have not failed to tell about your justice; I spoke about your reliability and deliverance; I have not neglected to tell the great assembly about your loyal love and faithfulness.

40:11 O Lord, you do not withhold your compassion from me. May your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me!

40:12 For innumerable dangers surround me. My sins overtake me so I am unable to see; they outnumber the hairs of my head so my strength fails me.

40:13 Please be willing, O Lord, to rescue me!

O Lord, hurry and help me!

40:14 May those who are trying to snatch away my life be totally embarrassed and ashamed!

May those who want to harm me be turned back and ashamed!

40:15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be humiliated and disgraced!

40:16 May all those who seek you be happy and rejoice in you!

May those who love to experience your deliverance say continually,

“May the Lord be praised!”

40:17 I am oppressed and needy!

May the Lord pay attention to me!

You are my helper and my deliverer!

O my God, do not delay!

58:1 For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; a prayer of David.

Do you rulers really pronounce just decisions?

Do you judge people fairly?

58:2 No! You plan how to do what is unjust; you deal out violence in the earth.

58:3 The wicked turn aside from birth; liars go astray as soon as they are born.

58:4 Their venom is like that of a snake, like a deaf serpent that does not hear,

58:5 that does not respond to the magicians, or to a skilled snake-charmer.

58:6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths!

Smash the jawbones of the lions, O Lord!

58:7 Let them disappear like water that flows away!

Let them wither like grass!

58:8 Let them be like a snail that melts away as it moves along!

Let them be like stillborn babies that never see the sun!

58:9 Before the kindling is even placed under your pots, he will sweep it away along with both the raw and cooked meat.

58:10 The godly will rejoice when they see vengeance carried out; they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.

58:11 Then observers will say, “Yes indeed, the godly are rewarded!

Yes indeed, there is a God who judges in the earth!”

61:1 For the music director; to be played on a stringed instrument; written by David.

O God, hear my cry for help!

Pay attention to my prayer!

61:2 From the most remote place on earth I call out to you in my despair.

Lead me up to an inaccessible rocky summit!

61:3 Indeed, you are my shelter, a strong tower that protects me from the enemy.

61:4 I will be a permanent guest in your home; I will find shelter in the protection of your wings. (Selah)

61:5 For you, O God, hear my vows; you grant me the reward that belongs to your loyal followers.

61:6 Give the king long life!

Make his lifetime span several generations!

61:7 May he reign forever before God!

Decree that your loyal love and faithfulness should protect him.

61:8 Then I will sing praises to your name continually, as I fulfill my vows day after day.

62:1 For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David.

For God alone I patiently wait; he is the one who delivers me.

62:2 He alone is my protector and deliverer. He is my refuge; I will not be upended.

62:3 How long will you threaten a man?

All of you are murderers, as dangerous as a leaning wall or an unstable fence.

62:4 They spend all their time planning how to bring him down. They love to use deceit; they pronounce blessings with their mouths, but inwardly they utter curses. (Selah)

62:5 Patiently wait for God alone, my soul!

For he is the one who gives me confidence.

62:6 He alone is my protector and deliverer. He is my refuge; I will not be upended.

62:7 God delivers me and exalts me; God is my strong protector and my shelter.

62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people!

Pour out your hearts before him!

God is our shelter! (Selah)

62:9 Men are nothing but a mere breath; human beings are unreliable. When they are weighed in the scales, all of them together are lighter than air.

62:10 Do not trust in what you can gain by oppression!

Do not put false confidence in what you can gain by robbery!

If wealth increases, do not become attached to it!

62:11 God has declared one principle; two principles I have heard: God is strong,

62:12 and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love. For you repay men for what they do.

64:1 For the music director; a psalm of David.

Listen to me, O God, as I offer my lament!

Protect my life from the enemy’s terrifying attacks.

64:2 Hide me from the plots of evil men, from the crowd of evildoers.

64:3 They sharpen their tongues like a sword; they aim their arrow, a slanderous charge,

64:4 in order to shoot down the innocent in secluded places. They shoot at him suddenly and are unafraid of retaliation.

64:5 They encourage one another to carry out their evil deed. They plan how to hide snares, and boast, “Who will see them?”

64:6 They devise unjust schemes; they disguise a well-conceived plot. Man’s inner thoughts cannot be discovered.

64:7 But God will shoot at them; suddenly they will be wounded by an arrow.

64:8 Their slander will bring about their demise. All who see them will shudder,

64:9 and all people will fear. They will proclaim what God has done, and reflect on his deeds.

64:10 The godly will rejoice in the Lord and take shelter in him. All the morally upright will boast.

143:1 A psalm of David.

O Lord, hear my prayer!

Pay attention to my plea for help!

Because of your faithfulness and justice, answer me!

143:2 Do not sit in judgment on your servant, for no one alive is innocent before you.

143:3 Certainly my enemies chase me. They smash me into the ground. They force me to live in dark regions, like those who have been dead for ages.

143:4 My strength leaves me; I am absolutely shocked.

143:5 I recall the old days; I meditate on all you have done; I reflect on your accomplishments.

143:6 I spread my hands out to you in prayer; my soul thirsts for you in a parched land.

143:7 Answer me quickly, Lord!

My strength is fading. Do not reject me, or I will join those descending into the grave.

143:8 May I hear about your loyal love in the morning, for I trust in you. Show me the way I should go, because I long for you.

143:9 Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord!

I run to you for protection.

143:10 Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God. May your kind presence lead me into a level land.

143:11 O Lord, for the sake of your reputation, revive me!

Because of your justice, rescue me from trouble!

143:12 As a demonstration of your loyal love, destroy my enemies!

Annihilate all who threaten my life, for I am your servant.

144:1 By David.

The Lord, my protector, deserves praise – the one who trains my hands for battle, and my fingers for war,

144:2 who loves me and is my stronghold, my refuge and my deliverer, my shield and the one in whom I take shelter, who makes nations submit to me.

144:3 O Lord, of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them?

Of what importance is mankind, that you should be concerned about them?

144:4 People are like a vapor, their days like a shadow that disappears.

144:5 O Lord, make the sky sink and come down!

Touch the mountains and make them smolder!

144:6 Hurl lightning bolts and scatter them!

Shoot your arrows and rout them!

144:7 Reach down from above!

Grab me and rescue me from the surging water, from the power of foreigners,

144:8 who speak lies, and make false promises.

144:9 O God, I will sing a new song to you!

Accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, I will sing praises to you,

144:10 the one who delivers kings, and rescued David his servant from a deadly sword.

144:11 Grab me and rescue me from the power of foreigners, who speak lies, and make false promises.

144:12 Then our sons will be like plants, that quickly grow to full size. Our daughters will be like corner pillars, carved like those in a palace.

144:13 Our storehouses will be full, providing all kinds of food. Our sheep will multiply by the thousands and fill our pastures.

144:14 Our cattle will be weighted down with produce. No one will break through our walls, no one will be taken captive, and there will be no terrified cries in our city squares.

144:15 How blessed are the people who experience these things!

How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

Prayer

Lord, You have warned us that the heart of humankind is deceitful and selfish, but that we still share Your blessings and trust You to care for us. May I be as generous with what I have received from You as You have been with Your loving provision for me. Absalom was attacking Your chosen King, the outcome was certain to be bad for him. May I take care to prayerfully consult the Holy Spirit so that I do not find myself in hopeless contradiction to Your will, my Lord God. While great harm may be done by those who oppose You, in the end they will fail. May I be watchful that I am not drawn into alliance with those who oppose You, in major or in minor ways.

Scripture In Perspective

The handicapped son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, whom David had treated as family and blessed with the gift of all of his father and grandfather (Saul’s) personal possessions had remained in Jerusalem. Ungrateful and greedy, Mephibosheth lusted for the throne and hoped that David’s departure would result in the return of Saul’s family to royal standing over Israel.

Ziba, whom David had assigned to care for Mephibosheth’s property and other resources, had decided that Mephibosheth’s actions forfeited them to David. Ziba brought food and wine and donkeys to David, and his fellow refugees, from those resources.

Along the way a distant relative of Saul cursed David and threw dirt and rocks at he and his entourage. One of David’s assistants offered to kill him, but David chose to ignore him and hope that God would answer his curses with blessings.

Meanwhile Absalom arrived in Jerusalem and was greeted by Hushai. Although initially suspicious he trusted Ahithophel’s counsel to accept Hushai.

Absalom also asked Ahithophel how to solidify his power and was told by Ahithophel to have public sex with David’s twenty concubines, which he did, as he valued Ahithophel’s counsel as David did – as if Ahithophel was a prophet (which he was not).

Note: This differs from the prior text as that rendering had his attack upon David’s “wives” versus his “concubines”. This rendering makes more sense as a concubine was viewed as “property” - he would have known that to have sex with David’s wives would have invited the condemnation of God.

Ahithophel offered to pursue David and his men into the desert while they were still exhausted from their flight from Jerusalem. He said he would kill David and that David’s men would return to Jerusalem and serve Absalom.

Ahithophel then challenged Absalom to ask Hushai what he would do. Hushai pursuaded Absalom to distrust Ahithophel’s advice and to instead undertake a much more grand scheme that would feature him as the leader of military victory rather than Ahithophel.

Absalom, predictably, chose Hushai’s scheme and when Ahithophel heard he was so devastated that he traveled home. “After setting his household in order, he hanged himself.

Meanwhile Hushai sent word to David of Absalom’s plans and so David relocated, first across the Jordan, and when Absalom and the army of Israel followed and camped in Gilead David relocated again, this time to Mahanaim.

Absalom and his army would have traveled a great distance North and East to Gilead, David’s relocation to Mahanaim would have placed him further South and nearer to Jerusalem than Absalom.

David sent out three commanders, each of one-third of the huge army that had gathered around him. He instructed them to do their best but to avoid harm to Absalom.

The Lord God gave David the victory, using the forest as a weapon to kill more of Absalom’s army than did the swords of David’s army.

Absalom was also caught-up in the branches of a tree and swept off his donkey. Soldiers saw him and told Joab who was angry they had not killed him – but they reminded him that David had asked that Absalom be protected – and that they believed Joab would not have defended them had they killed Absalom.

Joab stuck three spears into Absalom’s stomach and then his ten armor bearers killed him with their swords, then buried him under rocks. Absalom’s army fled to their homes.

David’s twenty-sixth Psalm was a plea for protection based on his innocence and his righteous practices.

David’s fortieth Psalm began “I relied completely on the Lord ...” and though it was a plea for the Lord God’s intervention it recorded David’s continuous certainty of the Lord’s justice and provision and protection.

David’s fifty-eighth Psalm was an ‘imprecatory prayer’ wherein which he pleaded with the Lord God to bring profound harm to his enemies.

David’s sixty-first Psalm was a request for the Lord God’s protection and a song of praise.

David’s sixty-second Psalm was a wisdom-song, he wrote “He alone is my protector and deliverer. He is my refuge ...”, he warned those who were doing well to not become hostage to their wealth and to not improve their circumstances through the abuse of others, he also observed that the Lord God brought both justice and love.

David’s sixty-fourth Psalm was a wisdom-song where he declared the consequence for evil me to be destruction at the hand of the Lord God while the faithful rested in Him.

Psalm 143 was David’s “Do not sit in judgment on your servant, for no one alive is innocent before you ... May I hear about your loyal love in the morning, for I trust in you. Show me the way I should go, because I long for you.”

Psalm 144 was David’s praise song with a petition “Of what importance is mankind, that you should be concerned about them? People are like a vapor, their days like a shadow that disappears … Grab me and rescue me from the power of foreigners, who speak lies, and make false promises … How blessed are the people who experience these things! How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!”

Interact With The Text

Consider

The text does not say so explicitly, but Ahithophel may have been the instigator of some of David's earlier poor choices in the matter of Absalom, Amnon, and Tamar. David's plan to frustrate the counsel of Ahithophel to Absalom via Hushai worked as planned and the proud Ahithophel could not bear the shame of being ignored. David continued to be protected by the Lord God despite his self-focused foolishness. His series of irresponsible choices led to the death of his son Absalom and 20,000 soldiers as well as a fracturing of the loyalties within the nation of Israel.

Discuss

How powerful must have been the evil influences in Saul's life that even after David was so kind to Mephibosheth he still turned against David at the first opportunity? Why would Absalom, after acknowledging the truth in Ahithophel's advice (that David and his men would be tired and therefore more vulnerable), not notice that Hushai's advice would cause he and his men to be equally so after chasing him such a distance?

Reflect

The Lord God blessed David with the fruits of Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth, through Ziba, because David had so generously supplied them to Mephibosheth. Hushai was apparently a better student of Absalom’s character than Ahithophel as he quickly discerned that Absalom could easily be manipulated through his ego and lust for power. Ahithophel was apparently focused only on giving practical advice, without regard to the person whom he was advising, and he presumed that his advice would automatically be accepted due to his reputation. David did bear significant responsibility for creating the circumstances of Absalom’s resentment, and the opportunity for the enemy to manipulate that into a civil war, but in the end Absalom was a man who chose to attack the Lord’s anointed – David – and therefore was doomed by his own decision.

Share

When have you experienced or observed blessings coming from an unexpected source at just the right moment? When have you experienced or observed an appeal to ego causing a leader to choose poor advice over good?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal how you may be a blessing to someone in need as the resources He has given you are not yours alone but are intended to bless brothers and sisters in Christ as well, to reveal a place in your life where you are not being fully obedient, to show you a decision that you have made that may have sparked resentment in another.

Act

Today I will share my reflections with at least one other believer. I will generously share from the bounty, great or small, which the Lord has given me. I will do so quietly, without need for public recognition, and will pray that the brother or sister in Christ will bless others in the same way when given the opportunity. I will prayerfully open my heart and mind to the Holy Spirit so that He may show me where I have drifted from the Lord’s plan, in great or small ways, and I will partner with Him to return to the right course. I will also pray for leaders as He directs. I will prayerfully consult the Holy Spirit and receive direction as to a wrong I have done that needs to be made right. It may be a harsh word said in anger, an unfairness to an employee, an insensitivity to a child or spouse, a financial dealing that was improper in some way, or some other place where the love of self was more in evidence than that of the Lord being poured out through me into the life of another. I will confess, repent, ask forgiveness, make restitution (as may be appropriate), and invest in the ministry of reconciliation.

Be Specific _________________________________________________

Wednesday (2 Samuel 19-21, Psalms 5, 38, 41-42, 2 Samuel 22-23)

2 Samuel

19:1 (19:2) Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning over Absalom.” 19:2 So the victory of that day was turned to mourning as far as all the people were concerned. For the people heard on that day, “The king is grieved over his son.” 19:3 That day the people stole away to go to the city the way people who are embarrassed steal away in fleeing from battle. 19:4 The king covered his face and cried out loudly, “My son, Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”

19:5 So Joab visited the king at his home. He said, “Today you have embarrassed all your servants who have saved your life this day, as well as the lives of your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your concubines. 19:6 You seem to love your enemies and hate your friends! For you have as much as declared today that leaders and servants don’t matter to you. I realize now that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, it would be all right with you. 19:7 So get up now and go out and give some encouragement to your servants. For I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out there, not a single man will stay here with you tonight! This disaster will be worse for you than any disaster that has overtaken you from your youth right to the present time!”

19:8 So the king got up and sat at the city gate. When all the people were informed that the king was sitting at the city gate, they all came before him.

David Goes Back to Jerusalem

But the Israelite soldiers had all fled to their own homes. 19:9 All the people throughout all the tribes of Israel were arguing among themselves saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies. He rescued us from the hand of the Philistines, but now he has fled from the land because of Absalom. 19:10 But Absalom, whom we anointed as our king, has died in battle. So now why do you hesitate to bring the king back?”

19:11 Then King David sent a message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests saying, “Tell the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you delay any further in bringing the king back to his palace, when everything Israel is saying has come to the king’s attention. 19:12 You are my brothers – my very own flesh and blood! Why should you delay any further in bringing the king back?’ 19:13 Say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my flesh and blood? God will punish me severely, if from this time on you are not the commander of my army in place of Joab!’”

19:14 He won over the hearts of all the men of Judah as though they were one man. Then they sent word to the king saying, “Return, you and all your servants as well.” 19:15 So the king returned and came to the Jordan River.

Now the people of Judah had come to Gilgal to meet the king and to help him cross the Jordan. 19:16 Shimei son of Gera the Benjaminite from Bahurim came down quickly with the men of Judah to meet King David. 19:17 There were a thousand men from Benjamin with him, along with Ziba the servant of Saul’s household, and with him his fifteen sons and twenty servants. They hurriedly crossed the Jordan within sight of the king. 19:18 They crossed at the ford in order to help the king’s household cross and to do whatever he thought appropriate.

Now after he had crossed the Jordan, Shimei son of Gera threw himself down before the king. 19:19 He said to the king, “Don’t think badly of me, my lord, and don’t recall the sin of your servant on the day when you, my lord the king, left Jerusalem! Please don’t call it to mind! 19:20 For I, your servant, know that I sinned, and I have come today as the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.”

19:21 Abishai son of Zeruiah replied, “For this should not Shimei be put to death? After all, he cursed the Lord’s anointed!” 19:22 But David said, “What do we have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? You are like my enemy today! Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Don’t you realize that today I am king over Israel?” 19:23 The king said to Shimei, “You won’t die.” The king vowed an oath concerning this.

19:24 Now Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, came down to meet the king. From the day the king had left until the day he safely returned, Mephibosheth had not cared for his feet nor trimmed his mustache nor washed his clothes.

19:25 When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?” 19:26 He replied, “My lord the king, my servant deceived me! I said, ‘Let me get my donkey saddled so that I can ride on it and go with the king,’ for I am lame. 19:27 But my servant has slandered me to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like an angel of God. Do whatever seems appropriate to you. 19:28 After all, there was no one in the entire house of my grandfather who did not deserve death from my lord the king. But instead you allowed me to eat at your own table! What further claim do I have to ask the king for anything?”

19:29 Then the king replied to him, “Why should you continue speaking like this? You and Ziba will inherit the field together.” 19:30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him have the whole thing! My lord the king has returned safely to his house!”

19:31 Now when Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim, he crossed the Jordan with the king so he could send him on his way from there. 19:32 But Barzillai was very old – eighty years old, in fact – and he had taken care of the king when he stayed in Mahanaim, for he was a very rich man. 19:33 So the king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me, and I will take care of you while you are with me in Jerusalem.”

19:34 Barzillai replied to the king, “How many days do I have left to my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 19:35 I am presently eighty years old. Am I able to discern good and bad? Can I taste what I eat and drink? Am I still able to hear the voices of male and female singers? Why should I continue to be a burden to my lord the king? 19:36 I will cross the Jordan with the king and go a short distance. Why should the king reward me in this way? 19:37 Let me return so that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. But look, here is your servant Kimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him whatever seems appropriate to you.”

19:38 The king replied, “Kimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him whatever I deem appropriate. And whatever you choose, I will do for you.”

19:39 So all the people crossed the Jordan, as did the king. After the king had kissed him and blessed him, Barzillai returned to his home. 19:40 When the king crossed over to Gilgal, Kimham crossed over with him. Now all the soldiers of Judah along with half of the soldiers of Israel had helped the king cross over.

19:41 Then all the men of Israel began coming to the king. They asked the king, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, sneak the king away and help the king and his household cross the Jordan – and not only him but all of David’s men as well?”

19:42 All the men of Judah replied to the men of Israel, “Because the king is our close relative! Why are you so upset about this? Have we eaten at the king’s expense? Or have we misappropriated anything for our own use?” 19:43 The men of Israel replied to the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and we have a greater claim on David than you do! Why do you want to curse us? Weren’t we the first to suggest bringing back our king?” But the comments of the men of Judah were more severe than those of the men of Israel.

Sheba’s Rebellion

20:1 Now a wicked man named Sheba son of Bicri, a Benjaminite, happened to be there. He blew the trumpet and said, “We have no share in David; we have no inheritance in this son of Jesse! Every man go home, O Israel!”

20:2 So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stuck by their king all the way from the Jordan River to Jerusalem.

20:3 Then David went to his palace in Jerusalem. The king took the ten concubines he had left to care for the palace and placed them under confinement. Though he provided for their needs, he did not have sexual relations with them. They remained in confinement until the day they died, living out the rest of their lives as widows.

20:4 Then the king said to Amasa, “Call the men of Judah together for me in three days, and you be present here with them too.” 20:5 So Amasa went out to call Judah together. But in doing so he took longer than the time that the king had allotted him.

20:6 Then David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba son of Bicri will cause greater disaster for us than Absalom did! Take your lord’s servants and pursue him. Otherwise he will secure fortified cities for himself and get away from us.” 20:7 So Joab’s men, accompanied by the Kerethites, the Pelethites, and all the warriors, left Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bicri.

20:8 When they were near the big rock that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to them. Now Joab was dressed in military attire and had a dagger in its sheath belted to his waist. When he advanced, it fell out.

20:9 Joab said to Amasa, “How are you, my brother?” With his right hand Joab took hold of Amasa’s beard as if to greet him with a kiss. 20:10 Amasa did not protect himself from the knife in Joab’s other hand, and Joab stabbed him in the abdomen, causing Amasa’s intestines to spill out on the ground. There was no need to stab him again; the first blow was fatal. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri.

20:11 One of Joab’s soldiers who stood over Amasa said, “Whoever is for Joab and whoever is for David, follow Joab!” 20:12 Amasa was squirming in his own blood in the middle of the path, and this man had noticed that all the soldiers stopped. Having noticed that everyone who came across Amasa stopped, the man pulled him away from the path and into the field and threw a garment over him. 20:13 Once he had removed Amasa from the path, everyone followed Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bicri.

20:14 Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth Maacah and all the Berite region. When they had assembled, they too joined him. 20:15 So Joab’s men came and laid siege against him in Abel of Beth Maacah. They prepared a siege ramp outside the city which stood against its outer rampart. As all of Joab’s soldiers were trying to break through the wall so that it would collapse, 20:16 a wise woman called out from the city, “Listen up! Listen up! Tell Joab, ‘Come near so that I may speak to you.’”

20:17 When he approached her, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?” He replied, “I am.” She said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant.” He said, “Go ahead. I’m listening.” 20:18 She said, “In the past they would always say, ‘Let them inquire in Abel,’ and that is how they settled things. 20:19 I represent the peaceful and the faithful in Israel. You are attempting to destroy an important city in Israel. Why should you swallow up the Lord’s inheritance?”

20:20 Joab answered, “Get serious! I don’t want to swallow up or destroy anything! 20:21 That’s not the way things are. There is a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Sheba son of Bicri. He has rebelled against King David. Give me just this one man, and I will leave the city.” The woman said to Joab, “This very minute his head will be thrown over the wall to you!”

20:22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. Joab blew the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each going to his own home. Joab returned to the king in Jerusalem.

20:23 Now Joab was the general in command of all the army of Israel. Benaiah the son of Jehoida was over the Kerethites and the Perethites. 20:24 Adoniram was supervisor of the work crews. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the secretary. 20:25 Sheva was the scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests. 20:26 Ira the Jairite was David’s personal priest.

The Gibeonites Demand Revenge

21:1 During David’s reign there was a famine for three consecutive years. So David inquired of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is because of Saul and his bloodstained family, because he murdered the Gibeonites.”

21:2 So the king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke with them. (Now the Gibeonites were not descendants of Israel; they were a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had made a promise to them, but Saul tried to kill them because of his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.) 21:3 David said to the Gibeonites, “What can I do for you, and how can I make amends so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?”

21:4 The Gibeonites said to him, “We have no claim to silver or gold from Saul or from his family, nor would we be justified in putting to death anyone in Israel.” David asked, “What then are you asking me to do for you?” 21:5 They replied to the king, “As for this man who exterminated us and who schemed against us so that we were destroyed and left without status throughout all the borders of Israel – 21:6 let seven of his male descendants be turned over to us, and we will execute them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, who was the Lord’s chosen one.” The king replied, “I will turn them over.”

21:7 The king had mercy on Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, in light of the Lord’s oath that had been taken between David and Jonathan son of Saul. 21:8 So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah whom she had born to Saul, and the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab whom she had born to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 21:9 He turned them over to the Gibeonites, and they executed them on a hill before the Lord. The seven of them died together; they were put to death during harvest time – during the first days of the beginning of the barley harvest.

21:10 Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest until the rain fell on them, she did not allow the birds of the air to feed on them by day, nor the wild animals by night. 21:11 When David was told what Rizpah daughter of Aiah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 21:12 he went and took the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the leaders of Jabesh Gilead. (They had secretly taken them from the plaza at Beth Shan. It was there that Philistines publicly exposed their corpses after they had killed Saul at Gilboa.) 21:13 David brought the bones of Saul and of Jonathan his son from there; they also gathered up the bones of those who had been executed.

21:14 They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin at Zela in the grave of his father Kish. After they had done everything that the king had commanded, God responded to their prayers for the land.

Israel Engages in Various Battles with the Philistines

21:15 Another battle was fought between the Philistines and Israel. So David went down with his soldiers and fought the Philistines. David became exhausted. 21:16 Now Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, had a spear that weighed three hundred bronze shekels, and he was armed with a new weapon. He had said that he would kill David. 21:17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to David’s aid, striking the Philistine down and killing him. Then David’s men took an oath saying, “You will not go out to battle with us again! You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel!”

21:18 Later there was another battle with the Philistines, this time in Gob. On that occasion Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of Rapha. 21:19 Yet another battle occurred with the Philistines in Gob. On that occasion Elhanan the son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 21:20 Yet another battle occurred in Gath. On that occasion there was a large man who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all! He too was a descendant of Rapha. 21:21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, killed him. 21:22 These four were the descendants of Rapha who lived in Gath; they were killed by David and his soldiers.

Psalms

5:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by wind instruments; a psalm of David.

Listen to what I say, Lord!

Carefully consider my complaint!

5:2 Pay attention to my cry for help, my king and my God, for I am praying to you!

5:3 Lord, in the morning you will hear me; in the morning I will present my case to you and then wait expectantly for an answer.

5:4 Certainly you are not a God who approves of evil; evil people cannot dwell with you.

5:5 Arrogant people cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who behave wickedly.

5:6 You destroy liars; the Lord despises violent and deceitful people.

5:7 But as for me, because of your great faithfulness I will enter your house; I will bow down toward your holy temple as I worship you.

5:8 Lord, lead me in your righteousness because of those who wait to ambush me, remove the obstacles in the way in which you are guiding me!

5:9 For they do not speak the truth; their stomachs are like the place of destruction, their throats like an open grave, their tongues like a steep slope leading into it.

5:10 Condemn them, O God!

May their own schemes be their downfall!

Drive them away because of their many acts of insurrection, for they have rebelled against you.

5:11 But may all who take shelter in you be happy!

May they continually shout for joy!

Shelter them so that those who are loyal to you may rejoice!

5:12 Certainly you reward the godly, Lord. Like a shield you protect them in your good favor.

38:1 A psalm of David, written to get God’s attention. O Lord, do not continue to rebuke me in your anger!

Do not continue to punish me in your raging fury!

38:2 For your arrows pierce me, and your hand presses me down.

38:3 My whole body is sick because of your judgment; I am deprived of health because of my sin.

38:4 For my sins overwhelm me; like a heavy load, they are too much for me to bear.

38:5 My wounds are infected and starting to smell, because of my foolish sins.

38:6 I am dazed and completely humiliated; all day long I walk around mourning.

38:7 For I am overcome with shame and my whole body is sick.

38:8 I am numb with pain and severely battered; I groan loudly because of the anxiety I feel.

38:9 O Lord, you understand my heart’s desire; my groaning is not hidden from you.

38:10 My heart beats quickly; my strength leaves me; I can hardly see.

38:11 Because of my condition, even my friends and acquaintances keep their distance; my neighbors stand far away.

38:12 Those who seek my life try to entrap me; those who want to harm me speak destructive words; all day long they say deceitful things.

38:13 But I am like a deaf man – I hear nothing; I am like a mute who cannot speak.

38:14 I am like a man who cannot hear and is incapable of arguing his defense.

38:15 Yet I wait for you, O Lord!

You will respond, O Lord, my God!

38:16 I have prayed for deliverance, because otherwise they will gloat over me; when my foot slips they will arrogantly taunt me.

38:17 For I am about to stumble, and I am in constant pain.

38:18 Yes, I confess my wrongdoing, and I am concerned about my sins.

38:19 But those who are my enemies for no reason are numerous; those who hate me without cause outnumber me.

38:20 They repay me evil for the good I have done; though I have tried to do good to them, they hurl accusations at me.

38:21 Do not abandon me, O Lord!

My God, do not remain far away from me!

38:22 Hurry and help me, O Lord, my deliverer!

41:1 For the music director; a psalm of David.

How blessed is the one who treats the poor properly!

When trouble comes, the Lord delivers him.

41:2 May the Lord protect him and save his life!

May he be blessed in the land!

Do not turn him over to his enemies!

41:3 The Lord supports him on his sickbed; you completely heal him from his illness.

41:4 As for me, I said: “O Lord, have mercy on me!

Heal me, for I have sinned against you!

41:5 My enemies ask this cruel question about me, ‘When will he finally die and be forgotten?’

41:6 When someone comes to visit, he pretends to be friendly; he thinks of ways to defame me, and when he leaves he slanders me.

41:7 All who hate me whisper insults about me to one another; they plan ways to harm me.

41:8 They say, ‘An awful disease overwhelms him, and now that he is bed-ridden he will never recover.’

41:9 Even my close friend whom I trusted, he who shared meals with me, has turned against me.

41:10 As for you, O Lord, have mercy on me and raise me up, so I can pay them back!”

41:11 By this I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.

41:12 As for me, you uphold me because of my integrity; you allow me permanent access to your presence.

41:13 The Lord God of Israel deserves praise in the future and forevermore!

We agree! We agree!

42:1 For the music director; a well-written song by the Korahites.

As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God!

42:2 I thirst for God, for the living God.

I say, “When will I be able to go and appear in God’s presence?”

42:3 I cannot eat, I weep day and night; all day long they say to me, “Where is your God?”

42:4 I will remember and weep!

For I was once walking along with the great throng to the temple of God, shouting and giving thanks along with the crowd as we celebrated the holy festival.

42:5 Why are you depressed, O my soul?

Why are you upset?

Wait for God!

For I will again give thanks to my God for his saving intervention.

42:6 I am depressed, so I will pray to you while I am trapped here in the region of the upper Jordan, from Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

42:7 One deep stream calls out to another at the sound of your waterfalls; all your billows and waves overwhelm me.

42:8 By day the Lord decrees his loyal love, and by night he gives me a song, a prayer to the living God.

42:9 I will pray to God, my high ridge: “Why do you ignore me?

Why must I walk around mourning because my enemies oppress me?”

42:10 My enemies’ taunts cut into me to the bone, as they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

42:11 Why are you depressed, O my soul?

Why are you upset?

Wait for God!

For I will again give thanks to my God for his saving intervention.

2 Samuel

David Sings to the Lord

22:1 David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord rescued him from the power of all his enemies, including Saul. 22:2 He said: “The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer.

22:3 My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter, my shield, the horn that saves me, my stronghold,my refuge, my savior. You save me from violence!

22:4 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was delivered from my enemies.

22:5 The waves of death engulfed me; the currents of chaos overwhelmed me.

22:6 The ropes of Sheol tightened around me; the snares of death trapped me.

22:7 In my distress I called to the Lord; I called to my God.

From his heavenly temple he heard my voice; he listened to my cry for help.

22:8 The earth heaved and shook; the foundations of the sky trembled. They heaved because he was angry.

22:9 Smoke ascended from his nose; fire devoured as it came from his mouth; he hurled down fiery coals.

22:10 He made the sky sink as he descended; a thick cloud was under his feet.

22:11 He mounted a winged angel and flew; he glided on the wings of the wind.

22:12 He shrouded himself in darkness, in thick rain clouds.

22:13 From the brightness in front of him came coals of fire.

22:14 The Lord thundered from the sky; the sovereign One shouted loudly.

22:15 He shot arrows and scattered them, lightning and routed them.

22:16 The depths of the sea were exposed; the inner regions of the world were uncovered by the Lord’s battle cry, by the powerful breath from his nose.

22:17 He reached down from above and grabbed me; he pulled me from the surging water.

22:18 He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.

22:19 They confronted me in my day of calamity, but the Lord helped me.

22:20 He brought me out into a wide open place; he delivered me because he was pleased with me.

22:21 The Lord repaid me for my godly deeds; he rewarded my blameless behavior.

22:22 For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands; I have not rebelled against my God.

22:23 For I am aware of all his regulations, and I do not reject his rules.

22:24 I was blameless before him; I kept myself from sinning.

22:25 The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds; he took notice of my blameless behavior.

22:26 You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful; you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent.

22:27 You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless, but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse.

22:28 You deliver oppressed people, but you watch the proud and bring them down.

22:29 Indeed, you are my lamp, Lord. The Lord illumines the darkness around me.

22:30 Indeed,with your help I can charge against an army; by my God’s power I can jump over a wall.

22:31 The one true God acts in a faithful manner; the Lord’s promise is reliable; he is a shield to all who take shelter in him.

22:32 Indeed, who is God besides the Lord?

Who is a protector besides our God?

22:33 The one true God is my mighty refuge; he removes the obstacles in my way.

22:34 He gives me the agility of a deer; he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.

22:35 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend even the strongest bow.

22:36 You give me your protective shield; your willingness to help enables me to prevail.

22:37 You widen my path; my feet do not slip.

22:38 I chase my enemies and destroy them; I do not turn back until I wipe them out.

22:39 I wipe them out and beat them to death; they cannot get up; they fall at my feet.

22:40 You give me strength for battle; you make my foes kneel before me.

22:41 You make my enemies retreat; I destroy those who hate me.

22:42 They cry out, but there is no one to help them; they cry out to the Lord, but he does not answer them.

22:43 I grind them as fine as the dust of the ground; I crush them and stomp on them like clay in the streets.

22:44 You rescue me from a hostile army; you preserve me as a leader of nations; people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects.

22:45 Foreigners are powerless before me; when they hear of my exploits, they submit to me.

22:46 Foreigners lose their courage; they shake with fear as they leave their strongholds.

22:47 The Lord is alive!

My protector is praiseworthy!

The God who delivers me is exalted as king!

22:48 The one true God completely vindicates me; he makes nations submit to me.

22:49 He delivers me from my enemies; you snatch me away from those who attack me; you rescue me from violent men.

22:50 So I will give you thanks, O Lord, before the nations! I will sing praises to you.

22:51 He gives his chosen king magnificent victories; he is faithful to his chosen ruler, to David and to his descendants forever!”

David’s Final Words

23:1 These are the final words of David:

“The oracle of David son of Jesse, the oracle of the man raised up as the ruler chosen by the God of Jacob, Israel’s beloved singer of songs:

23:2 The Lord’s spirit spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.

23:3 The God of Israel spoke, the protector of Israel spoke to me.

The one who rules fairly among men, the one who rules in the fear of God,

23:4 is like the light of morning when the sun comes up, a morning in which there are no clouds.

He is like the brightness after rain that produces grass from the earth.

23:5 My dynasty is approved by God, for he has made a perpetual covenant with me, arranged in all its particulars and secured. He always delivers me, and brings all I desire to fruition.

23:6 But evil people are like thorns – all of them are tossed away, for they cannot be held in the hand.

23:7 The one who touches them must use an iron instrument or the wooden shaft of a spear.

They are completely burned up right where they lie!”

David’s Warriors

23:8 These are the names of David’s warriors:

Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was head of the officers. He killed eight hundred men with his spear in one battle. 23:9 Next in command was Eleazar son of Dodo, the son of Ahohi. He was one of the three warriors who were with David when they defied the Philistines who were assembled there for battle. When the men of Israel retreated, 23:10 he stood his ground and fought the Philistines until his hand grew so tired that it seemed stuck to his sword. The Lord gave a great victory on that day. When the army returned to him, the only thing left to do was to plunder the corpses.

23:11 Next in command was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines assembled at Lehi, where there happened to be an area of a field that was full of lentils, the army retreated before the Philistines. 23:12 But he made a stand in the middle of that area. He defended it and defeated the Philistines; the Lord gave them a great victory.

23:13 At the time of the harvest three of the thirty leaders went down to David at the cave of Adullam. A band of Philistines was camped in the valley of Rephaim. 23:14 David was in the stronghold at the time, while a Philistine garrison was in Bethlehem. 23:15 David was thirsty and said, “How I wish someone would give me some water to drink from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate!” 23:16 So the three elite warriors broke through the Philistine forces and drew some water from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate. They carried it back to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord 23:17 and said, “O Lord, I will not do this! It is equivalent to the blood of the men who risked their lives by going.” So he refused to drink it. Such were the exploits of the three elite warriors.

23:18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was head of the three. He killed three hundred men with his spear and gained fame among the three. 23:19 From the three he was given honor and he became their officer, even though he was not one of the three.

23:20 Benaiah son of Jehoida was a brave warrior from Kabzeel who performed great exploits. He struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in a cistern on a snowy day. 23:21 He also killed an impressive-looking Egyptian. The Egyptian wielded a spear, while Benaiah attacked him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 23:22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoida, who gained fame among the three elite warriors. 23:23 He received honor from the thirty warriors, though he was not one of the three elite warriors. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

23:24 Included with the thirty were the following: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem, 23:25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 23:26 Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, 23:27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 23:28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 23:29 Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin, 23:30 Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash, 23:31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 23:32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan 23:33 son of Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite, 23:34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 23:35 Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 23:36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 23:37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite (the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah), 23:38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite 23:39 and Uriah the Hittite. Altogether there were thirty-seven.

Prayer

Lord, You bring good from what the enemy has used to bring evil, but sin always has negative consequences. May I be careful that I not presume that carelessness on my part, though forgiven and redeemed by You, will have no bad consequences for me and for others. Once again a foolish man attacked Your chosen leader and once again he paid with his life. May I be wise and seek after You that I may be a valued servant in Your great plan and not an impediment to be removed from the way. After David killed Goliath the Israelites were no longer terrified of giant soldiers among the Philistines. May I remember that You are greater than any giant in my world and therefore I will stand with You for truth. When we celebrate Your glory and honor and power we draw nearer to You, and it is only there that we have purpose and safety. May I praise and worship You often.

Scripture In Perspective

When David heard the news he went into mourning and Absalom’s army fled to their homes. Joab challenged David for creating a new crisis as he appeared to value Absalom his enemy more than the faithful soldiers, merely because he was one of his sons.

David understood the threat to his credibility and went to the city gate where people came to see him.

David sent word to the leaders of the tribes who represented the somewhat divided original Israel, still bearing the name Israel, as he had fled Jerusalem primarily in the company of those who had become identified and Judah – he asked them to make clear his way to Jerusalem.

The leaders of the Israelite tribes welcomed him home and greeted him.

Among those who greeted him were Shimei, the distant relative of Saul who had thrown stones and curse him as he fled, but David rebuked those who wished to kill him and instead accepted his confession and repentance and observed that it was time for healing.

Also among those who greeted David was an equally repentant Mephibosheth, grandson of Saul, who blamed bad counsel for turning him against David.

On the dark side was an escalation of the tribal conflict between the communities of Israel and Judah.

Sheba son of Bicri, a Benjaminite, took advantage of the squabbling between those of Israel and those of Judah and sparked another rebellion. He took some men with him and set out to rally others to his cause.

David sent Amassa to gather those of Judah but he was gone longer than David gave him to complete the task which made Joab suspicious.

Joab met him and killed him and then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba.

At the fortified city they prepared to breach the gate or the walls when a woman convinced Joab to negotiate. He agreed to spare the city if they surrendered Sheba, so they killed him and tossed his head over the wall, then Joab returned to Jerusalem.

There were three year of famine and when David inquired of the Lord God he learned that it was because of Saul’s unjust slaughter of the Gibeonites.

The Gibeonites asked for sever descendants of Saul to execute for the sake of justice, then their bones and those of Saul and Jonathan were brought to the land of the Benjaminites and the famine was lifted.

David was now an old man and when he joined his troops in battle against the Philistines he became tired and vulnerable and had to be rescued from one of the giant relatives of Goliath. The soldiers then declared that it was no longer necessary for David to battle with them as he represented Israel and their blessings.

Other giant relatives of Goliath came against the Israelites and they were also killed.

David’s fifth Psalm was a cry to the Lord, still a confident cry as before, and a testimony of the Lord God’s faithfulness to those who obey.

David’s thirty-eighth Psalm returned to a cry for the Lord God’s rescue, David sounded a lot like Job – complaining that he had become repulsive even to his friends – and pleading for the Lord God to intervene soon.

David’s forty-first Psalm began with a wisdom verse about God’s healing, protection, and provision for one who cares for the poor. Then it returned to the theme of rescue as he described all who had turned against him. It concluded with a statement of assurance that the Lord God would heal and rescue him because, despite his sin, he had remained steadfastly loyal to the Lord.

David’s forty-second Psalm was David’s cry to the Lord from his memories of intimacy with the Lord God and of great public celebrations of the Lord (such as dancing as they brought the ark of God into the city). He pleaded with the Lord for rescue him and he confidently looked forward to singing His praises when He did.

In his usual bombastic style David wrote a prosaic reflection on the recent events of his life. He narrowed his responsibility for the troubles by only addressing his direct honor to the Lord God, rather than his personal sin and leadership failures, and he emphasized the sin of others.

David did give glory to the Lord God in his poetic tribute, recognizing the Lord’s faithfulness, justice, and omnipotence.

David then gave honor to the warriors who had surrounded him over many years, telling of their amazing exploits in battle, and explaining how they had earned their promotions.

Interact With The Text

Consider

David's refusal to escalate the violence earlier against Shimei and Mephibosheth made this moment of repentance and reconciliation possible, a role model for others, and part of the healing of the nation. The Benjaminites had a troubled history, they were very proud of Saul, and with his loss there was some considerable angst as to their standing among the tribes. The Lord God had warned Israel against a mere human king and had told them all of the difficult things one would bring upon them. Saul went beyond even the troubles God prophesied and long after his death negative consequences of his poor choices were visited upon the people. David's emphasis, though favorable to himself, was primarily on the Lord God, where it should be.

Discuss

Why would David prefer Amassa over Joab as leader of his army, and was that a wise priority? Why did Joab kill Amassa? Why would David had thought it necessary to be on the battlefront? Why would David believe it was important to celebrate the loyal warriors?

Reflect

The leaders of Israel asked David a fair question, which he did not answer, and that was why he fled with those of Judah rather than remain with Israel and Judah and stand his ground. This is the second time that a woman saved David, this time indirectly, from a big hassle - using reason and strategy. There will be giant challenges in our lives, but because Jesus has overcome death we are not afraid. The kingdom was not about David but God’s chosen people, Israel. On those occasions where David fell short in his personal righteousness, and his sense for right-leadership priorities, it was because his eyes and heart were not on the Lord.

Share

When have you observed that despite overcoming a past conflict in an organization or relationship there remained some difficulties? When have you received good advice and/or assistance from an unexpected person?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a situation where He wants you to deal gently with someone who stands in opposition to you because He intends to lead that person to repentance and to make of them an ally in the Lord’s service, to reveal to you a giant in your life that needs to be dealt with, and to show you the big and small picture of the Lord God’s role in your life.

Act

Today I will pray for the one whom the Holy Spirit has identified, I will find a way to deal with them more gently than my flesh desires, and I will continue to pray as I patiently await the Lord’s work in their heart – and in mine. I will ask a fellow believer to pray-in agreement as I accept the courage and wisdom of the Lord to face and to overcome the giant(s) in my life. It may be depression, which flows from unresolved anger or fear, substance abuse, financial or relationship troubles, challenges in school or the workplace, health problems, or other events which are stealing your joy and blocking your blessings. I stand in the power of the Lord and walk one step at a time to victory and freedom. I will take the time to celebrate what the Lord God means to me; what He has done for me, what He has done in and through me, and what He has done in spite of me.

Be Specific ________________________________________________

Thursday (Psalms 57, 95, 97-99, 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21-22)

Psalms

57:1 For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; a prayer of David, written when he fled from Saul into the cave.

Have mercy on me, O God! Have mercy on me!

For in you I have taken shelter. In the shadow of your wings I take shelter until trouble passes.

57:2 I cry out for help to the sovereign God, to the God who vindicates me.

57:3 May he send help from heaven and deliver me from my enemies who hurl insults! (Selah)

May God send his loyal love and faithfulness!

57:4 I am surrounded by lions; I lie down among those who want to devour me; men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are a sharp sword.

57:5 Rise up above the sky, O God!

May your splendor cover the whole earth!

57:6 They have prepared a net to trap me; I am discouraged.

They have dug a pit for me. They will fall into it! (Selah)

57:7 I am determined, O God! I am determined!

I will sing and praise you!

57:8 Awake, my soul!

Awake, O stringed instrument and harp!

I will wake up at dawn!

57:9 I will give you thanks before the nations, O Master!

I will sing praises to you before foreigners!

57:10 For your loyal love extends beyond the sky, and your faithfulness reaches the clouds.

57:11 Rise up above the sky, O God!

May your splendor cover the whole earth!

95:1 Come! Let’s sing for joy to the Lord!

Let’s shout out praises to our protector who delivers us!

95:2 Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving!

Let’s shout out to him in celebration!

95:3 For the Lord is a great God, a great king who is superior to all gods.

95:4 The depths of the earth are in his hand, and the mountain peaks belong to him.

95:5 The sea is his, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land.

95:6 Come! Let’s bow down and worship!

Let’s kneel before the Lord, our creator!

95:7 For he is our God; we are the people of his pasture, the sheep he owns.

Today, if only you would obey him!

95:8 He says, “Do not be stubborn like they were at Meribah, like they were that day at Massah in the wilderness,

95:9 where your ancestors challenged my authority, and tried my patience, even though they had seen my work.

95:10 For forty years I was continually disgusted with that generation, and I said, ‘These people desire to go astray; they do not obey my commands.’

95:11 So I made a vow in my anger, ‘They will never enter into the resting place I had set aside for them.’”

97:1 The Lord reigns!

Let the earth be happy!

Let the many coastlands rejoice!

97:2 Dark clouds surround him; equity and justice are the foundation of his throne.

97:3 Fire goes before him; on every side it burns up his enemies.

97:4 His lightning bolts light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.

97:5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of the whole earth.

97:6 The sky declares his justice, and all the nations see his splendor.

97:7 All who worship idols are ashamed, those who boast about worthless idols.

All the gods bow down before him.

97:8 Zion hears and rejoices, the towns of Judah are happy, because of your judgments, O Lord.

97:9 For you, O Lord, are the sovereign king over the whole earth; you are elevated high above all gods.

97:10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!

He protects the lives of his faithful followers; he delivers them from the power of the wicked.

97:11 The godly bask in the light; the morally upright experience joy.

97:12 You godly ones, rejoice in the Lord!

Give thanks to his holy name.

Psalm 98

98:1 A psalm.

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he performs amazing deeds!

His right hand and his mighty arm accomplish deliverance.

98:2 The Lord demonstrates his power to deliver; in the sight of the nations he reveals his justice.

98:3 He remains loyal and faithful to the family of Israel. All the ends of the earth see our God deliver us.

98:4 Shout out praises to the Lord, all the earth!

Break out in a joyful shout and sing!

98:5 Sing to the Lord accompanied by a harp, accompanied by a harp and the sound of music!

98:6 With trumpets and the blaring of the ram’s horn, shout out praises before the king, the Lord!

98:7 Let the sea and everything in it shout, along with the world and those who live in it!

98:8 Let the rivers clap their hands!

Let the mountains sing in unison

98:9 before the Lord!

For he comes to judge the earth!

He judges the world fairly, and the nations in a just manner.

Psalm 99

99:1 The Lord reigns!

The nations tremble.

He sits enthroned above the winged angels; the earth shakes.

99:2 The Lord is elevated in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations.

99:3 Let them praise your great and awesome name!

He is holy!

99:4 The king is strong; he loves justice. You ensure that legal decisions will be made fairly; you promote justice and equity in Jacob.

99:5 Praise the Lord our God!

Worship before his footstool!

He is holy!

99:6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests; Samuel was one of those who prayed to him. They prayed to the Lord and he answered them.

99:7 He spoke to them from a pillar of cloud; they obeyed his regulations and the ordinance he gave them.

99:8 O Lord our God, you answered them. They found you to be a forgiving God, but also one who punished their sinful deeds.

99:9 Praise the Lord our God!

Worship on his holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy!

2 Samuel

David Displeases the Lord by Taking a Census

24:1 The Lord’s anger again raged against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go count Israel and Judah.” 24:2 The king told Joab, the general in command of his army, “Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beer Sheba and muster the army, so I may know the size of the army.”

24:3 Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God make the army a hundred times larger right before the eyes of my lord the king! But why does my master the king want to do this?”

24:4 But the king’s edict stood, despite the objections of Joab and the leaders of the army. So Joab and the leaders of the army left the king’s presence in order to muster the Israelite army.

24:5 They crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, on the south side of the city, at the wadi of Gad, near Jazer. 24:6 Then they went on to Gilead and to the region of Tahtim Hodshi, coming to Dan Jaan and on around to Sidon. 24:7 Then they went to the fortress of Tyre and all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went on to the Negev of Judah, to Beer Sheba. 24:8 They went through all the land and after nine months and twenty days came back to Jerusalem.

24:9 Joab reported the number of warriors to the king. In Israel there were 800,000 sword-wielding warriors, and in Judah there were 500,000 soldiers.

24:10 David felt guilty after he had numbered the army. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by doing this! Now, O Lord, please remove the guilt of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”

24:11 When David got up the next morning, the Lord had already spoken to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: 24:12 “Go, tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am offering you three forms of judgment. Pick one of them and I will carry it out against you.’”

24:13 Gad went to David and told him, “Shall seven years of famine come upon your land? Or shall you flee for three months from your enemy with him in hot pursuit? Or shall there be three days of plague in your land? Now decide what I should tell the one who sent me.” 24:14 David said to Gad, “I am very upset! I prefer that we be attacked by the Lord, for his mercy is great; I do not want to be attacked by men!”

24:15 So the Lord sent a plague through Israel from the morning until the completion of the appointed time. Seventy thousand men died from Dan to Beer Sheba. 24:16 When the angel extended his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented from his judgment. He told the angel who was killing the people, “That’s enough! Stop now!” (Now the Lord’s angel was near the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.)

24:17 When he saw the angel who was destroying the people, David said to the Lord, “Look, it is I who have sinned and done this evil thing! As for these sheep – what have they done? Attack me and my family.”

David Acquires a Threshing Floor and Constructs an Altar There

24:18 So Gad went to David that day and told him, “Go up and build an altar for the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 24:19 So David went up as Gad instructed him to do, according to the Lord’s instructions.

24:20 When Araunah looked out and saw the king and his servants approaching him, he went out and bowed to the king with his face to the ground. 24:21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David replied, “To buy from you the threshing floor so I can build an altar for the Lord, so that the plague may be removed from the people.” 24:22 Araunah told David, “My lord the king may take whatever he wishes and offer it. Look! Here are oxen for burnt offerings, and threshing sledges and harnesses for wood. 24:23 I, the servant of my lord the king, give it all to the king!” Araunah also told the king, “May the Lord your God show you favor!” 24:24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it from you! I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt sacrifices that cost me nothing.”

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty pieces of silver. 24:25 Then David built an altar for the Lord there and offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings. And the Lord accepted prayers for the land, and the plague was removed from Israel.

1 Chronicles

The Lord Sends a Plague against Israel

21:1 An adversary opposed Israel, inciting David to count how many warriors Israel had. 21:2 David told Joab and the leaders of the army, “Go, count the number of warriors from Beer Sheba to Dan. Then bring back a report to me so I may know how many we have.” 21:3 Joab replied, “May the Lord make his army a hundred times larger! My master, O king, do not all of them serve my master? Why does my master want to do this? Why bring judgment on Israel?”

21:4 But the king’s edict stood, despite Joab’s objections. So Joab left and traveled throughout Israel before returning to Jerusalem. 21:5 Joab reported to David the number of warriors. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 sword-wielding soldiers; Judah alone had 470,000 sword-wielding soldiers. 21:6 Now Joab did not number Levi and Benjamin, for the king’s edict disgusted him. 21:7 God was also offended by it, so he attacked Israel.

21:8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this! Now, please remove the guilt of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 21:9 The Lord told Gad, David’s prophet, 21:10 “Go, tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I am offering you three forms of judgment from which to choose. Pick one of them.”‘” 21:11 Gad went to David and told him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Pick one of these: 21:12 three years of famine, or three months being chased by your enemies and struck down by their swords, or three days being struck down by the Lord, during which a plague will invade the land and the Lord’s messenger will destroy throughout Israel’s territory.’ Now, decide what I should tell the one who sent me.” 21:13 David said to Gad, “I am very upset! I prefer to be attacked by the Lord, for his mercy is very great; I do not want to be attacked by men!” 21:14 So the Lord sent a plague through Israel, and 70,000 Israelite men died.

21:15 God sent an angel to ravage Jerusalem. As he was doing so, the Lord watched and relented from his judgment. He told the angel who was destroying, “That’s enough! Stop now!”

Now the Lord’s angel was standing near the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 21:16 David looked up and saw the Lord’s messenger standing between the earth and sky with his sword drawn and in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem. David and the leaders, covered with sackcloth, threw themselves down with their faces to the ground. 21:17 David said to God, “Was I not the one who decided to number the army? I am the one who sinned and committed this awful deed! As for these sheep – what have they done? O Lord my God, attack me and my family, but remove the plague from your people!”

21:18 So the Lord’s messenger told Gad to instruct David to go up and build an altar for the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 21:19 So David went up as Gad instructed him to do in the name of the Lord. 21:20 While Ornan was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the messenger, and he and his four sons hid themselves. 21:21 When David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David; he came out from the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground. 21:22 David said to Ornan, “Sell me the threshing floor so I can build on it an altar for the Lord – I’ll pay top price – so that the plague may be removed from the people.” 21:23 Ornan told David, “You can have it! My master, the king, may do what he wants. Look, I am giving you the oxen for burnt sacrifices, the threshing sledges for wood, and the wheat for an offering. I give it all to you.” 21:24 King David replied to Ornan, “No, I insist on buying it for top price. I will not offer to the Lord what belongs to you or offer a burnt sacrifice that cost me nothing. 21:25 So David bought the place from Ornan for 600 pieces of gold. 21:26 David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings. He called out to the Lord, and the Lord responded by sending fire from the sky and consuming the burnt sacrifice on the altar. 21:27 The Lord ordered the messenger to put his sword back into its sheath.

21:28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord responded to him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 21:29 Now the Lord’s tabernacle (which Moses had made in the wilderness) and the altar for burnt sacrifices were at that time at the worship center in Gibeon. 21:30 But David could not go before it to seek God’s will, for he was afraid of the sword of the Lord’s messenger.

22:1 David then said, “This is the place where the temple of the Lord God will be, along with the altar for burnt sacrifices for Israel.”

22:2 David ordered the resident foreigners in the land of Israel to be called together. He appointed some of them to be stonecutters to chisel stones for the building of God’s temple. 22:3 David supplied a large amount of iron for the nails of the doors of the gates and for braces, more bronze than could be weighed, 22:4 and more cedar logs than could be counted. (The Sidonians and Tyrians had brought a large amount of cedar logs to David.)

22:5 David said, “My son Solomon is just an inexperienced young man, and the temple to be built for the Lord must be especially magnificent so it will become famous and be considered splendid by all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for its construction.” So David made extensive preparations before he died.

22:6 He summoned his son Solomon and charged him to build a temple for the Lord God of Israel. 22:7 David said to Solomon: “My son, I really wanted to build a temple to honor the Lord my God. 22:8 But the Lord said to me: ‘You have spilled a great deal of blood and fought many battles. You must not build a temple to honor me, for you have spilled a great deal of blood on the ground before me. 22:9 Look, you will have a son, who will be a peaceful man. I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. Indeed, Solomon will be his name; I will give Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 22:10 He will build a temple to honor me; he will become my son, and I will become his father. I will grant to his dynasty permanent rule over Israel.’

22:11 “Now, my son, may the Lord be with you! May you succeed and build a temple for the Lord your God, just as he announced you would. 22:12 Only may the Lord give you insight and understanding when he places you in charge of Israel, so you may obey the law of the Lord your God. 22:13 Then you will succeed, if you carefully obey the rules and regulations which the Lord ordered Moses to give to Israel. Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! 22:14 Now, look, I have made every effort to supply what is needed to build the Lord’s temple. I have stored up 100,000 talents of gold, 1,000,000 talents of silver, and so much bronze and iron it cannot be weighed, as well as wood and stones. Feel free to add more! 22:15 You also have available many workers, including stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and an innumerable array of workers who are skilled 22:16 in using gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Get up and begin the work! May the Lord be with you!”

22:17 David ordered all the officials of Israel to support his son Solomon. 22:18 He told them, “The Lord your God is with you! He has made you secure on every side, for he handed over to me the inhabitants of the region and the region is subdued before the Lord and his people. 22:19 Now seek the Lord your God wholeheartedly and with your entire being! Get up and build the sanctuary of the Lord God! Then you can bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant and the holy items dedicated to God’s service into the temple that is built to honor the Lord.”

Prayer

Lord, You know our hearts and You do not tolerate sin gladly. May I take care in any role in leadership; husband, father, teacher, counselor, to not allow my sin to cause trouble for others. You stand with Your people against enemies but we must never presume that You will overlook our failure to stand righteously before You. May I be attentive to the things You have asked of me so that I am a suitable vessel for Your blessings.

Scripture In Perspective

David’s fifty-seventh Psalm was his cry for help, followed by praise for the Lord God, as he hid in a cave with Saul and his forces nearby. Notable phrases were that he took shelter in the Lord, a parallel to his shelter in the cave, and that the Lord might cover the whole earth with His splendor.

Psalm Ninety-Five was a praise-song which contained wisdom “For he is our God; we are the people of his pasture, the sheep he owns.” The author was not identified.

Psalm Ninety-Seven was a praise-song which contained wisdom “The godly bask in the light; the morally upright experience joy. You godly ones, rejoice in the Lord! Give thanks to his holy name.” The author was not identified.

Psalm Ninety-Eight was a praise-song which returned to the introductory theme of Psalm Ninety-Six “Sing to the Lord a new song!” and contained additional wisdom “His right hand and his mighty arm accomplish deliverance.” [The Net Translator’s Notes observe that this referred to the unique power of the Lord God and, as with His justice, reflected His character.] The author was not identified.

Psalm Ninety-Nine was a praise-song which contained wisdom “O Lord our God, you answered them. [Moses and Aaron ] They found you to be a forgiving God, but also one who punished their sinful deeds.” The author was not identified.

The Lord God was again angry with Israel, though the text does not specify the reason. It may have been the internal divisiveness, the failure of David to implement a system of justice (witness the case of Tamar and Absalom’s manipulation through the promise of justice), Israel’s chronic tolerance of other religions in their midst and often in their homes, or some other offense against God.

David commanded Joab to make a census of the manpower available to the army. Joab and the other military leaders pleaded with him to not do so, as they knew it was forbidden by the Lord God, but David insisted.

The NET translator’s notes postulate that the Lord God “incited” David to violate the law because He was angry with Israel. They suggest that the 2 Samuel 24 telling was a spiritual perspective, and that the Chronicles 1:21 telling was the human perspective e.g. that there was a foreign enemy whom David feared and therefore he desired knowledge of his resources for battle (despite God’s historic defense of Israel against overwhelming odds).

Give the ambiguities it may not be necessary to postulate either with certainty but rather that the adversary was David’s chronic personal insecurity, that his lack of faith created an adversarial relationship with the Lord God, so He then incited David to go ahead and conduct the census and bring trouble to his kingdom. (God had warned that a human king would be a two-way street of trouble for Israel, their sin would hurt him, and his sin would hurt them.)

The response of Joab and the other military leaders lends support to the notion that they were unconcerned as to troop strength and they they trusted the Lord God to raise up as many as were needed, Joab said “May the Lord your God make the army a hundred times larger right before the eyes of my lord the king! But why does my master the king want to do this?”.

Joab and his men reluctantly obeyed and returned with the census, at which time David was immediately repentant of his sin, but it was too late. The prophet Gad brought David three options from the Lord God; seven years of famine, three days of plague, or three months fleeing an enemy.

David had been through the fleeing-thing twice before and quickly decided that he preferred the measured judgment of God to that of man. His reason for rejecting the seven years of famine are not discussed but his age and the probable harm to the nation may have prompted him to choose against such a long hardship. David chose the plague and the Lord God took 70,000 men then halted the death angel.

David cried out to the Lord that it was his fault and he and his family rather than others should be punished. Gad instructed David to build an altar and to make an offering to the Lord, which he did, and the time of punishment ceased.

The Ammonite king died but when David sent messengers an adviser to his son, the new king, gave him the poor counsel that they were spies. They treated them disrespectfully and sent them home, only to discover that David was now an angry adversary, so they massed for war and paid the Arameans to join them.

The Arameans were frightened by the approaching Israelites and fled to safety. The Ammonites then hired ore mercenaries and again massed for war. David joined his armies and they routed the Arameans who negotiated peace and became David’s subjects.

Joab defeated the Amorites and devastated their cities, bring back the people to serve in manual labor for Israel.

The Philistines also attacked and lost, even the giant relatives of Goliath from Gath were killed.

David perceived a threat against Israel from a force not identified in the text, so in reaction David demanded a census of the men available for the army, despite the objections of his military advisers.

The Lord God was angry because He had forbidden that and brought a plague against Israel. The plague stopped at Jerusalem and David sacrficed at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. He bought the site from Ornan and established it as the location for future sacrifices because he was fearful of God’s wrath at the Tablenacle in Gibeon.

Interact With The Text

Consider

While David had just given praise and worship to the Lord God for what He had done, for him and for Israel, much of the trouble was David’s fault. The Ammonite king was badly served and should have known that David meant no harm.

Discuss

Why was David unable to see what was obvious to Joab? David was neglecting the Passover celebration and had neglected consultations with God prior to conducting a census, why would he be so careless when God had blessed him so much?

Reflect

It seems that it took yet another tragedy for David to recognize that he had err’d again and needed to confess and to repent. David’s fear of God’s wrath must have flowed more from a guilty conscience than anything he knew about the Lord God.

Share

When have you observed the failures of a leader bringing harm to those whom they led? When have you experienced or observed a wrong thinking about the Lord God?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place in your life where imaginary fears are causing you to obsess about worldly defenses rather than relying upon the Lord and to reveal to you a place in your life where you are making decisions without consulting the Lord God.

Act

Today I will confess and repent of those places where I have placed fears about health or money or popularity or anything else of this world above the Lord God. I will ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement with me as I restore the balance with God first in all things. I will confess, repent, and accept the Lord’s forgiveness. I will ask a fellow believer to be my accountability and prayer partner, challenging me when necessary, encouraging me always – as I bring every decision before the Lord God in prayer.

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Friday (Psalms 30, 108-110, 1 Chronicles 23-25, Psalms 131, 138-139, 145)

Psalms

30:1 A psalm – a song used at the dedication of the temple; by David.

I will praise you, O Lord, for you lifted me up,

and did not allow my enemies to gloat over me.

30:2 O Lord my God,

I cried out to you and you healed me.

30:3 O Lord, you pulled me up from Sheol;

you rescued me from among those descending into the grave.

30:4 Sing to the Lord, you faithful followers of his;

give thanks to his holy name.

30:5 For his anger lasts only a brief moment,

and his good favor restores one’s life.

One may experience sorrow during the night,

but joy arrives in the morning.

30:6 In my self-confidence I said,

“I will never be upended.”

30:7 O Lord, in your good favor you made me secure.

Then you rejected me and I was terrified.

30:8 To you, O Lord, I cried out;

I begged the Lord for mercy:

30:9 “What profit is there in taking my life,

in my descending into the Pit?

Can the dust of the grave praise you?

Can it declare your loyalty?

30:10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me!

O Lord, deliver me!”

30:11 Then you turned my lament into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and covered me with joy.

30:12 So now my heart will sing to you and not be silent;

O Lord my God, I will always give thanks to you.

108:1 A song, a psalm of David.

I am determined, O God!

I will sing and praise you with my whole heart.

108:2 Awake, O stringed instrument and harp!

I will wake up at dawn!

108:3 I will give you thanks before the nations, O Lord!

I will sing praises to you before foreigners!

108:4 For your loyal love extends beyond the sky, and your faithfulness reaches the clouds.

108:5 Rise up above the sky, O God!

May your splendor cover the whole earth!

108:6 Deliver by your power and answer me, so that the ones you love may be safe.

108:7 God has spoken in his sanctuary: “I will triumph! I will parcel out Shechem, the valley of Succoth I will measure off.

108:8 Gilead belongs to me, as does Manasseh!

Ephraim is my helmet, Judah my royal scepter.

108:9 Moab is my wash basin. I will make Edom serve me. I will shout in triumph over Philistia.”

108:10 Who will lead me into the fortified city?

Who will bring me to Edom?

108:11 Have you not rejected us, O God?

O God, you do not go into battle with our armies.

108:12 Give us help against the enemy, for any help men might offer is futile.

108:13 By God’s power we will conquer; he will trample down our enemies.

109:1 For the music director, a psalm of David.

O God whom I praise, do not ignore me!

109:2 For they say cruel and deceptive things to me; they lie to me.

109:3 They surround me and say hateful things; they attack me for no reason.

109:4 They repay my love with accusations, but I continue to pray.

109:5 They repay me evil for good, and hate for love.

109:6 Appoint an evil man to testify against him!

May an accuser stand at his right side!

109:7 When he is judged, he will be found guilty!

Then his prayer will be regarded as sinful.

109:8 May his days be few!

May another take his job!

109:9 May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow!

109:10 May his children roam around begging, asking for handouts as they leave their ruined home!

109:11 May the creditor seize all he owns!

May strangers loot his property!

109:12 May no one show him kindness!

May no one have compassion on his fatherless children!

109:13 May his descendants be cut off!

May the memory of them be wiped out by the time the next generation arrives!

109:14 May his ancestors’ sins be remembered by the Lord!

May his mother’s sin not be forgotten!

109:15 May the Lord be constantly aware of them, and cut off the memory of his children from the earth!

109:16 For he never bothered to show kindness; he harassed the oppressed and needy, and killed the disheartened.

109:17 He loved to curse others, so those curses have come upon him. He had no desire to bless anyone, so he has experienced no blessings.

109:18 He made cursing a way of life, so curses poured into his stomach like water and seeped into his bones like oil.

109:19 May a curse attach itself to him, like a garment one puts on, or a belt one wears continually!

109:20 May the Lord repay my accusers in this way, those who say evil things about me!

109:21 O sovereign Lord, intervene on my behalf for the sake of your reputation!

Because your loyal love is good, deliver me!

109:22 For I am oppressed and needy, and my heart beats violently within me.

109:23 I am fading away like a shadow at the end of the day; I am shaken off like a locust.

109:24 I am so starved my knees shake; I have turned into skin and bones.

109:25 I am disdained by them. When they see me, they shake their heads.

109:26 Help me, O Lord my God!

Because you are faithful to me, deliver me!

109:27 Then they will realize this is your work, and that you, Lord, have accomplished it.

109:28 They curse, but you will bless. When they attack, they will be humiliated, but your servant will rejoice.

109:29 My accusers will be covered with shame, and draped in humiliation as if it were a robe.

109:30 I will thank the Lord profusely, in the middle of a crowd I will praise him,

109:31 because he stands at the right hand of the needy, to deliver him from those who threaten his life.

110:1 A psalm of David.

Here is the Lord’s proclamation to my lord:

“Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool!”

110:2 The Lord extends your dominion from Zion.

Rule in the midst of your enemies!

110:3 Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle. On the holy hills at sunrise the dew of your youth belongs to you.

110:4 The Lord makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it: “You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.”

110:5 O sovereign Lord, at your right hand he strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger.

110:6 He executes judgment against the nations; he fills the valleys with corpses; he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield.

110:7 From the stream along the road he drinks; then he lifts up his head.

1 Chronicles

David Organizes the Levites

23:1 When David was old and approaching the end of his life, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.

23:2 David assembled all the leaders of Israel, along with the priests and the Levites. 23:3 The Levites who were thirty years old and up were counted; there were 38,000 men. 23:4 David said, “Of these, 24,000 are to direct the work of the Lord’s temple; 6,000 are to be officials and judges; 23:5 4,000 are to be gatekeepers; and 4,000 are to praise the Lord with the instruments I supplied for worship.” 23:6 David divided them into groups corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

23:7 The Gershonites included Ladan and Shimei.

23:8 The sons of Ladan:

Jehiel the oldest, Zetham, and Joel – three in all.

23:9 The sons of Shimei:

Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran – three in all.

These were the leaders of the family of Ladan.

23:10 The sons of Shimei:

Jahath, Zina, Jeush, and Beriah. These were Shimei’s sons – four in all. 23:11 Jahath was the oldest and Zizah the second oldest. Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons, so they were considered one family with one responsibility.

23:12 The sons of Kohath:

Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel – four in all.

23:13 The sons of Amram:

Aaron and Moses.

Aaron and his descendants were chosen on a permanent basis to consecrate the most holy items, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, to serve him, and to praise his name. 23:14 The descendants of Moses the man of God were considered Levites.

23:15 The sons of Moses:

Gershom and Eliezer.

23:16 The son of Gershom:

Shebuel the oldest.

23:17 The son of Eliezer was Rehabiah, the oldest. Eliezer had no other sons, but Rehabiah had many descendants.

23:18 The son of Izhar:

Shelomith the oldest.

23:19 The sons of Hebron:

Jeriah the oldest, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.

23:20 The sons of Uzziel:

Micah the oldest, and Isshiah the second.

23:21 The sons of Merari:

Mahli and Mushi.

The sons of Mahli:

Eleazar and Kish.

23:22 Eleazar died without having sons; he had only daughters. The sons of Kish, their cousins, married them.

23:23 The sons of Mushi:

Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth – three in all.

23:24 These were the descendants of Levi according to their families, that is, the leaders of families as counted and individually listed who carried out assigned tasks in the Lord’s temple and were twenty years old and up. 23:25 For David said, “The Lord God of Israel has given his people rest and has permanently settled in Jerusalem. 23:26 So the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the items used in its service.” 23:27 According to David’s final instructions, the Levites twenty years old and up were counted.

23:28 Their job was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the Lord’s temple. They were to take care of the courtyards, the rooms, ceremonial purification of all holy items, and other jobs related to the service of God’s temple. 23:29 They also took care of the bread that is displayed, the flour for offerings, the unleavened wafers, the round cakes, the mixing, and all the measuring. 23:30 They also stood in a designated place every morning and offered thanks and praise to the Lord. They also did this in the evening 23:31 and whenever burnt sacrifices were offered to the Lord on the Sabbath and at new moon festivals and assemblies. A designated number were to serve before the Lord regularly in accordance with regulations. 23:32 They were in charge of the meeting tent and the holy place, and helped their relatives, the descendants of Aaron, in the service of the Lord’s temple.

David Organizes the Priests

24:1 The divisions of Aaron’s descendants were as follows:

The sons of Aaron:

Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

24:2 Nadab and Abihu died before their father did; they had no sons. Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests.

24:3 David, Zadok (a descendant of Eleazar), and Ahimelech (a descendant of Ithamar) divided them into groups to carry out their assigned responsibilities. 24:4 The descendants of Eleazar had more leaders than the descendants of Ithamar, so they divided them up accordingly; the descendants of Eleazar had sixteen leaders, while the descendants of Ithamar had eight. 24:5 They divided them by lots, for there were officials of the holy place and officials designated by God among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar. 24:6 The scribe Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, wrote down their names before the king, the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the leaders of the priestly and Levite families. One family was drawn by lot from Eleazar, and then the next from Ithamar.

24:7 The first lot went to Jehoiarib,

the second to Jedaiah,

24:8 the third to Harim,

the fourth to Seorim,

24:9 the fifth to Malkijah,

the sixth to Mijamin,

24:10 the seventh to Hakkoz,

the eighth to Abijah,

24:11 the ninth to Jeshua,

the tenth to Shecaniah,

24:12 the eleventh to Eliashib,

the twelfth to Jakim,

24:13 the thirteenth to Huppah,

the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,

24:14 the fifteenth to Bilgah,

the sixteenth to Immer,

24:15 the seventeenth to Hezir,

the eighteenth to Happizzez,

24:16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah,

the twentieth to Jehezkel,

24:17 the twenty-first to Jakin,

the twenty-second to Gamul,

24:18 the twenty-third to Delaiah,

the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.

24:19 This was the order in which they carried out their assigned responsibilities when they entered the Lord’s temple, according to the regulations given them by their ancestor Aaron, just as the Lord God of Israel had instructed him.

Remaining Levites

24:20 The rest of the Levites included:

Shubael from the sons of Amram,

Jehdeiah from the sons of Shubael,

24:21 the firstborn Isshiah from Rehabiah and the sons of Rehabiah,

24:22 Shelomoth from the Izharites,

Jahath from the sons of Shelomoth.

24:23 The sons of Hebron:

Jeriah, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.

24:24 The son of Uzziel:

Micah;

Shamir from the sons of Micah.

24:25 The brother of Micah:

Isshiah.

Zechariah from the sons of Isshiah.

24:26 The sons of Merari:

Mahli and Mushi.

The son of Jaaziah:

Beno.

24:27 The sons of Merari, from Jaaziah:

Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri.

24:28 From Mahli:

Eleazar, who had no sons.

24:29 From Kish:

Jerahmeel.

24:30 The sons of Mushi:

Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.

These were the Levites, listed by their families.

24:31 Just like their relatives, the descendants of Aaron, they also cast lots before King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, the leaders of families, the priests, and the Levites. The families of the oldest son cast lots along with the those of the youngest.

David Organizes the Musicians

25:1 David and the army officers selected some of the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to prophesy as they played stringed instruments and cymbals. The following men were assigned this responsibility:

25:2 From the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah. The sons of Asaph were supervised by Asaph, who prophesied under the king’s supervision.

25:3 From the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah – six in all, under supervision of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied as he played a harp, giving thanks and praise to the Lord.

25:4 From the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. 25:5 All these were the sons of Heman, the king’s prophet. God had promised him these sons in order to make him prestigious. God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.

25:6 All of these were under the supervision of their fathers; they were musicians in the Lord’s temple, playing cymbals and stringed instruments as they served in God’s temple. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the supervision of the king. 25:7 They and their relatives, all of them skilled and trained to make music to the Lord, numbered two hundred eighty-eight.

25:8 They cast lots to determine their responsibilities – oldest as well as youngest, teacher as well as student.

25:9 The first lot went to Asaph’s son Joseph and his relatives and sons – twelve in all,

the second to Gedaliah and his relatives and sons – twelve in all,

25:10 the third to Zaccur and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:11 the fourth to Izri and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:12 the fifth to Nethaniah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:13 the sixth to Bukkiah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:14 the seventh to Jesharelah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:15 the eighth to Jeshaiah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:16 the ninth to Mattaniah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:17 the tenth to Shimei and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:18 the eleventh to Azarel and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:19 the twelfth to Hashabiah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:20 the thirteenth to Shubael and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:21 the fourteenth to Mattithiah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:22 the fifteenth to Jerimoth and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:23 the sixteenth to Hananiah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:24 the seventeenth to Joshbekashah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:25 the eighteenth to Hanani and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:26 the nineteenth to Mallothi and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:27 the twentieth to Eliathah and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:28 the twenty-first to Hothir and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:29 the twenty-second to Giddalti and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:30 the twenty-third to Mahazioth and his sons and relatives – twelve in all,

25:31 the twenty-fourth to Romamti-Ezer and his sons and relatives – twelve in all.

Psalms

131:1 A song of ascents, by David.

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor do I have a haughty look. I do not have great aspirations, or concern myself with things that are beyond me.

131:2 Indeed I am composed and quiet, like a young child carried by its mother; I am content like the young child I carry.

131:3 O Israel, hope in the Lord now and forevermore!

138:1 By David.

I will give you thanks with all my heart; before the heavenly assembly I will sing praises to you.

138:2 I will bow down toward your holy temple, and give thanks to your name, because of your loyal love and faithfulness, for you have exalted your promise above the entire sky.

138:3 When I cried out for help, you answered me. You made me bold and energized me.

138:4 Let all the kings of the earth give thanks to you, O Lord, when they hear the words you speak.

138:5 Let them sing about the Lord’s deeds, for the Lord’s splendor is magnificent.

138:6 Though the Lord is exalted, he takes note of the lowly, and recognizes the proud from far away.

138:7 Even when I must walk in the midst of danger, you revive me. You oppose my angry enemies, and your right hand delivers me.

138:8 The Lord avenges me. O Lord, your loyal love endures.

Do not abandon those whom you have made!

139:1 For the music director, a psalm of David.

O Lord, you examine me and know.

139:2 You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives.

139:3 You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; you are aware of everything I do.

139:4 Certainly my tongue does not frame a word without you, O Lord, being thoroughly aware of it.

139:5 You squeeze me in from behind and in front; you place your hand on me.

139:6 Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it.

139:7 Where can I go to escape your spirit?

Where can I flee to escape your presence?

139:8 If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there. If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be.

139:9 If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn, and settle down on the other side of the sea,

139:10 even there your hand would guide me, your right hand would grab hold of me.

139:11 If I were to say, “Certainly the darkness will cover me, and the light will turn to night all around me,”

139:12 even the darkness is not too dark for you to see, and the night is as bright as day; darkness and light are the same to you.

139:13 Certainly you made my mind and heart; you wove me together in my mother’s womb.

139:14 I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing. You knew me thoroughly;

139:15 my bones were not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and sewed together in the depths of the earth.

139:16 Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence.

139:17 How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God!

How vast is their sum total!

139:18 If I tried to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. Even if I finished counting them, I would still have to contend with you.

139:19 If only you would kill the wicked, O God!

Get away from me, you violent men!

139:20 They rebel against you and act deceitfully; your enemies lie.

139:21 O Lord, do I not hate those who hate you, and despise those who oppose you?

139:22 I absolutely hate them, they have become my enemies!

139:23 Examine me, and probe my thoughts!

Test me, and know my concerns!

139:24 See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!

145:1 A psalm of praise, by David.

I will extol you, my God, O king!

I will praise your name continually!

145:2 Every day I will praise you!

I will praise your name continually!

145:3 The Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise!

No one can fathom his greatness!

145:4 One generation will praise your deeds to another, and tell about your mighty acts!

145:5 I will focus on your honor and majestic splendor, and your amazing deeds!

145:6 They will proclaim the power of your awesome acts!

I will declare your great deeds!

145:7 They will talk about the fame of your great kindness, and sing about your justice.

145:8 The Lord is merciful and compassionate; he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.

145:9 The Lord is good to all, and has compassion on all he has made.

145:10 All he has made will give thanks to the Lord. Your loyal followers will praise you.

145:11 They will proclaim the splendor of your kingdom; they will tell about your power,

145:12 so that mankind might acknowledge your mighty acts, and the majestic splendor of your kingdom.

145:13 Your kingdom is an eternal kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

145:14 The Lord supports all who fall, and lifts up all who are bent over.

145:15 Everything looks to you in anticipation, and you provide them with food on a regular basis.

145:16 You open your hand, and fill every living thing with the food they desire.

145:17 The Lord is just in all his actions, and exhibits love in all he does.

145:18 The Lord is near all who cry out to him, all who cry out to him sincerely.

145:19 He satisfies the desire of his loyal followers; he hears their cry for help and delivers them.

145:20 The Lord protects those who love him, but he destroys all the wicked.

145:21 My mouth will praise the Lord.

Let all who live praise his holy name forever!

Prayer

Lord, Your character is what the Psalmists cited over and over as the point of reference for hope and for understanding – You never change. May I remember to trust in Your character and find my hope there. You are unique, powerful, and omni-present. May I never imagine that I may keep anything from You, may I rather be mindful that You know and see all things, and be more intentional every day to live rightly before You.

Scripture In Perspective

David’s thirtieth Psalm was yet another song of praise to the Lord; as the heading states this Psalm was prepared by David for use at the dedication of the Temple.

Psalm 108 was David’s typical prayer of petition and praise. He praised the Lord God for all that He had done but petitioned Him to return and to lead their armies as they were troubled in battle for His absence.

Psalm 109 was an imprecatory prayer of David that contained both petition and wisdom. David cited the many evils visited upon him by others, their curses and lies, and their persistent pursuit which had driven him to hunger and isolation. He pleaded with the Lord to visit their curses for him upon them and to rescue and restore him. Wisdom came in the form of the contrast between the actions of man and those of the Lord God “They curse, but you will bless.”

Psalm 110 was a prophetic prayer of David. From the NET Translator’s Notes: “In the psalm’s original context the speaker is an unidentified prophetic voice in the royal court. In the course of time the psalm is applied to each successive king in the dynasty and ultimately to the ideal Davidic king. NT references to the psalm understand David to be speaking about his “lord,” the Messiah. (See Matt 22:43-45; Mark 12:36-37; Luke 20:42-44; Acts 2:34-35).”

1 Chronicles

David explained to his young son, Solomon, why the Lord God did not allow him to build the Temple – but He had instructed that Solomon do so. David had spilled too much blood whereas Solomon would lead a kingdom at peace.

David informed Solomon that he had gathered resident foreigners in Israel and categorized them by trade so that the skilled artisans could be assigned tasks in the construction of the Temple.

David had also acquired massive quantities of brass, gold, iron, and silver along with cedar and other materials. Solomon was encouraged to add more but he had a huge start to the project.

David installed Solomon as king and then assigned the Levites to their responsibilities during the construction and operation of the tabernacle and the temple.

The balance of Chapter 23 and through Chapter 27 are scribal records of David’s Levitical, military, and other organizational assignments which may be viewed in any Bible.

Psalm 131 “O Israel, hope in the Lord now and forevermore!”

Psalm 138 began as a praise and concluded with a petition “When I cried out for help, you answered me. You made me bold and energized me … Do not abandon those whom you have made!” The author was David.

Psalm 139 was wisdom then concluded with a petition “You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives … Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it. Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence? … Certainly you made my mind and heart; you wove me together in my mother’s womb … Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence … Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!” The author was David.

Psalm 145 by David was praise “The Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise!” with wisdom “The Lord is near all who cry out to him, all who cry out to him sincerely.”

Interact With The Text

Consider

A persistent theme of the Psalms is both God’s justice and His mercy – and the context of generations of consistency. David had not only shed much blood in battle, an honorable act, yet one that would render one temporarily unclean in a ceremonial sense. This group of Psalms contains a powerful contrast between false gods and the One true God, a please for the destruction of those who had destroyed Jerusalem and enslaved the Israelites, and acknowledgment of the exceptional nature of the Lord God.

Discuss

Could it be that the innocent blood David shed in the sad matter of his initial relationship with Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, was what cost him the blessing of building the Temple? Why would David ask the Lord God to search and cleanse his heart?

Reflect

The parallels between David’s times of fear and hunger and suffering and that of Israel are interesting. In some cases it was the wrong choices of one in power, Saul, rather than David’s sin which caused bad things to happen to him, in other cases it was the repeated sin of Israel that brought them calamity. David instructed young Solomon “... may the Lord give you insight and understanding when he places you in charge of Israel, so you may obey the law of the Lord your God.”, perhaps priming him to request the gift of wisdom when the Lord God asked. It is notable that he did not need for money or power as David had handed that to him. Psalm 139 contains two texts which are sometimes misapplied to proof-text the doctrines of fatalism and predestination “… you wove me together in my mother’s womb … All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence …” but such an interpretation is in conflict with many other Biblical texts. The reader must remember that David was prone to broad emotional declarations and not everything he wrote was intended to be doctrine.

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Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence … Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!” When have you experienced or observed a door being closed to an opportunity as a consequence of a past poor choice? The author was David. When have you cried out to the Lord to destroy someone who was troubling you?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a bigger-picture understanding of the Lord God’s justice and mercy surrounding your circumstances and to encourage you to invite Him to examine you for any tendencies toward idolatry and to purge it from your life.

Act

Today I will read my Bible, spend time in prayerful reflection, and listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I will receive His comfort and assurance that He is in control. I will also accept His perspective that I am His child and may not know until Heaven all of the answers to all of my ‘why’s’, but that I may rest in His assurance that His justice and mercy are perfect. I will prayerfully and reflectively make a list of things in my life that distract me from the Lord God. I will surrender all of them to the Lord and ask Him to only return those things that will not function as idols, even in the smallest way, and to remove my desire for anything that will. When have you struggled and found perspective in reading the Psalms?

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Saturday (1 Chronicles 26-29, Psalms 127, 111-118)

Divisions of Gatekeepers

26:1 The divisions of the gatekeepers:

From the Korahites: Meshelemiah, son of Kore, one of the sons of Asaph.

26:2 Meshelemiah’s sons:

The firstborn Zechariah, the second Jediael, the third Zebadiah, the fourth Jathniel, 26:3 the fifth Elam, the sixth Jehohanan, and the seventh Elihoenai.

26:4 Obed-Edom’s sons:

The firstborn Shemaiah, the second Jehozabad, the third Joah, the fourth Sakar, the fifth Nethanel, 26:5 the sixth Ammiel, the seventh Issachar, and the eighth Peullethai. (Indeed, God blessed Obed-Edom.)

26:6 His son Shemaiah also had sons, who were leaders of their families, for they were highly respected. 26:7 The sons of Shemaiah:

Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad. His relatives Elihu and Semakiah were also respected.

26:8 All these were the descendants of Obed-Edom. They and their sons and relatives were respected men, capable of doing their responsibilities. There were sixty-two of them related to Obed-Edom.

26:9 Meshelemiah had sons and relatives who were respected – eighteen in all.

26:10 Hosah, one of the descendants of Merari, had sons:

The firstborn Shimri (he was not actually the firstborn, but his father gave him that status), 26:11 the second Hilkiah, the third Tebaliah, and the fourth Zechariah. All of Hosah’s sons and relatives numbered thirteen.

26:12 These divisions of the gatekeepers, corresponding to their leaders, had assigned responsibilities, like their relatives, as they served in the Lord’s temple.

26:13 They cast lots, both young and old, according to their families, to determine which gate they would be responsible for. 26:14 The lot for the east gate went to Shelemiah. They then cast lots for his son Zechariah, a wise adviser, and the lot for the north gate went to him. 26:15 Obed-Edom was assigned the south gate, and his sons were assigned the storehouses. 26:16 Shuppim and Hosah were assigned the west gate, along with the Shalleketh gate on the upper road. One guard was adjacent to another. 26:17 Each day there were six Levites posted on the east, four on the north, and four on the south. At the storehouses they were posted in pairs. 26:18 At the court on the west there were four posted on the road and two at the court. 26:19 These were the divisions of the gatekeepers who were descendants of Korah and Merari.

Supervisors of the Storehouses

26:20 Their fellow Levites were in charge of the storehouses in God’s temple and the storehouses containing consecrated items. 26:21 The descendants of Ladan, who were descended from Gershon through Ladan and were leaders of the families of Ladan the Gershonite, included Jehieli 26:22 and the sons of Jehieli, Zetham and his brother Joel. They were in charge of the storehouses in the Lord’s temple.

26:23 As for the Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites:

26:24 Shebuel son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was the supervisor of the storehouses. 26:25 His relatives through Eliezer included: Rehabiah his son, Jeshaiah his son, Joram his son, Zikri his son, and Shelomith his son. 26:26 Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the storehouses containing the consecrated items dedicated by King David, the family leaders who led units of a thousand and a hundred, and the army officers. 26:27 They had dedicated some of the plunder taken in battles to be used for repairs on the Lord’s temple. 26:28 They were also in charge of everything dedicated by Samuel the prophet, Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner, and Joab son of Zeruiah; Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of everything that had been dedicated.

26:29 As for the Izharites: Kenaniah and his sons were given responsibilities outside the temple as officers and judges over Israel.

26:30 As for the Hebronites: Hashabiah and his relatives, 1,700 respected men, were assigned responsibilities in Israel west of the Jordan; they did the Lord’s work and the king’s service.

26:31 As for the Hebronites: Jeriah was the leader of the Hebronites according to the genealogical records. In the fortieth year of David’s reign, they examined the records and discovered there were highly respected men in Jazer in Gilead. 26:32 Jeriah had 2,700 relatives who were respected family leaders. King David placed them in charge of the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh; they took care of all matters pertaining to God and the king.

Leaders of the Army

27:1 What follows is a list of Israelite family leaders and commanders of units of a thousand and a hundred, as well as their officers who served the king in various matters. Each division was assigned to serve for one month during the year; each consisted of 24,000 men.

27:2 Jashobeam son of Zabdiel was in charge of the first division, which was assigned the first month. His division consisted of 24,000 men. 27:3 He was a descendant of Perez; he was in charge of all the army officers for the first month.

27:4 Dodai the Ahohite was in charge of the division assigned the second month; Mikloth was the next in rank. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:5 The third army commander, assigned the third month, was Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest. He was the leader of his division, which consisted of 24,000 men. 27:6 Benaiah was the leader of the thirty warriors and his division; his son was Ammizabad.

27:7 The fourth, assigned the fourth month, was Asahel, brother of Joab; his son Zebadiah succeeded him. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:8 The fifth, assigned the fifth month, was the commander Shamhuth the Izrahite. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:9 The sixth, assigned the sixth month, was Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:10 The seventh, assigned the seventh month, was Helez the Pelonite, an Ephraimite. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:11 The eighth, assigned the eighth month, was Sibbekai the Hushathite, a Zerahite. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:12 The ninth, assigned the ninth month, was Abiezer the Anathothite, a Benjaminite. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:13 The tenth, assigned the tenth month, was Maharai the Netophathite, a Zerahite. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:14 The eleventh, assigned the eleventh month, was Benaiah the Pirathonite, an Ephraimite. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:15 The twelfth, assigned the twelfth month, was Heldai the Netophathite, a descendant of Othniel. His division consisted of 24,000 men.

27:16 The officers of the Israelite tribes:

Eliezer son of Zikri was the leader of the Reubenites,

Shephatiah son of Maacah led the Simeonites,

27:17 Hashabiah son of Kemuel led the Levites,

Zadok led the descendants of Aaron,

27:18 Elihu, a brother of David, led Judah,

Omri son of Michael led Issachar,

27:19 Ishmaiah son of Obadiah led Zebulun,

Jerimoth son of Azriel led Naphtali,

27:20 Hoshea son of Azaziah led the Ephraimites,

Joel son of Pedaiah led the half-tribe of Manasseh,

27:21 Iddo son of Zechariah led the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead,

Jaasiel son of Abner led Benjamin,

27:22 Azarel son of Jeroham led Dan.

These were the commanders of the Israelite tribes.

27:23 David did not count the males twenty years old and under, for the Lord had promised to make Israel as numerous as the stars in the sky. 27:24 Joab son of Zeruiah started to count the men but did not finish. God was angry with Israel because of this, so the number was not recorded in the scroll called The Annals of King David.

Royal Officials

27:25 Azmaveth son of Adiel was in charge of the king’s storehouses;

Jonathan son of Uzziah was in charge of the storehouses in the field, in the cities, in the towns, and in the towers.

27:26 Ezri son of Kelub was in charge of the field workers who farmed the land.

27:27 Shimei the Ramathite was in charge of the vineyards;

Zabdi the Shiphmite was in charge of the wine stored in the vineyards.

27:28 Baal-Hanan the Gederite was in charge of the olive and sycamore trees in the lowlands;

Joash was in charge of the storehouses of olive oil.

27:29 Shitrai the Sharonite was in charge of the cattle grazing in Sharon;

Shaphat son of Adlai was in charge of the cattle in the valleys.

27:30 Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels;

Jehdeiah the Meronothite was in charge of the donkeys.

27:31 Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the sheep.

All these were the officials in charge of King David’s property.

27:32 Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a wise adviser and scribe;

Jehiel son of Hacmoni cared for the king’s sons.

27:33 Ahithophel was the king’s adviser;

Hushai the Arkite was the king’s confidant.

27:34 Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar.

Joab was the commanding general of the king’s army.

David Commissions Solomon to Build the Temple

28:1 David assembled in Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, including the commanders of the tribes, the commanders of the army divisions that served the king, the commanders of units of a thousand and a hundred, the officials who were in charge of all the property and livestock of the king and his sons, the eunuchs, and the warriors, including the most skilled of them.

28:2 King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I wanted to build a temple where the ark of the Lord’s covenant could be placed as a footstool for our God. I have made the preparations for building it. 28:3 But God said to me, ‘You must not build a temple to honor me, for you are a warrior and have spilled blood.’ 28:4 The Lord God of Israel chose me out of my father’s entire family to become king over Israel and have a permanent dynasty. Indeed, he chose Judah as leader, and my father’s family within Judah, and then he picked me out from among my father’s sons and made me king over all Israel. 28:5 From all the many sons the Lord has given me, he chose Solomon my son to rule on his behalf over Israel. 28:6 He said to me, ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my temple and my courts, for I have chosen him to become my son and I will become his father. 28:7 I will establish his kingdom permanently, if he remains committed to obeying my commands and regulations, as you are doing this day.’ 28:8 So now, in the sight of all Israel, the Lord’s assembly, and in the hearing of our God, I say this: Carefully observe all the commands of the Lord your God, so that you may possess this good land and may leave it as a permanent inheritance for your children after you.

28:9 “And you, Solomon my son, obey the God of your father and serve him with a submissive attitude and a willing spirit, for the Lord examines all minds and understands every motive of one’s thoughts. If you seek him, he will let you find him, but if you abandon him, he will reject you permanently. 28:10 Realize now that the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as his sanctuary. Be strong and do it!”

28:11 David gave to his son Solomon the blueprints for the temple porch, its buildings, its treasuries, its upper areas, its inner rooms, and the room for atonement. 28:12 He gave him the blueprints of all he envisioned for the courts of the Lord’s temple, all the surrounding rooms, the storehouses of God’s temple, and the storehouses for the holy items.

28:13 He gave him the regulations for the divisions of priests and Levites, for all the assigned responsibilities within the Lord’s temple, and for all the items used in the service of the Lord’s temple.

28:14 He gave him the prescribed weight for all the gold items to be used in various types of service in the Lord’s temple, for all the silver items to be used in various types of service, 28:15 for the gold lampstands and their gold lamps, including the weight of each lampstand and its lamps, for the silver lampstands, including the weight of each lampstand and its lamps, according to the prescribed use of each lampstand, 28:16 for the gold used in the display tables, including the amount to be used in each table, for the silver to be used in the silver tables, 28:17 for the pure gold used for the meat forks, bowls, and jars, for the small gold bowls, including the weight for each bowl, for the small silver bowls, including the weight for each bowl, 28:18 and for the refined gold of the incense altar.

He gave him the blueprint for the seat of the gold cherubim that spread their wings and provide shelter for the ark of the Lord’s covenant.

28:19 David said, “All of this I put in writing as the Lord directed me and gave me insight regarding the details of the blueprints.”

28:20 David said to his son Solomon: “Be strong and brave! Do it! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! For the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not leave you or abandon you before all the work for the service of the Lord’s temple is finished. 28:21 Here are the divisions of the priests and Levites who will perform all the service of God’s temple. All the willing and skilled men are ready to assist you in all the work and perform their service. The officials and all the people are ready to follow your instructions.”

The People Contribute to the Project

29:1 King David said to the entire assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is just an inexperienced young man, and the task is great, for this palace is not for man, but for the Lord God. 29:2 So I have made every effort to provide what is needed for the temple of my God, including the gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, as well as a large amount of onyx, settings of antimony and other stones, all kinds of precious stones, and alabaster. 29:3 Now, to show my commitment to the temple of my God, I donate my personal treasure of gold and silver to the temple of my God, in addition to all that I have already supplied for this holy temple. 29:4 This includes 3,000 talents of gold from Ophir and 7,000 talents of refined silver for overlaying the walls of the buildings, 29:5 for gold and silver items, and for all the work of the craftsmen. Who else wants to contribute to the Lord today?”

29:6 The leaders of the families, the leaders of the Israelite tribes, the commanders of units of a thousand and a hundred, and the supervisors of the king’s work contributed willingly. 29:7 They donated for the service of God’s temple 5,000 talents and ten thousand darics of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze, and 100,000 talents of iron. 29:8 All who possessed precious stones donated them to the treasury of the Lord’s temple, which was under the supervision of Jehiel the Gershonite. 29:9 The people were delighted with their donations, for they contributed to the Lord with a willing attitude; King David was also very happy.

David Praises the Lord

29:10 David praised the Lord before the entire assembly:

“O Lord God of our father Israel, you deserve praise forevermore! 29:11 O Lord, you are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious, and sovereign over all the sky and earth! You have dominion and exalt yourself as the ruler of all. 29:12 You are the source of wealth and honor; you rule over all. You possess strength and might to magnify and give strength to all. 29:13 Now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your majestic name!

29:14 “But who am I and who are my people, that we should be in a position to contribute this much? Indeed, everything comes from you, and we have simply given back to you what is yours. 29:15 For we are resident foreigners and nomads in your presence, like all our ancestors; our days are like a shadow on the earth, without security. 29:16 O Lord our God, all this wealth, which we have collected to build a temple for you to honor your holy name, comes from you; it all belongs to you. 29:17 I know, my God, that you examine thoughts and are pleased with integrity. With pure motives I contribute all this; and now I look with joy as your people who have gathered here contribute to you. 29:18 O Lord God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, maintain the motives of your people and keep them devoted to you. 29:19 Make my son Solomon willing to obey your commands, rules, and regulations, and to complete building the palace for which I have made preparations.”

29:20 David told the entire assembly: “Praise the Lord your God!” So the entire assembly praised the Lord God of their ancestors; they bowed down and stretched out flat on the ground before the Lord and the king.

David Designates Solomon King

29:21 The next day they made sacrifices and offered burnt sacrifices to the Lord (1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, 1,000 lambs), along with their accompanying drink offerings and many other sacrifices for all Israel. 29:22 They held a feast before the Lord that day and celebrated.

Then they designated Solomon, David’s son, as king a second time; before the Lord they anointed him as ruler and Zadok as priest. 29:23 Solomon sat on the Lord’s throne as king in place of his father David; he was successful and all Israel was loyal to him. 29:24 All the officers and warriors, as well as all of King David’s sons, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon. 29:25 The Lord greatly magnified Solomon before all Israel and bestowed on him greater majesty than any king of Israel before him.

David’s Reign Comes to an End

29:26 David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 29:27 He reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years and in Jerusalem thirty-three years. 29:28 He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor. His son Solomon succeeded him. 29:29 King David’s accomplishments, from start to finish, are recorded in the Annals of Samuel the prophet, the Annals of Nathan the prophet, and the Annals of Gad the prophet. 29:30 Recorded there are all the facts about his reign and accomplishments, and an account of the events that involved him, Israel, and all the neighboring kingdoms.

Psalms

127:1 A song of ascents, by Solomon.

If the Lord does not build a house, then those who build it work in vain. If the Lord does not guard a city, then the watchman stands guard in vain.

127:2 It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food.

Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep.

127:3 Yes, sons are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

127:4 Sons born during one’s youth are like arrows in a warrior’s hand.

127:5 How blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!

They will not be put to shame when they confront enemies at the city gate.

111:1 Praise the Lord!

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,

in the assembly of the godly and the congregation.

111:2 The Lord’s deeds are great,

eagerly awaited by all who desire them.

111:3 His work is majestic and glorious,

and his faithfulness endures forever.

111:4 He does amazing things that will be remembered;

the Lord is merciful and compassionate.

111:5 He gives food to his faithful followers;

he always remembers his covenant.

111:6 He announced that he would do mighty deeds for his people,

giving them a land that belonged to other nations.

111:7 His acts are characterized by faithfulness and justice;

all his precepts are reliable.

111:8 They are forever firm,

and should be faithfully and properly carried out.

111:9 He delivered his people;

he ordained that his covenant be observed forever.

His name is holy and awesome.

111:10 To obey the Lord is the fundamental principle for wise living;

all who carry out his precepts acquire good moral insight.

He will receive praise forever.

112:1 Praise the Lord!

How blessed is the one who obeys the Lord, who takes great delight in keeping his commands.

112:2 His descendants will be powerful on the earth; the godly will be blessed.

112:3 His house contains wealth and riches; his integrity endures.

112:4 In the darkness a light shines for the godly, for each one who is merciful, compassionate, and just.

112:5 It goes well for the one who generously lends money, and conducts his business honestly.

112:6 For he will never be upended; others will always remember one who is just.

112:7 He does not fear bad news. He is confident; he trusts in the Lord.

112:8 His resolve is firm; he will not succumb to fear before he looks in triumph on his enemies.

112:9 He generously gives to the needy; his integrity endures. He will be vindicated and honored.

112:10 When the wicked see this, they will worry; they will grind their teeth in frustration and melt away; the desire of the wicked will perish.

113:1 Praise the Lord!

Praise, you servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!

113:2 May the Lord’s name be praised now and forevermore!

113:3 From east to west the Lord’s name is deserving of praise.

113:4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations; his splendor reaches beyond the sky.

113:5 Who can compare to the Lord our God, who sits on a high throne?

113:6 He bends down to look at the sky and the earth.

113:7 He raises the poor from the dirt, and lifts up the needy from the garbage pile,

113:8 that he might seat him with princes, with the princes of his people.

113:9 He makes the barren woman of the family a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord!

114:1 When Israel left Egypt, when the family of Jacob left a foreign nation behind,

114:2 Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his kingdom.

114:3 The sea looked and fled; the Jordan River turned back.

114:4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.

114:5 Why do you flee, O sea?

Why do you turn back, O Jordan River?

114:6 Why do you skip like rams, O mountains, like lambs, O hills?

114:7 Tremble, O earth, before the Lord – before the God of Jacob,

114:8 who turned a rock into a pool of water, a hard rock into springs of water!

115:1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us!

But to your name bring honor, for the sake of your loyal love and faithfulness.

115:2 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”

115:3 Our God is in heaven!

He does whatever he pleases!

115:4 Their idols are made of silver and gold – they are man-made.

115:5 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see,

115:6 ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell,

115:7 hands, but cannot touch, feet, but cannot walk. They cannot even clear their throats.

115:8 Those who make them will end up like them, as will everyone who trusts in them.

115:9 O Israel, trust in the Lord!

He is their deliverer and protector.

115:10 O family of Aaron, trust in the Lord!

He is their deliverer and protector.

115:11 You loyal followers of the Lord, trust in the Lord!

He is their deliverer and protector.

115:12 The Lord takes notice of us, he will bless – he will bless the family of Israel, he will bless the family of Aaron.

115:13 He will bless his loyal followers, both young and old.

115:14 May he increase your numbers, yours and your children’s!

115:15 May you be blessed by the Lord, the creator of heaven and earth!

115:16 The heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to mankind.

115:17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any of those who descend into the silence of death.

115:18 But we will praise the Lord now and forevermore.

Praise the Lord!

116:1 I love the Lord because he heard my plea for mercy,

116:2 and listened to me. As long as I live, I will call to him when I need help.

116:3 The ropes of death tightened around me, the snares of Sheol confronted me. I was confronted with trouble and sorrow.

116:4 I called on the name of the Lord, “Please Lord, rescue my life!”

116:5 The Lord is merciful and fair; our God is compassionate.

116:6 The Lord protects the untrained; I was in serious trouble and he delivered me.

116:7 Rest once more, my soul, for the Lord has vindicated you.

116:8 Yes, Lord, you rescued my life from death, and kept my feet from stumbling.

116:9 I will serve the Lord in the land of the living.

116:10 I had faith when I said, “I am severely oppressed.”

116:11 I rashly declared, “All men are liars.”

116:12 How can I repay the Lord for all his acts of kindness to me?

116:13 I will celebrate my deliverance, and call on the name of the Lord.

116:14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord before all his people.

116:15 The Lord values the lives of his faithful followers.

116:16 Yes, Lord! I am indeed your servant; I am your lowest slave. You saved me from death.

116:17 I will present a thank offering to you, and call on the name of the Lord.

116:18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord before all his people,

116:19 in the courts of the Lord’s temple, in your midst, O Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

117:1 Praise the Lord, all you nations!

Applaud him, all you foreigners!

117:2 For his loyal love towers over us, and the Lord’s faithfulness endures.

Praise the Lord!

118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his loyal love endures!

118:2 Let Israel say, “Yes, his loyal love endures!”

118:3 Let the family of Aaron say, “Yes, his loyal love endures!”

118:4 Let the loyal followers of the Lord say, “Yes, his loyal love endures!”

118:5 In my distress I cried out to the Lord. The Lord answered me and put me in a wide open place.

118:6 The Lord is on my side, I am not afraid!

What can people do to me?

118:7 The Lord is on my side as my helper. I look in triumph on those who hate me.

118:8 It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in people.

118:9 It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in princes.

118:10 All the nations surrounded me. Indeed, in the name of the Lord I pushed them away.

118:11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me. Indeed, in the name of the Lord I pushed them away.

118:12 They surrounded me like bees. But they disappeared as quickly as a fire among thorns. Indeed, in the name of the Lord I pushed them away.

118:13 “You aggressively attacked me and tried to knock me down, but the Lord helped me.

118:14 The Lord gives me strength and protects me; he has become my deliverer.”

118:15 They celebrate deliverance in the tents of the godly. The Lord’s right hand conquers,

118:16 the Lord’s right hand gives victory, the Lord’s right hand conquers.

118:17 I will not die, but live, and I will proclaim what the Lord has done.

118:18 The Lord severely punished me, but he did not hand me over to death.

118:19 Open for me the gates of the just king’s temple!

I will enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

118:20 This is the Lord’s gate – the godly enter through it.

118:21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me, and have become my deliverer.

118:22 The stone which the builders discarded has become the cornerstone.

118:23 This is the Lord’s work.

We consider it amazing!

118:24 This is the day the Lord has brought about. We will be happy and rejoice in it.

118:25 Please Lord, deliver!

Please Lord, grant us success!

118:26 May the one who comes in the name of the Lord be blessed!

We will pronounce blessings on you in the Lord’s temple.

118:27 The Lord is God and he has delivered us.

Tie the offering with ropes to the horns of the altar!

118:28 You are my God and I will give you thanks!

You are my God and I will praise you!

118:29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his loyal love endures!

Prayer

Lord, You bless the humble and obedient, and you provide all that we need to serve You. May I be attentive to the keeping of my responsibilities in our relationship, my Lord and King. Lord, You never change, Your character and characteristics are not subject to the things of Your creation – people or place or time. May I find confidence in Your unchanging perfection.

Scripture In Perspective

David calls the leaders of the kingdom together and reviews the preparations made for Solomon to build the Temple. He explains why the Lord God did not permit him to do so then celebrates all that the Lord had done to bring him out of his humble existence as a boy-shepherd and through forty years as king.

They again anointed and celebrated the installation of Solomon as king.

David commissions Solomon before the leaders to take all of the designs and materials and workers and to build God’s earthly Temple. He donated a huge amount of gold, above what he had gathered, and challenged the leaders to do the same – which they did generously and gladly – then they celebrated that the Lord had so blessed them that they could give so much back to Him.

David warned Solomon that to maintain the peace and prosperity that he must live before the Lord God as David now was, humble and obedient, because to do otherwise would risk the loss of God’s blessings.

Psalm 127 “If the Lord does not build a house, then those who build it work in vain. If the Lord does not guard a city, then the watchman stands guard in vain.”

Psalm 111 was praise with an interesting teaching method and wisdom – the author lists the characteristics of the Lord God for which His people are to give Him praise and then concluded with “To obey the Lord is the fundamental principle for wise living; all who carry out his precepts acquire good moral insight. He will receive praise forever.”

From the NET Translator’s Notes: “The psalmist praises God for his marvelous deeds, especially the way in which he provides for and delivers his people. The psalm is an acrostic. After the introductory call to praise, every poetic line (twenty-two in all) begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.” The author was not identified in the text.

Psalms 112 - 117 continued the praise theme, based upon the characteristics and deeds of the Lord God, begun in Psalm 111. The author(s) are not identified in the text.

Psalm 118 also continued the praise theme and added the prophetic phrase “The stone which the builders discarded has become the cornerstone.” which was later applied to Jesus. The author was not identified in the text.

Interact With The Text

Consider

David was careful to link God’s blessings to his current state of humble-obedience rather than indulge in a false declaration that he had always lived that way before the Lord. The references to Jesus, the Messiah, in the Psalms become an element of the argument against the religious leaders of the time of Jesus as they should have recognized Him from the prophetic descriptions – in the Psalms and elsewhere in the OT.

Discuss

Why would David believe it was necessary to warn Solomon about the need to be constantly humble and obedient before the Lord? Given the obvious-to-us description of Jesus in the OT prophetic texts why would the religious leaders have failed to recognize Jesus?

Reflect

There was a great emphasis on Solomon’s immaturity and youth, massive resources provided to him so that he had no needs, and great power – it all seemed a bit much to ask a young man who was unused to the process of making good choices to manage this well.

Share

When have you experienced or observed someone immature and young who received great wealth and/or power. Did they handle it well? When have you used an acrostic to remember something important?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to identify a young person in ministry who needs encouragement, help, and prayer so that they are not overwhelmed and then compromised by the enemy, and to reveal you a place in your walk where you would benefit from a greater knowledge of the character and characteristics of the Lord God.

Act

Today I will pray for the young person you identify to me. I will respectfully encourage them, and I will help them as is appropriate. I will begin a week of reading Psalms 111 – 118, one each day – more than once each day – so that the character and characteristics of the Lord God are more deeply written upon my heart.

Be Specific _________________________________________________

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated - http://bible.org

Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.

Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.

Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study. Prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.org in August of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.