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Day 92 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Second Samuel and Psalms.
2 Samuel 19 – The victory that day was turned into mourning. David lets his own grief overcome his kingly responsibilities and even his gratitude to God for saving the nation.
Because David has covered his face with grief, he has covered with shame the faces of his loyal servants. “You love those who hate you and hate those who love you.” The words for “love” and “hate” here can mean “be loyal” and “be disloyal.”
David makes peace with his men, behaving as king and sitting in the gate.
It seems shocking for David to demote the victorious loyal general Joab in favor of the soundly defeated rebel general Amasa (17:25). Perhaps David did this because Joab had disobeyed his specific order not to kill Absalom (18:5, 14). He may also have promoted Amasa out of a desire to reunite the nation—which is exactly what happened (he swayed the heart of all the men of Judah).
David also met Mephibosheth the son of Saul (actually Jonathan’s son [4:4] and Saul’s grandson) after David had come to Jerusalem. The narrator does not state whether Mephibosheth or Ziba is telling the truth, but Mephibosheth’s sorrow and gracious humility suggests that he is the honest one. In a city facing invasion, it is not surprising that a lame Mephibosheth was stuck when his own donkey was taken by Ziba.
Apparently David left Mahanaim and came to the Jordan without allowing time for all the northern tribes to come and accompany him. They resent this, being the larger group and considering themselves more loyal to David than Judah. The men of Judah retort that David did not favor his own tribe with grants (unlike Saul in 1 Samuel 22:7).
Thinking someone is playing favorites is still alive and well today. And in the Gospel, it’s true, God plays favorites…and you’re one of them!
How do we know God’s love for us is unfailing?
2 Samuel 20 – Sheba’s rebellion is directly connected with the split within the nation seen in the last chapter. This particular rebellion does not seem to have gained support outside of Sheba’s own clan, but the feeling that the king was not treating them well seems to have lingered among the northern tribes. That feeling increased under Solomon, who did not require Judah to supply him with food (1 Kings 4:7–19), and finally caused the nation to split in two (1 Kings 12).
David had made Amasa commander in 19:13, replacing Joab. Three days is a rather short time if he is supposed to gather men from all over Judah. When Amasa failed to produce an armed force on schedule, David turned to Abishai, the first cousin of Joab. Abishai and Joab had often worked together in battle.
To build a mound was to make a ramp going up to the top of the wall that secured the city. The wise woman saves her city, and likely herself, my figuring out what David’s army wanted and giving it to them.
Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king, and apparently David did not punish Joab for the murder of Amasa (since Joab was still commander at the end of David’s reign; 1 Kings 1:19), but he did not forgive him either (1 Kings 2:5).
2 Samuel 21 – The last four chapters of Second Samuel provide an epilogue. They contain six episodes, which are not in chronological order. The first describes a famine and its connection to Saul’s family. The second details David’s wars with Philistia. The third and fourth are psalms of David. The fifth lists David’s heroic warriors. The sixth describes David’s pride and its results, concluding with the important story of how David acquired the future site of the temple.
When told by the Lord that a famine is the result of Saul’s misdeed against the Gibeonites, David has Saul’s sons slain to make atonement.
The Gibeonites’ request that seven of his sons be given to them to be put to death ignores the command in Deuteronomy 24:16: “nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers.” The narrator never says that God approved of David’s action here.
The beginning of barley harvest was April. Rizpah, mother of two of the men hanged by the Gibeonites, sheltered their bodies from the birds and wild animals. According to Deuteronomy 21:22–23, the bodies of those who are hanged should be buried that same day. It may have been decided that the men would not be buried until the rains fell and the famine stopped. This suggests that, when David heard what Rizpah was doing, he buried them earlier than planned. God responded (21:14), probably by sending rain.
This section tells of four fights with Philistine giants. “There was war again” suggests that this is an excerpt from some writing about David’s wars.
Through Saul and David we see the fall of pride, and the raising up of the humble. The Bible does not hide the sin, even of our “heros”.
How does this remind us that it’s not man we need to put our trust in, but in God alone?
Psalm 92 – We are invited to worship morning and evening; indicating the whole day is God’s. Throughout redemptive history, believers have practiced morning and evening prayer.
Praising God for his “good” gift of a day of rest, the psalmist illustrates that God graciously made the Sabbath for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Beyond “good,” the original language says the Sabbath is “delectable”. In celebrating a Sabbath, we acknowledge that God can provide by His grace more than we can accomplish with non-stop striving.
Every morning, a believer can “declare [the] steadfast love” (grace) of the Lord for safekeeping through the night. Such gratitude reminds us of our dependence on the Lord for the whole day ahead. The very existence of the morning convinces us that God’s “work” of redemption is ongoing.
Under the New Covenant, we give praise for the finished work of Jesus’ resurrection. How does this guarantee our own future? Hint: Ephesians 2:5-6; Colossians 3:1.
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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