Day 119 – David’s Wisdom

Thoughts and Reflection

Today in the readings we see that when David arrives in Ziklag, he discovers that Amalekites have raided his city and taken the people away. He then shows his wisdom in three ways. First, he asks God if he and his men should pursue the Amalekites to retrieve their families and belongings. In his time of need, the first thing David does is ask for direction from the Lord. He has learned that he should always pray first.

Of his six hundred men, two hundred stop at the brook Besor to rest guarding their possessions. Some of those who go on to battle do not want to share any of the spoils with the ones who stay behind. David will share the spoils because all six hundred men served – four hundred by fighting and two hundred by guarding the baggage. This keeps his people united, aware that everyone serves a purpose.

When he returns with the spoils, he sends presents to the elders of Judah. Saul was killed and David will soon be the next king of Israel. This shows the elders that he will be taking care of them.

David has the heart of a king. He prays before he acts and he gives justly. He unites the tribes of Israel as one kingdom.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

1 Samuel 29

1 The Philistines mustered all their forces at Aphek while the Israelites pitched camp near the spring in Jezreel.

2 The Philistine commanders marched past with their hundreds and their thousands, and David and his men brought up the rear with Achish.

3 The Philistine chiefs asked, ‘What are these Hebrews doing?’ Achish replied to them, ‘Why, this is David the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me for the last year or two. I have had no fault to find with him from the day he gave himself up to me until the present time.’ 

4 But the Philistine chiefs were angry with him. ‘Send the man back,’ they said, ‘make him go back to the place which you assigned to him. He cannot go into battle with us, in case he turns on us once battle is joined. Would there be a better way for the man to regain his master’s favour than with the heads of these men here?

5 Is not this the David of whom they sang as they danced: Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?

6 So Achish called David and said, ‘As Yahweh lives, you are loyal, and I am quite content with all your doings in our campaigning together, since I have found no fault with you from the day you came to me until the present time. But you are not acceptable to the chiefs. 

7 So go home, in peace, rather than antagonise them.’

8 ‘But what have I done,’ David asked Achish, ‘what fault have you had to find with your servant from the day I entered your service to the present time, for me not to be allowed to go and fight the enemies of my lord the king?’

9 In reply, Achish said to David, ‘In my opinion, it is true, you are as good as an angel of God; but the Philistine chiefs have said, “He must not go into battle with us.”

10 So get up early tomorrow morning, with your master’s servants who came with you, and go to the place which I assigned to you. Do not harbour resentment, since personally I have no fault to find with you. Get up early tomorrow morning and, as soon as it is light, be off.’

11 So David and his men got up early to leave at dawn and go back to Philistine territory. And the Philistines marched on Jezreel.

1 Samuel 30

1 Now by the time David and his men reached Ziklag three days later, the Amalekites had raided the Negeb and Ziklag; they had sacked Ziklag and burnt it down.

2 They had taken the women prisoner, and everyone who was there, both small and great. They had not killed anyone, but had carried them off and gone away.

3 When David and his men arrived, they found the town burnt down and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.

4 Then David and the people with him wept aloud till they were too weak to weep any more.

5 David’s two wives had been captured: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel.

6 David was in great trouble, since the people were talking of stoning him; the people all felt very bitter, each man for his own sons and daughters. But David took courage from Yahweh his God.

7 To the priest Abiathar son of Ahimelech, David said, ‘Bring me the ephod.’ Abiathar brought the ephod to David.

8 David then consulted Yahweh, ‘Shall I go in pursuit of these raiders? Will I overtake them?’ The answer was, ‘Go in pursuit; you willcertainly overtake them and rescue the captives.’

9 David accordingly set off with the six hundred men who were with him and reached the torrent of Besor.

10 David then continued the pursuit with four hundred men, two hundred staying behind who were too exhausted to cross the torrent of Besor.

11 Out in the country they found an Egyptian and brought him to David. They gave him some bread to eat and some water to drink;

12 they also gave him a piece of fig cake and two bunches of raisins; he ate these and his spirits revived — he had had nothing to eat or drink for three days and three nights.

13 David then said to him, ‘Whose man are you and where do you come from?’ He replied, ‘I am a young Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite; my master abandoned me because I fell sick three days ago.

14 We raided the Negeb of the Cherethites, and the Negeb of Judah, and the Negeb of Caleb too, and we burnt Ziklag down.’

15 David said, ‘Will you guide me to these raiders?’ He replied, ‘Swear to me by God not to kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will guide you to these raiders.’

16 He guided him to them, and there they were, scattered over the whole countryside, eating, drinking and celebrating, on account of the enormous booty which they had brought back from the territory of the Philistines and the territory of Judah.

17 David slaughtered them from dawn until the evening of the following day. No one escaped, except four hundred young men who mounted camels and fled.

18 He rescued everything that the Amalekites had taken — David also rescued his two wives.

19 Nothing of theirs was lost, whether small or great, from the booty or sons and daughters — everything that had been taken from them; David recovered everything.

20 They captured the flocks and herds as well and drove them in front of him. ‘This is David’s booty,’ they shouted.

21 When David reached the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and whom he had left at the torrent of Besor, they came out to meet David and the party accompanying him; David approached with his party and greeted them.

22 But all the rogues and scoundrels among the men who had gone with David began saying, ‘Since they did not go with us, we shall not give them any of the booty which we have rescued, except that each of them can have his wife and children. Let them take them away and be off.’

23 But David said, ‘Do not behave like this, brothers, with what Yahweh has given us; he has protected us and has handed over to us the raiders who attacked us.

24 Who would agree with you on this? No: As the share of the man who goes into battle, so is the share of the man who stays with the baggage. They will share alike.’

25 And from that day on, he made that a rule and custom for Israel, which obtains to the present day.

26 When David reached Ziklag, he sent parts of the booty to the elders of Judah, town by town, with this message, ‘Here is a present for you, taken from the booty of Yahweh’s enemies’:

27 to those in Bethel, to those in Ramoth of the Negeb,

28 to those in Jattir, to those in Aroer, to those in Siphmoth, to those in Eshtemoa,

29 to those in Carmel, to those in the towns of Jerahmeel, to those in the towns of the Kenites,

30 to those in Hormah, to those in Borashan, to those in Athach,

31 to those in Hebron and to all the places which David and his men had frequented.

1 Samuel 31

1 The Philistines gave battle to Israel, and the Israelites, fleeing from the Philistines, fell and were slaughtered on Mount Gilboa.

2 The Philistines bore down on Saul and his sons, and they killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, Saul’s sons.

3 The fighting grew fiercer round Saul; the archers came upon him, and he was severely wounded

4 by the archers. Saul then said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and run me through with it; I do not want these uncircumcised men to come and make fun of me.’ But his armour-bearer was very much afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

5 His armour-bearer, seeing that Saul was dead, fell on his sword too and died with him.

6 Thus died Saul, his three sons and his armour-bearer, together on the same day.

7 When the Israelites who were on the other side of the Jordan saw that the Israelites had been routed and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. The Philistines then came and occupied them.

8 When the Philistines came on the following day to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons lying on Mount Gilboa.

9 They cut off his head and, stripping him of his armour, had these carried round the territory of the Philistines to proclaim the good news to their idols and their people.

10 They put his armour in the temple of Astarte; and his body they fastened to the walls of Beth-Shean.

11 When the inhabitants of Jabesh in Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,

12 the warriors all set out and, having marched all night, took the bodies of Saul and his sons off the walls of Beth-Shean; they brought them to Jabesh and burned them there.

13 They then took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk of Jabesh, and fasted for seven days.

Psalm 18

1 [For the choirmaster Of David, the servant of Yahweh, who addressed the words of this song to Yahweh when Yahweh had delivered him from all his enemies and from the clutches of Saul. He said:] I love you, Yahweh, my strength (my Saviour, you have saved me from violence).

2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is my God. I take refuge in him, my rock, my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold, my place of refuge.

3 I call to Yahweh who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my foes.

4 With Death’s breakers closing in on me, Belial’s torrents ready to swallow me,

5 Sheol’s snares every side of me, Death’s traps lying ahead of me,

6 I called to Yahweh in my anguish, I cried for help to my God; from his Temple he heard my voice, my cry came to his ears.

7 Then the earth quaked and rocked, the mountains’ foundations shuddered, they quaked at his blazing anger.

8 Smoke rose from his nostrils, from his mouth devouring fire (coals were kindled at it).

9 He parted the heavens and came down, a storm-cloud underneath his feet;

10 riding one of the winged creatures, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.

11 His covering he made the darkness, his pavilion dark waters and dense cloud.

12 A brightness lit up before him, hail and blazing fire.

13 Yahweh thundered from the heavens, the Most High made his voice heard.

14 He shot his arrows and scattered them, he hurled his lightning and routed them.

15 The very springs of ocean were exposed, the world’s foundations were laid bare, at your roaring, Yahweh, at the blast of breath from your nostrils!

16 He reached down from on high, snatched me up, pulled me from the watery depths,

17 rescued me from my mighty foe, from my enemies who were stronger than I.

18 They assailed me on my day of disaster but Yahweh was there to support me;

19 he freed me, set me at large, he rescued me because he loves me.

20 Yahweh rewards me for my uprightness, as my hands are pure, so he repays me,

21 since I have kept the ways of Yahweh, and not fallen away from my God.

22 His judgements are all before me, his statutes I have not put away from me.

23 I am blameless before him, I keep myself clear of evil.

24 So Yahweh repaid me for acting uprightly because he could see I was pure.

25 You are faithful to the faithful, blameless with the blameless,

26 sincere to the sincere, but cunning to the crafty,

27 you save a people that is humble and humiliate those with haughty looks.

28 Yahweh, you yourself are my lamp, my God lights up my darkness;

29 with you I storm the rampart, with my God I can scale any wall.

30 This God, his way is blameless; the word of Yahweh is refined in the furnace, for he alone is the shield of all who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God but Yahweh, who is a rock but our God?

32 This God who girds me with strength, who makes my way free from blame,

33 who makes me as swift as a deer and sets me firmly on the heights,

34 who trains my hands for battle, my arms to bend a bow of bronze.

35 You give me your invincible shield (your right hand upholds me) you never cease to listen to me,

36 you give me the strides of a giant, give me ankles that never weaken.

37 I pursue my enemies and overtake them, not turning back till they are annihilated;

38 I strike them down and they cannot rise, they fall, they are under my feet.

39 You have girded me with strength for the fight, bent down my assailants beneath me,

40 made my enemies retreat before me; and those who hate me I destroy.

41 They cry out, there is no one to save; to Yahweh, but no answer comes.

42 I crumble them like dust before the wind, trample them like the mud of the streets.

43 You free me from the quarrels of my people, you place me at the head of the nations, a people I did not know are now my servants;

44 foreigners come wooing my favour, no sooner do they hear than they obey me;

45 foreigners grow faint of heart, they come trembling out of their fastnesses.

46 Life to Yahweh! Blessed be my rock! Exalted be the God of my salvation,

47 the God who gives me vengeance, and subjects whole peoples to me,

48 who rescues me from my raging enemies. You lift me high above those who attack me, you deliver me from the man of violence.

49 For this I will praise you, Yahweh, among the nations, and sing praise to your name.

50 He saves his king time after time, displays his faithful love for his anointed, for David and his heirs for ever.

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