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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we learn that David wants to build a house for the Lord, but the Lord says he will build David a house. God told Samuel to anoint David as a king of his people Israel because he was a man after the Lord’s heart. This is a good reminder that God does not look at outward appearances, instead, he looks into the heart. In Chronicles, God reaffirms that David’s dynasty will endure forever.

David’s son Amnon lusts after Tamar, his half-sister. Even though she protests, he takes her and he also destroyed Tamar’s future. Many today may feel like Tamar, they are used up and cannot be loved. We need to remember that Jesus takes our brokenness and makes us whole. Absalom avenges his sisters by killing Ammon and begins Absalom’s rebellion against David. When David learns what his son had done, he does not act and this will mark David’s life with his family. His actions do not live up to his high calling.

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

2 Samuel 13

1 After this, the following events took place. Absalom son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar; Amnon son of David fell in love with her.

2 Amnon was so obsessed with his sister Tamar that it made him ill, since she was a virgin and Amnon thought it impossible to do anything to her.

3 But Amnon had a friend called Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very shrewd man.

4 ‘Son of the king,’ he said, ‘tell me why, morning after morning, you look so worn? Won’t you tell me?’ Amnon replied, ‘I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.’

5 Then Jonadab said, ‘Take to your bed, pretend to be ill and, when your father comes to visit you, say, “Please let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat; let her prepare the food where I can see. What she gives me I shall eat.” ‘

6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. The king then came to visit him and Amnon said to the king, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and make a cake or two where I can watch. What she gives me, I shall eat.’

7 David then sent word to Tamar at the palace, ‘Go to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare some food for him.’

8 Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon who was lying there in bed. She took dough and kneaded it, and she made some cakes while he watched, and baked the cakes.

9 She then took the pan and dished them up in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, ‘Let everyone leave me!’ So everyone withdrew.

10 Amnon then said to Tamar, ‘Bring the food to the inner room, so that I can eat what you give me.’ So Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them to her brother Amnon in the inner room.

11 And as she was offering the food to him, he caught hold of her and said, ‘Come to bed with me, sister!’

12 She replied, ‘No, brother! Do not force me! This is no way to behave in Israel. Do not do anything so disgraceful!

13 Wherever should I go? I should be marked with this shame, while you would become disgraced in Israel. Why not go and speak to the king? He will not refuse to give me to you.’

14 But he would not listen to her; he overpowered her and raped her.

15 Amnon was then seized with extreme hatred for her; the hatred he now felt for her was greater than his earlier love. ‘Get up and go!’ he said.

16 She said, ‘No, brother! To send me away would be worse than the other wrong you have done me!’ But he would not listen to her.

17 He called his personal servant. ‘Rid me of this woman!’ he said. ‘Throw her out and bolt the door behind her!’

18 (She was wearing a magnificent dress, for this was what the king’s unmarried daughters wore in days gone by.) So the servant put her out and bolted the door behind her.

19 Tamar put dust on her head, tore the magnificent dress which she was wearing, laid her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went.

20 Her brother Absalom said to her, ‘Has Amnon your brother been with you? Sister, be quiet; he is your brother; do not take the matterto heart!’ Tamar, however, went back to her brother Absalom’s house inconsolable.

21 When King David heard the whole story, he was very angry; but he had no wish to harm his son Amnon, whom he loved because he was his first-born.

22 Absalom, however, would not so much as speak to Amnon, since he hated Amnon for having raped his sister Tamar.

23 Two years later, when Absalom had the sheep-shearers at Baal-Hazor, which is near Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons.

24 Absalom went to the king and said, ‘Now sir, your servant has the sheep-shearers. Will the king and his retinue be pleased to come with your servant?’

25 ‘No, my son,’ the king replied, ‘we must not all come and be a burden to you.’ And though Absalom was insistent, he would not go but dismissed him.

26 Absalom persisted, ‘Then at least let my brother Amnon come with us.’ The king said, ‘Why should he go with you?’

27 On Absalom’s insistence, however, he let Amnon and all the king’s sons to go with him. Absalom prepared a royal banquet

28 and then gave this order to the servants, ‘Listen carefully; when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine and I say, “Strike Amnon down”, then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Have I not myself given you the order? Use your strength and show your mettle!’

29 Absalom’s servants treated Amnon as Absalom had ordered. The king’s sons all leapt to their feet, mounted their mules and fled.

30 While they were on the road, word reached David, ‘Absalom has killed all the king’s sons; not one of them is left.’

31 The king stood up, tore his clothes and threw himself on the ground. All his officers tore their clothes too.

32 Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, then spoke up and said, ‘Do not let my lord take to heart the report that all the young men, the king’s sons, have been killed, since only Amnon is dead: for Absalom has been promising himself to do this since the day when Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 

33 So my lord the king must not imagine that all the king’s sons are dead; only Amnon is dead

34 and Absalom has fled.’ The man on sentry duty looked up and saw a large troop coming along the road from Bahurim. The sentry came to tell the king, ‘I have seen some people coming down the Bahurim road on the mountainside.’

35 Jonadab then said to the king, ‘These are the king’s sons arriving: what your servant said is exactly what happened.’

36 He had scarcely finished speaking when the king’s sons arrived and wept aloud; the king and all his retinue wept aloud too.

37 Absalom had gone to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. The king mourned for his son every day.

38 When Absalom had gone to Geshur, he stayed there for three years.

39 Once the king was consoled over Amnon’s death, his anger against Absalom subsided.

1 Chronicles 17

1 It happened, once David had settled into his palace, that David said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Here am I living in a cedar-wood palace, while the ark of the covenant of Yahweh is under awnings.’

2 Nathan said to David, ‘Do whatever you have in mind, for God is with you.’

3 But that very night the word of God came to Nathan, as follows:

4 ‘Go and tell my servant David, “Yahweh says this: You must not build a temple for me to live in.

5 I have never lived in a house from the day when I brought Israel out until today, but have kept travelling from tent to tent and from shelter to shelter.

6 In all my travels with all Israel, did I say to any of the judges of Israel, whom I had commanded to shepherd my people: Why do you not build me a cedar-wood temple?

7 This is what you must say to my servant David: Yahweh Sabaoth says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel.

8 I have been with you wherever you went; I have got rid of all your enemies for you. I am going to make your fame like that of the greatest men on earth.

9 I am going to provide a place for my people Israel; I shall plant them there and there they will live and never be disturbed again; nor willthey be oppressed by the wicked as they were in former times

10 ever since I instituted judges to govern my people Israel; I shall subdue all your enemies. Yahweh moreover tells you that he will build you a dynasty.

11 And when your days are over and you have gone to join your ancestors, I shall appoint your heir — who will be one of your sons — to succeed you, and I shall make his sovereignty secure.

12 He will build a temple for me and I shall make his throne secure for ever.

13 I shall be his father and he will be my son, and I shall not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor.

14 I shall set him over my temple and kingdom for ever and his throne will be for ever secure.” ‘

15 Nathan related all these words and this whole revelation to David.

16 King David then went in, sat down in Yahweh’s presence and said: ‘Who am I, Yahweh God, and what is my lineage, that you have led me as far as this?

17 Yet, to you, O God, this seemed too little, and now you extend your promises for your servant’s family into the distant future, making me see as it were a whole succession of men, and it is Yahweh God himself who raises it up.

18 What more can David reply to you for the honour you have given to your servant? You yourself have singled out your servant.

19 For your servant, and since you were so inclined, you have had the generosity to reveal all this greatness to come.

20 Yahweh, there is no one like you, no God but you alone, as everything that we have heard confirms.

21 Is there another people on earth like your people Israel, whom a god has proceeded to redeem, to make them his people and to make them famous and do for them great and terrible deeds, by driving out nations before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?-

22 for you made your people Israel your own people for ever and you, Yahweh, became their God.

23 ‘Now, Yahweh, may the promise which you have made for your servant and as regards his family hold good for ever, and do as you have said.

24 May it hold good, so your name will be exalted for ever and people will say, “Israel’s God is Yahweh Sabaoth; he is God for Israel.” Your servant David’s dynasty will be secure before you

25 since you, my God, have disclosed to your servant that you are going to build him a dynasty. Hence, your servant has ventured to offer this prayer to you.

26 Yes, Yahweh, you are God indeed, and you have made this generous promise to your servant.

27 What is more, you have deigned to bless your servant’s dynasty, so that it may remain for ever before you; and since you, Yahweh, have blessed it, blessed will it be for ever.’

Psalm 35

1 [Of David] Accuse my accusers, Yahweh, attack my attackers.

2 Grasp your buckler and shield, up, and help me.

3 Brandish spear and pike to confront my pursuers, give me the assurance, ‘I am your Saviour.’

4 Shame and humiliation on those who are out to kill me! Defeat and repulse in dismay on those who plot my downfall.

5 May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of Yahweh to chase them.

6 May their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of Yahweh to hound them.

7 Unprovoked they laid their snare for me, unprovoked dug a trap to kill me.

8 Ruin comes upon them unawares; the snare they have laid will catch them, and into their own trap they will fall.

9 Then I shall delight in Yahweh, rejoice that he has saved me.

10 My very bones will all exclaim, Yahweh, who can compare with you in rescuing the poor from the oppressor; the needy from the exploiter?

11 False witnesses come forward against me asking me questions I cannot answer, they cross-examine me,

12 repay my kindness with cruelty, make my life barren.

13 But I, when they were ill, had worn sackcloth, and mortified myself with fasting, praying ever anew in my heart,

14 as if for a friend or brother; I had wandered restless, as if mourning a mother, so bowed had I been in sorrow.

15 When I stumble they gather in glee, gather around me; strangers I never even knew tear me apart incessantly.

16 If I fall they surround me, grinding their teeth at me.

17 How much longer, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their onslaughts, from young lions rescue the one life that I have.

18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly praise you where the people gather.

19 Let not my lying enemies gloat over me; those who hate me unprovoked look askance at me.

20 They have no greeting of peace to the peace-loving people of the land; they think up deceptive speeches.

21 Their mouths wide open to accuse me, they say, ‘Come on now, we saw you.’

22 You saw it, Yahweh, do not stay silent; Lord, do not stand aloof from me.

23 Up, awake, to my defence, my God and my Lord, to my cause.

24 In your saving justice give judgement for me, Yahweh my God, and do not let them gloat over me.

25 Do not let them think, ‘Just as we hoped,’ nor, ‘Now we have swallowed him up.’

26 Shame and dismay on them all who gloat over my misfortunes. Let all who profit at my expense be covered with shame and disgrace.

27 But let all who delight in my uprightness shout for joy and gladness; let them constantly say, ‘Great is Yahweh, who delights to see his servant in peace.’

28 And my tongue shall recount your saving justice, all day long sing your praise.

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