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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we learn Absalom is gathering people at Hebron to fight against David. David knows he has to flee. As he leads the people out of Jerusalem, he allows everyone to walk by him to ensure they are all safe. The people are all aware of his failures as a kink and father and he must endure the shame as they walk by. There is certain bravery and nobility in this act. David also commands the priests to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He knows he will be in the Lord’s presence again if he wills it.

Looking back at David, all of these issues started with his inaction. We need the Lord to help us do what we need to do when we need to. Think about actions we may have done or need to do. How can we not repeat what David has done?

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 15

1 After this, Absalom procured a chariot and horses, with fifty men to run ahead of him.

2 He would get up early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate; and whenever a man with some lawsuit had to come before the king’s tribunal, Absalom would call out to him and ask, ‘Which town are you from?’ If he answered, ‘Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.’ 

3 then Absalom would say, ‘Look, your case is sound and just, but not one of the king’s deputies will listen to you.’

4 Absalom would say, ‘Oh, who will appoint me judge in the land? Then anyone with a lawsuit or a plea could come to me and I should see he had justice!’

5 And whenever anyone came up to him to prostrate himself, he would stretch out his hand, draw him to him and kiss him.

6 Absalom acted like this with every Israelite who appealed to the king’s tribunal, and so Absalom won the Israelites’ hearts.

7 When four years had gone by, Absalom said to the king, ‘Allow me to go to Hebron and fulfil the vow which I have made to Yahweh;

8 for, when I was in Geshur, in Aram, your servant made this vow, “If Yahweh brings me back to Jerusalem, I shall pay my devotions to Yahweh in Hebron.” ‘

9 The king said to him, ‘Go in peace.’ So he set off and went to Hebron.

10 Absalom sent couriers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, ‘When you hear the trumpet sound, you are to say, “Absalom is king at Hebron!” ‘

11 With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem; they had been invited and had gone in all innocence, unaware of what was going on.

12 Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from Giloh his town, and had him with him while offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy grew in strength, since Absalom’s supporters grew in number.

13 A messenger came and told David, ‘The men of Israel have shifted their allegiance to Absalom.’

14 David said to all his retinue then with him in Jerusalem, ‘Up, let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom! Leave as quickly as you can, in case he mounts a sudden attack, overcomes us and puts the city to the sword.’

15 The king’s retinue replied, ‘Whatever my lord the king decides, we are at your service.’

16 The king set out on foot with his whole household, leaving ten concubines to look after the palace.

17 The king set out on foot with everyone following, and they halted at the last house.

18 All his officers stood at his side. All the Cherethites and all the Pelethites, with Ittai and all the six hundred Gittites who had come in his retinue from Gath, marched past the king.

19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, ‘You, why are you coming with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner, indeed an exile from your homeland.

20 You arrived only yesterday; should I take you wandering with us today, when I do not know myself where I am going? Go back, take your fellow countrymen with you, and may Yahweh show you mercy and faithful love!’

21 Ittai replied to the king, ‘As Yahweh lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, for death or life, your servant will be there too.’

22 David then said to Ittai, ‘Go ahead, march past!’ And Ittai of Gath marched past with all his men and with all his children too.

23 The entire population was weeping aloud as the king stood in the bed of the Kidron and everyone marched past him, making for the desert.

24 Zadok was there too, and all the Levites with him, carrying the ark of God. They set the ark of God down beside Abiathar until everyone had finished marching out of the town.

25 The king then said to Zadok, ‘Take the ark of God back into the city. Should I win Yahweh’s favour, he will bring me back and allow me to see it and its tent once more.

26 But should he say, “You displease me,” here I am: let him treat me as he sees fit.’

27 The king said to Zadok the priest, ‘Look, you and Abiathar go back quietly into the city, with your two sons, your own son Ahimaaz and Jonathan son of Abiathar.

28 You see, I shall wait in the passes of the desert plain until word comes from you bringing me news.’

29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there.

30 David then made his way up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, his head covered and his feet bare. And all the people with him had their heads covered and made their way up, weeping as they went.

31 David was then informed that Ahithophel was among the conspirators with Absalom. David said, ‘I beg you, Yahweh, turn Ahithophel’s advice to folly.’

32 As David reached the summit, where God is worshipped, he saw Hushai the Archite, his friend, coming to meet him with his tunic torn and with earth on his head.

33 David said, ‘If you go along with me, you will be a burden to me.

34 But if you go back to the city and say to Absalom, “I am at your service, my lord king; once I was in your father’s service, but now I shall serve you,” you will be able to thwart Ahithophel’s advice for me.

35 Surely the priests Zadok and Abiathar will be with you? Anything you hear from the palace you must report to the priests Zadok and Abiathar.

36 You see, their two sons are there with them, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz, and Abiathar’s son Jonathan; through these, you will send me word of everything you hear.’

37 Hushai, David’s friend, entered the city just as Absalom was reaching Jerusalem.

1 Chronicles 19

1 After this, when Nahash king of the Ammonites died and his son Hanun succeeded him,

2 David thought, ‘I shall show Hanun son of Nahash the same faithful love as his father showed me.’ And David sent representatives to offer him condolences over his father. But when David’s representatives reached Hanun in the Ammonites’ country to present these condolences, 

3 the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, ‘Do you really think David means to honour your father when he sends you messengers with sympathy? On the contrary, the reason why his representatives have come to you is to explore, overthrow and reconnoitre the country.

4 Whereupon Hanun seized David’s representatives, shaved them, cut their clothes off half-way up, right by their buttocks, and sent them away.

5 As soon as David was told how the men had been treated, he sent someone to meet them, since the men were overcome with shame. ‘Stay in Jericho,’ the king said, ‘until your beards have grown, and come back then.’

6 When the Ammonites realised that they had antagonised David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent a thousand talents of silver to hire chariots and cavalry from the Aramaeans of Upper Mesopotamia, of Maacah and of Zobah.

7 They hired thirty-two thousand chariots and the king of Maacah with his people, who came and encamped before Medeba, while the Ammonites, having left their towns and mustered, were advancing to the war.

8 When David heard this, he sent Joab with the whole army, the champions.

9 The Ammonites marched out and drew up their line of battle at the city gate, while the kings who had come kept their distance in the open country.

10 Joab, seeing that he had to fight on two fronts, to his front and to his rear, chose the best of Israel’s picked men and drew them up in line facing the Aramaeans.

11 He entrusted the rest of the army to his brother Abishai, and drew them up in line facing the Ammonites.

12 ‘If the Aramaeans prove too strong for me,’ he said, ‘you must come to my help; if the Ammonites prove too strong for you, I shall come to yours.

13 Be brave and let us fight valiantly, for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God! And let Yahweh dispose as he thinks fit!’

14 Joab and the force with him joined battle with the Aramaeans, who fled at his onslaught.

15 When the Ammonites saw that the Aramaeans had fled, they too fled from his brother Abishai and withdrew into the city. Joab then returned to Jerusalem.

16 The Aramaeans, realising that Israel had got the better of them, sent messengers and mobilised the Aramaeans living on the other side of the River, with Shophach, commander of Hadadezer’s army, at their head.

17 David, being informed of this, mustered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, made contact with them and took up position near them. David drew up his line of battle facing the Aramaeans, who then engaged him.

18 But the Aramaeans fled from Israel, and David killed seven thousand of their chariot teams and forty thousand men; and also Shophach, the commander of the army.

19 When Hadadezer’s vassals saw that Israel had got the better of them, they made peace with David and became his subjects. The Aramaeans were unwilling to give any more help to the Ammonites.

1 Chronicles 20

1 At the turn of the year, at the time when kings go campaigning, Joab led out the troops and, having ravaged the Ammonites’ territory, proceeded to lay siege to Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem. Joab reduced Rabbah and dismantled it.

2 David took the crown off Milcom’s head and found that it weighed a talent of gold, and in it was set a precious stone which went on David’s head instead. He carried off great quantities of booty from the city.

3 And he expelled its inhabitants, setting them to work with saws, iron picks and axes. David treated all the Ammonite towns in the same way. David and all the people then returned to Jerusalem.

4 After this war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer. This was when Sibbecai of Hushah killed Sippai, one of the Rephaim, and the Philistines were subdued.

5 Again, war with the Philistines broke out, and Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi brother of Goliath of Gath, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.

6 There was further warfare at Gath, where there was a man of huge stature with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all. He too was a son of Rapha.

7 When he defied Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, brother of David cut him down.

8 These men were sons of Rapha in Gath and fell at the hands of David and his guards.

Psalm 3

1 [Psalm Of David When he was fleeing from his son Absalom] Yahweh, how countless are my enemies, how countless those who rise up against me,

2 how countless those who say of me, ‘No salvation for him from his God!

3 But you, Yahweh, the shield at my side, my glory, you hold my head high.

4 I cry out to Yahweh; he answers from his holy mountain.

5 As for me, if I lie down and sleep, I shall awake, for Yahweh sustains me.

6 I have no fear of people in their thousands upon thousands, who range themselves against me wherever I turn.

7 Arise, Yahweh, rescue me, my God! You strike all my foes across the face, you break the teeth of the wicked.

8 In Yahweh is salvation, on your people, your blessing!

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