Day 134 – Devastating Effects of Sin

Thoughts and Reflection

Today in our readings we learn that Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, Tells David that Mephibosheth will wait in Jerusalem to see who wins – David or Absalom. After they destroy one another, he will pick up the pieces. Later Shime-i, of the house of Saul, curses David. Abishai, one of David’s right-hand men, offers to cut off his head. David’s response shows that he has been humbled. He says that he is not so good and innocent that he does not deserve these curses.

David remembers his Sins – and the prophecy that he would experience much disgrace in the sight of the people. Later David wants a census of Israel. By doing this he is implying that the people of Israel are not God’s people anymore but his.

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 16

1 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Meribbaal’s retainer, Ziba, met him with a pair of donkeys, saddled and laden with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of the season’s fruits, and a skin of wine.

2 The king said to Ziba, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ ‘The donkeys’, Ziba replied, ‘are for the king’s family to ride, the bread and the fruit for the soldiers to eat, the wine is for drinking by those who get exhausted in the desert.’

3 The king asked ‘And where is your master’s son?’ Ziba replied to the king, ‘Why, he has stayed in Jerusalem because, he says, “Today, the House of Israel will give me back my father’s kingdom.” ‘

4 Then the king said to Ziba, ‘Everything owned by Meribbaal is yours.’ Ziba said, ‘I prostrate myself! May I be worthy of your favour, my lord king!’

5 As David was reaching Bahurim, out came a man of the same clan as Saul’s family. His name was Shimei son of Gera and, as he came, he uttered curse after curse

6 and threw stones at David and at all King David’s retinue, even though the whole army and all the champions formed an escort round the king on either side.

7 The words of his curse were these, ‘Off with you, off with you, man of blood, scoundrel!

8 Yahweh has paid you back for all the spilt blood of the House of Saul whose sovereignty you have usurped; and Yahweh has transferred the sovereign power to Absalom your son. Now your wickedness has overtaken you, man of blood that you are.’

9 Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, ‘Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut his head off.’

10 But the king replied, ‘What concern is my business to you, sons of Zeruiah? Let him curse! If Yahweh has said to him, “Curse David!” what right has anyone to say, “Why have you done so?” ‘

11 David said to Abishai and all his retinue, ‘Why, the son sprung from my own body is now seeking my life; all the more reason for this Benjaminite to do so! Let him curse on, if Yahweh has told him to!

12 Perhaps Yahweh will look on my wretchedness and will repay me with good for his curses today.’

13 So David and his men went on their way, and Shimei kept pace with him along the opposite mountainside, cursing as he went, throwing stones and flinging dust.

14 The king and all the people who were with him arrived exhausted at . . . . . . and there they drew breath.

15 Absalom entered Jerusalem with all the men of Israel; with him was Ahithophel.

16 When Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, reached Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, ‘Long live the king! Long live the king!’

17 Absalom said to Hushai, ‘Is this your faithful love for your friend? Why didn’t you go away with your friend?’

18 Hushai replied to Absalom, ‘No, the man whom Yahweh and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen, he is the man for me, and with him will I stay!

19 Besides, whom should I serve, if not his son? As I served your father, so shall I serve you.’

20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, ‘Think carefully. What shall we do?’

21 Ahithophel replied to Absalom, ‘Go to your father’s concubines whom he left to look after the palace; then all Israel will hear that you have thoroughly antagonised your father, and the resolution of all your supporters will be strengthened.’

22 So a tent was pitched for Absalom on the flat roof and, with all Israel watching, Absalom went to his father’s concubines.

23 At the time, whatever advice Ahithophel gave was treated like a decision obtained from God; as by David, so by Absalom, was all Ahithophel’s advice regarded.

1 Chronicles 21

1 Satan took his stand against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.

2 David said to Joab and the people’s princes, ‘Go, and take a census of Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, then bring it back to me and let me know the total.’

3 Joab replied, ‘May Yahweh multiply his people to a hundred times what they are today! But my lord king, are they not all my lord’s servants in any case? Why should my lord insist on this? Why should he involve Israel in guilt?’

4 But the king enforced his order on Joab, and Joab set out, travelled throughout all Israel, and then returned to Jerusalem.

5 Joab gave David the census results for the people: all Israel had eleven hundred thousand men who could wield a sword; Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who could wield a sword.

6 Joab had found the king’s command so distasteful that he did not include Levi and Benjamin.

7 God looked with displeasure on this and punished Israel in consequence.

8 David then said to God, ‘I have committed a grave sin by doing this. But now I beg you to forgive your servant for this fault, for I have acted very foolishly.’

9 Yahweh then spoke to Gad, David’s seer,

10 ‘Go and say to David, “Yahweh says this: I offer you three things; choose which one of them I am to inflict on you.” ‘

11 So Gad went to David and said, ‘Yahweh says this,

12 “Take your choice between three years of famine; or three months of disaster at the hands of your enemies, with your enemies’ sword overtaking you; or three days of Yahweh’s sword, an epidemic in the country, while the angel of Yahweh wreaks havoc throughout the territory of Israel.”

13 David said to Gad, ‘I am very apprehensive. Better for me to fall into Yahweh’s hand, since his mercies are very great, than for me to fall into the hands of human enemies.’

14 So Yahweh unleashed an epidemic on Israel, and seventy thousand Israelites succumbed.

15 Next, God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, Yahweh looked down and felt sorry about the calamity; and he said to the destroying angel, ‘Enough now! Hold your hand!’ The angel of Yahweh was standing by the thresh-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16 David, raising his eyes, saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and heaven, a drawn sword in his hand stretched out towards Jerusalem. David and the elders then put on sackcloth and fell on their faces,

17 and David said to God, ‘Did I not order the people to be counted? I was the one who sinned and actually committed the wrong. But these, the flock, what have they done? Yahweh my God, let your hand lie heavy on me and on my family; but spare your people from the plague!’

18 The angel of Yahweh then ordered Gad to tell David that David should go up and erect an altar to Yahweh on the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

19 So, at Gad’s bidding, given in Yahweh’s name, David went up.

20 Ornan had turned round and seen the angel, and he and his four sons with him had hidden.

21 When David arrived Ornan was threshing wheat. He looked up and saw David and came off the threshing-floor and prostrated himself on the ground at David’s feet.

22 David then said to Ornan, ‘Let me have the site of the threshing-floor, so that I can build an altar to Yahweh on it; let me have it at the full price — so that the plague may be lifted from the people.’ Ornan said to David,

23 ‘Take it, and let my lord the king do what he thinks fit. Look, I shall give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing-sleds for the wood and the wheat for the oblation. I shall give everything.’

24 ‘No,’ said King David to Ornan, ‘I insist on buying it at the full price. I will not offer Yahweh what belongs to you or bring burnt offerings which have cost me nothing.’

25 So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the site.

26 There David built an altar to Yahweh and brought burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called on Yahweh, and Yahweh answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

27 Then Yahweh ordered the angel to sheathe his sword.

28 Whereupon, seeing that Yahweh had answered him on the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, David offered sacrifice there.

29 The Dwelling which Moses had made in the desert and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon,

30 but David could not go there to consult God because he was terrified of the angel’s sword.

Psalm 15

1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh, who can find a home in your tent, who can dwell on your holy mountain?

2 Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who speaks the truth from the heart,

3 who keeps the tongue under control, who does not wrong a comrade, who casts no discredit on a neighbour,

4 who looks with scorn on the vile, but honours those who fear Yahweh, who stands by an oath at any cost,

5 who asks no interest on loans, who takes no bribe to harm the innocent. No one who so acts can ever be shaken.

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