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Thoughts and Reflections

Today we learn what the Temple David established should look like. He also changes some of the former rules. Since the Temple is now larger than the Tent of Meeting and is permanent, there is a shift in the type and amount of work that needs to be done. David changes the service of the Levites, reducing the minimum age for serving from thirty to twenty.

We also learn that Absalom is defeated and killed. Joab knows that David wants Absalom to live, he takes matters into his own hands and kills Absalom. Twenty thousand men have died in the battle with Absalom. When David hears of Absalom’s death, he immediately begins to mourn. He hasn’t claimed Absalom as his son until he hears of his death.

Is there a responsibility in your life that you have not fulfilled to the best of your abilities?

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 18

1 David reviewed the troops who were with him and appointed commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds to lead them.

2 David divided the army into three groups, one under the command of Joab, another under the command of Abishai son of Zeruiah and brother of Joab, and the third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. David then said to the troops, ‘I shall take the field in person with you.’ 

3 But the troops replied, ‘You are not to take the field. No one will bother about us if we run away, they will not even bother about us if half of us are killed, but you are ten thousand times more valuable. So it is better if you stay inside the town, in case we need reinforcements.’ 

4 David said, ‘I will do what you think best.’ And the king stood beside the gate as the troops marched out by their hundreds and their thousands.

5 The king gave orders to Joab, Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake, treat young Absalom gently!’ And the troops all heard the king give all the commanders these orders about Absalom.

6 So the troops marched out into the open to engage Israel, and the battle took place in the Forest of Ephraim.

7 There, the army of Israel was beaten by David’s retainers; it was a great defeat that day, with twenty thousand casualties.

8 The fighting spread throughout the region and that day the forest claimed more victims than the sword.

9 Absalom happened to run into some of David’s guards. Absalom was riding his mule and the mule passed under the thick branches of a great oak. Absalom’s head got caught in the oak and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule he was riding went on.

10 Someone saw this and reported to Joab, ‘I have just seen Absalom hanging from an oak.’

11 Joab said to the man who had informed him, ‘If you saw him, why did you not strike him to the ground then and there? I would have made it my business to give you ten silver shekels and a belt!’

12 The man replied to Joab, ‘Even if I could feel the weight of a thousand silver shekels in my hand, I would not lift my hand against the king’s son. In our own hearing, the king gave you and Abishai and Ittai these orders, “For my sake, spare young Absalom.”

13 Even if I had deceived myself, nothing stays hidden from the king and you would have dissociated yourself from me.’

14 Joab then said, ‘I cannot waste time arguing with you!’ And, taking three darts in his hand, he planted them in Absalom’s heart, while he was still alive, deep in the oak-tree.

15 Ten soldiers, Joab’s armour-bearers, then came in close, struck Absalom and killed him.

16 Joab then had the trumpet sounded, and the troops left off pursuing Israel, since Joab held the troops back.

17 They took Absalom, flung him into a deep pit in the forest and raised a huge cairn over him. All the Israelites had fled, dispersing to their homes.

18 Now, during his lifetime, Absalom had made and erected a pillar to himself, which is in the Valley of the King. ‘I have no son’, he said, ‘to preserve the memory of my name.’ He gave his own name to the pillar, and today it is still called Absalom’s Monument. 

19 Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, ‘Let me run and tell the king the good news that Yahweh has vindicated his cause by ridding him of his enemies.’

20 But Joab said, ‘Today you would be no bearer of good news, some other day you may be; but today you would not be bringing goodnews, since the king’s son is dead.’

21 Joab then said to the Cushite, ‘Go and tell the king what you have seen.’ The Cushite prostrated himself to Joab and ran off.

22 But Ahimaaz son of Zadok persisted. ‘Come what may,’ he said to Joab, ‘please let me run after the Cushite.’ ‘My son,’ Joab said, ‘why run? You will get no reward for your news.’

23 But he replied, ‘Come what may, let me run!’ and Joab said ‘Run, then!’ So Ahimaaz ran off along the road through the Plain, outrunning the Cushite.

24 David was sitting between the two gates. The sentry, having gone up to the roof of the gate, looked out from the ramparts and saw a man running alone.

25 The sentry called down to the king and told him. The king said, ‘If he is alone, he is bringing good news.’

26 As the man drew steadily nearer, the lookout man saw another man running, and the sentry above the gate shouted, ‘Here comes another man, running alone!’ David said, ‘He too is a bearer of good news.’

27 The sentry said, ‘I recognise the way the first man runs; Ahimaaz son of Zadok runs like that.’ ‘He is a good man’, said the king, ‘and comes with good news.’

28 Ahimaaz went up to the king. ‘All hail!’ he said, prostrating himself on the ground before the king. ‘Blessed be Yahweh your God’, he said, ‘who has handed over the men who rebelled against my lord the king!’

29 ‘Is all well with young Absalom?’ the king asked. Ahimaaz replied, ‘I saw a great commotion when Joab, the king’s servant, sent your servant off, but I do not know what it was.’

30 The king said, ‘Go and stand over there.’ He stood to one side and waited.

31 Then the Cushite arrived. ‘Good news for my lord the king!’ the Cushite shouted. ‘Today Yahweh has vindicated your cause, by ridding you of all who had risen up against you.’

32 ‘Is all well with young Absalom?’ the king asked the Cushite. ‘May the enemies of my lord the king’, the Cushite answered, ‘and all who rise up to harm you, share the fate of that young man!’

1 Chronicles 23

1 When David had become old and full of days, he made his son Solomon king of Israel,

2 and then summoned all the leaders of Israel, with the priests and Levites.

3 A census was taken of those Levites thirty years old and upwards. On a count of heads, they numbered thirty-eight thousand men;

4 twenty-four thousand were responsible for the service of the House of Yahweh, six thousand were officials and judges,

5 four thousand were gatekeepers and four thousand praised Yahweh on the instruments which David had made for praising him.

6 David then divided the Levites into classes: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

7 Of the Gershonites there were Ladan and Shimei.

8 Sons of Ladan: Jehiel first, Zetham, Joel; three in all.

9 Sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel, Haran; three in all. These are the heads of families of Ladan.

10 Sons of Shimei: Jahath, Zina, Jeush, Beriah; these were the sons of Shimei; four in all.

11 Jahath was the eldest, Zizah the second, then Jeush and Beriah, who had not many children and were reckoned as one family.

12 Sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, Uzziel; four in all.

13 Sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart to consecrate the things that were especially holy, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense in the presence of Yahweh, to serve him and to bless in his name for ever.

14 Moses, man of God, and his sons were reckoned with the tribe of Levi.

15 Sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer.

16 Sons of Gershom: Shebuel, the first.

17 Of the sons of Eliezer, Rehabiah was the first. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.

18 Sons of Izhar: Shelomith, the first.

19 Sons of Hebron: Jeriah first, Amariah second, Jahaziel third, Jekameam fourth.

20 Sons of Uzziel: Micah first, Isshiah second.

21 Sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. Sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish.

22 Eleazar died without sons, but he did have daughters, whom their cousins, the sons of Kish, married.

23 Sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, Jeremoth: three in all.

24 These were the sons of Levi by their families, the heads of families, and those registered by name, individually; whoever was twenty years old or upwards had his function in the service of the Temple of Yahweh.

25 For David said, ‘Since Yahweh, God of Israel, has given rest to his people Israel and has taken up residence in Jerusalem for ever,

26 the Levites need no longer carry the Dwelling or any of the objects required for its service.’

27 For, according to the last words of David, the Levites who had been registered were of twenty years and upwards.

28 Their duty now is to help the sons of Aaron in the service of the House of Yahweh, in the care of the courts and rooms, the purification of all the holy things, the work for the service of the House of God,

29 the loaves of permanent offering, the flour for the oblation, the wafers of unleavened bread, the pan-baked materials, the unmixed materials and all measures of volume and length.

30 Furthermore, they have to be present every morning to give thanks and praise to Yahweh, and also in the evening,

31 and at the bringing of every burnt offering to Yahweh on Sabbath, New Moon or solemn feast, appearing regularly before Yahweh in accordance with the numbers required of them.

32 In serving the Temple of Yahweh they observe the ritual of the Tent of Meeting, the ritual of the sanctuary and the ritual of their kinsmen, the sons of Aaron.’

Psalm 37

1 [Of David] Do not get heated about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.

2 Quick as the grass they wither, fading like the green of the fields.

3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your home in the land and live secure.

4 Make Yahweh your joy and he will give you your heart’s desires.

5 Commit your destiny to Yahweh, be confident in him, and he will act,

6 making your uprightness clear as daylight, and the justice of your cause as the noon.

7 Stay quiet before Yahweh, wait longingly for him, do not get heated over someone who is making a fortune, succeeding by devious means.

8 Refrain from anger, leave rage aside, do not get heated — it can do no good;

9 for evil-doers will be annihilated, while those who hope in Yahweh shall have the land for their own.

10 A little while and the wicked will be no more, however well you search for the place, the wicked will not be there;

11 but the poor will have the land for their own, to enjoy untroubled peace.

12 The wicked plots against the upright and gnashes his teeth at him,

13 but Yahweh only laughs at his efforts, knowing that his end is in sight.

14 Though the wicked draw his sword and bend his bow to slaughter the honest and bring down the poor and the needy,

15 his sword will pierce his own heart, and his bow will be shattered.

16 What little the upright possesses outweighs all the wealth of the wicked;

17 for the weapons of the wicked shall be shattered, while Yahweh supports the upright.

18 The lives of the just are in Yahweh’s care, their birthright will endure for ever;

19 they will not be put to shame when bad times come, in time of famine they will have plenty.

20 The wicked, enemies of Yahweh, will be destroyed, they will vanish like the green of the pasture, they will vanish in smoke.

21 The wicked borrows and will not repay, but the upright is generous in giving;

22 those he blesses will have the land for their own, and those he curses be annihilated.

23 Yahweh guides a strong man’s steps and keeps them firm; and takes pleasure in him.

24 When he trips he is not thrown sprawling, since Yahweh supports him by the hand.

25 Now I am old, but ever since my youth I never saw an upright person abandoned, or the descendants of the upright forced to beg their bread.

26 The upright is always compassionate, always lending, so his descendants reap a blessing.

27 Turn your back on evil and do good, you will have a home for ever,

28 for Yahweh loves justice and will not forsake his faithful. Evil-doers will perish eternally, the descendants of the wicked be annihilated,

29 but the upright shall have the land for their own, there they shall live for ever.

30 Wisdom comes from the lips of the upright, and his tongue speaks what is right;

31 the law of his God is in his heart, his foot will never slip.

32 The wicked keeps a close eye on the upright, looking out for a chance to kill him;

33 Yahweh will never abandon him to the clutches of the wicked, nor let him be condemned if he is tried.

34 Put your hope in Yahweh, keep to his path, he will raise you up to make the land your own; you will look on while the wicked are annihilated.

35 I have seen the wicked exultant, towering like a cedar of Lebanon.

36 When next I passed he was gone, I searched for him and he was nowhere to be found.

37 Observe the innocent, consider the honest, for the lover of peace will not lack children.

38 But the wicked will all be destroyed together, and their children annihilated.

39 The upright have Yahweh for their Saviour, their refuge in times of trouble;

40 Yahweh helps them and rescues them, he will rescue them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in him.

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