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Day 142 – Whole and Joyful Hearts


Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading, we learn that David used a census to assert ownership over God’s people. Before the Lord orders a census to help save his people. When he recognizes his sin, David is humbled and opens his heart to being converted. In repentance, he offers sacrifice to the Lord on behalf of the people.

David also gives freely and wholeheartedly all of his wealth and all the things he won in battle. Because of this example, the people of Israel also give freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. This brings joy to David and the Lord.

This brings up some questions for us to ponder: how can we love the Lord with our whole hearts? How can we joyfully give to the Lord, not just our excess but out of our need?

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 Bread

2 Samuel 24

1 Again, Yahweh’s anger was aroused against Israel, and he incited David against them. ‘Go,’ he said, ‘take a census of Israel and Judah.’

2 The king said to Joab and the senior army officers who were with him, ‘Now, go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, and take a census of the people; I wish to know the size of the population.’

3 Joab said to the king, ‘May Yahweh your God multiply the people a hundred times — however many there are — while my lord the king still has eyes to see it, but why should my lord the king be set on this?’

4 The king nonetheless enforced his order on Joab and the senior officers, and Joab and the senior officers left the king’s presence, to take a census of the people of Israel.

5 They crossed the Jordan and made a start with Aroer and the town in the middle of the valley, then moved on to the Gadites and to Jazer.

6 They then went to Gilead and the territory of the Hittites, to Kadesh; they then went to Dan and from Dan cut across to Sidon.

7 They then went to the fortress of Tyre and to all the towns of the Hittites and Canaanites ending up in the Negeb of Judah at Beersheba.

8 Having travelled throughout the country, after nine months and twenty days they returned to Jerusalem.

9 Joab gave the king the census results for the people; Israel had eight hundred thousand fighting men who could wield a sword, and Judah five hundred thousand.

10 But afterwards David’s heart misgave him for having taken a census of the people. David then said to Yahweh, ‘I have committed a grave sin by doing this. But now, Yahweh, I beg you to forgive your servant for this fault, for I have acted very foolishly.’

11 When, however, David got up next morning, the following message had come from Yahweh to the prophet Gad, David’s seer,

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

13 So Gad went to David and said, ‘Which do you prefer: to have three years of famine befall your country; to flee for three months before a pursuing army; or to have three days of epidemic in your country? Now think, and decide how I am to answer him who sends me.’

14 David said to Gad, ‘I am very apprehensive . . . Better to fall into Yahweh’s hands, since his mercies are great, than to fall into the hands of men!’

15 So David chose the epidemic. It was the time of the wheat harvest. So Yahweh unleashed an epidemic on Israel from that morning until the time determined; plague ravaged the people and, of the people from Dan to Beersheba, seventy thousand died.

16 But when the angel stretched his hand towards Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh felt sorry about the calamity and said to the angelwho was destroying the people, ‘Enough now! Hold your hand!’ The angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 

17 When David saw the angel who was ravaging the people, he said to Yahweh, ‘I was the one who sinned. I was the one who acted wrongly. But these, the flock, what have they done? Let your hand lie heavy on me and on my family!’

18 Gad went to David that day and said, ‘Go up and raise an altar to Yahweh on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.’

19 So, at Gad’s bidding, David went up, as Yahweh had ordered.

20 When Araunah looked up and saw the king and his retinue advancing towards him-Araunah was threshing the wheat — Araunah came forward and prostrated himself on the ground at the king’s feet.

21 ‘Why has my lord the king come to his servant?’ Araunah asked. David replied, ‘To buy the threshing-floor from you, to build an altar to Yahweh, so that the plague may be lifted from the people.’

22 Araunah said to David, ‘Let my lord the king take it and make what offerings he thinks fit. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing-sleds and the oxen’s yokes for the wood.

23 My lord the king’s servant will give the king everything. And’, Araunah said to the king, ‘may Yahweh your God accept what you offer!’

24 ‘No,’ said the king to Araunah, ‘I shall give you a price for it; I will not offer Yahweh my God burnt offerings which have cost me nothing.’ David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

25 David built an altar to Yahweh and offered burnt offerings and communion sacrifices. Yahweh then took pity on the country and the plague was lifted from Israel.

1 Chronicles 29

1 David then addressed the whole assembly, ‘Solomon my son, whom Yahweh has specifically chosen, is young and immature, and the work is great; this palace is not for any human being but for Yahweh God.

2 With all the resources I can command, for the house of my God I have provided gold for what must be made of gold, silver for what must be made of silver, bronze for what must be made of bronze, iron for what must be made of iron, wood for what must be made of wood, as well as cornelian for inlay work, slabs of multicoloured mosaic, every kind of precious stone and quantities of alabaster. 

3 Furthermore, because my affections are set on the house of my God, I have also given what gold and silver I personally own for the house of my God, over and above everything which I have already provided for the holy Temple-

4 that is to say, three thousand talents of gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver for overlaying the walls of the buildings,

5 the gold being for what must be made of gold, and the silver for what must be made of silver: and for whatever the craftsmen must make. Who, then, is willing to devote himself to Yahweh’s service today?’

6 At this, the heads of families, the tribal chiefs of Israel, the commanders of the thousands and the hundreds and those who managed the king’s affairs,

7 volunteered a gift of five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron,

8 while those who owned precious stones presented them to the treasury of the house of Yahweh in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite.

9 The people rejoiced at what these had given so readily, since they had presented their freewill offerings wholeheartedly to Yahweh. King David too was filled with joy.

10 Hence, in the presence of the whole assembly David blessed Yahweh. David said: ‘May you be blessed, Yahweh, God of Israel our ancestor, for ever and for ever!

11 Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the splendour, length of days and glory, everything in heaven and on earth is yours. Yours is the sovereignty, Yahweh; you are exalted, supreme over all.

12 Wealth and riches come from you, you are ruler of all, in your hand lie strength and power, and you bestow greatness and might on whomsoever you please.

13 So now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your majestic name,

14 for who am I and what is my people, for us to be able to volunteer offerings like this? – since everything has come from you and we have given you only what you bestowed in the first place,

15 and we are guests before you, and passing visitors as were all our ancestors, our days on earth fleeting as a shadow and without hope.

16 Yahweh our God, all this wealth, which we have provided to build a house for your holy name, has come from you and all belongs to you.

17 ‘Knowing, my God, how you examine our motives and how you delight in integrity, with integrity of motive I have willingly given all this and have been overjoyed to see your people, now present here, willingly offering their gifts to you.

18 Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel our ancestors, watch over this for ever, shape the purpose of your people’s heart and direct their hearts to you,

19 and give an undivided heart to Solomon my son to keep your commandments, your decrees and your statutes, to put them all into effect and to build the palace for which I have made provision.’

20 David then addressed the whole assembly: ‘Now bless Yahweh your God!’ And the whole assembly blessed Yahweh, God of their ancestors, bowing down in homage to Yahweh, and to the king.

21 On the day following this, they slaughtered sacrifices and brought burnt offerings to Yahweh on behalf of Israel — a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs with their libations, as well as many other sacrifices-

22 and they ate and drank that day in Yahweh’s presence with great joy. They then made Solomon son of David king a second time, anointing him as leader for Yahweh, and Zadok as priest.

23 Solomon took his seat on Yahweh’s throne, to reign in succession to David his father. He prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.

24 All the chiefs, all the leading citizens and all King David’s other sons pledged allegiance to King Solomon.

25 Yahweh made Solomon exceedingly powerful, as all Israel could see, and gave him a reign of such splendour as no previous king of Israel ever had.

26 David son of Jesse was king of all Israel.

27 He was king of Israel for a period of forty years; he reigned at Hebron for seven years, and in Jerusalem for thirty-three.

28 He died at a good old age, full of days, riches and honour. Then his son Solomon succeeded him.

29 The history of King David, from first to last, is all written down in the records of Samuel the seer, the records of Nathan the prophetand the records of Gad the seer,

30 with his entire reign, his mighty deeds and the times which he, Israel and all the kings of other countries, had experienced.

Psalm 30

1 [Psalm Canticle for the Dedication of the House Of David] I praise you to the heights, Yahweh, for you have raised me up, you have not let my foes make merry over me.

2 Yahweh, my God, I cried to you for help and you healed me.

3 Yahweh, you have lifted me out of Sheol, from among those who sink into oblivion you have given me life.

4 Make music for Yahweh, all you who are faithful to him, praise his unforgettable holiness.

5 His anger lasts but a moment, his favour through life; In the evening come tears, but with dawn cries of joy.

6 Carefree, I used to think, ‘Nothing can ever shake me!’

7 Your favour, Yahweh, set me on impregnable heights, but you turned away your face and I was terrified.

8 To you, Yahweh, I call, to my God I cry for mercy.

9 What point is there in my death, my going down to the abyss? Can the dust praise you or proclaim your faithfulness?

10 Listen, Yahweh, take pity on me, Yahweh, be my help!

11 You have turned my mourning into dancing, you have stripped off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

12 So my heart will sing to you unceasingly, Yahweh, my God, I shall praise you for ever.


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