Psalm 3-4 – Save Me, O My God

Chapter 3 is the first of the Psalms with a title (sometimes called a sub-script or superscription).  These titles are not part of the inspired word, but they are ancient.  And they have had their critics who question their accuracy, although we have been given no good reason for doing so.  This one reads “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son,”  which refers to the events of 2 Samuel 15-17 (here, particularly to 2 Samuel 15:13-17).

How quickly and completely David’s fortunes had changed!  He was king, but his own son had conspired so successfully against him that David had to flee from Jerusalem, fearing that even the city he had built and loved would be destroyed if he remained, as Absalom now commanded more of his army than he did.  David was a hunted man, now in danger of losing even his life.  Yet the remarkable lesson for us in verses 1-6 is that this unbelievably painful crisis brought him closer to God, rather than leaving him feeling abandoned.

Shimei throwing stones at David.

Shimei throwing stones at David.

When reading in verse 2 that “many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God,” one cannot help but think of Shimei in 2 Samuel 16:7-8.  But David professes his faith that his enemies cannot stand against him with the Lord on his side (verses 7-8) – the same kind of faith Paul encourages in Romans 8:31 (“If God is for us, who can be against us?”).  As David gives all glory to the Lord, he unselfishly asks blessings on all His people (verse 8).

In verses 4 -5 of chapter 4, he tells us not to let our agitation and distress cause us to turn away from God into sin (see also Ephesians 4:26).  He calls upon us to put our trust in the Lord, and finishes the chapter praising God and declaring his confidence in verse 8: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Though his situation was dire and the odds against him, David took comfort in knowing the Lord heard his cry, and He will hear ours.  He always does!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy

Please “like” us on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/bobsboy01

___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Advertisements

2 Samuel 19 – Joab Rebukes David

David’s mourning over Absalom is causing the victorious to slink away, hide in their homes, and wonder about the leadership of their king.  Joab rebukes David for this sharply, telling him that he is mourning those that despise him and showing contempt for those who had fought so valiantly for him.  David was going to lose them all – and the kingdom (verses 3-7).  So David pulls himself together and goes to the city gate to meet, greet, and show that he is in control now.

David replaces Joab as commander with Amasa in a surprise move.  It could partly be for Joab’s disregarding his instructions about Absalom, but verses 11-15 seem to indicate it was a move intended to help re-unify the country.  In verses 25-30, Mephibosheth seems convincing when he tells David that Ziba had slandered him in 2 Samuel 16:3.  David seems unsure who to believe, so he tells him he will divide the land when between them.  Mephibosheth lends himself even more credence when he replies that Ziba can just take it all.  It is enough that David had returned.  But we are in even less position to judge this than David was.

Shimei is pardoned for his treasonous actions in 2 Samuel 16:5-13, as he brings David a thousand men from the tribe of Benjamin, and David (to the disappointment of his mighty men) declares that he will not die.  This chapter tells of much strife between Israel and Judah; and the dispute will only worsen in the coming years (verses 9-15, 41-43).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 18 – Absalom Killed

English: Gustave Doré : David mourning Absalom...

English: Gustave Doré : David mourning Absalom. Français : Extrait de la Bible illustrée de Gustave Doré : David inconsolable de la mort d’Absalom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So David gathered his forces and re-supplied, and now these experienced warriors were ready to go on the offensive.  David divided the troops into three – command by Joab, Abishai, and Ittai the Gittite.  he sent them on their way with the admonition to “deal gently” with Absalom (verse 5).  The battle took place in the forest of Ephraim and spread over the face of the country – and twenty thousand were killed (verse 7-8).  In a freak accident, Absalom got stuck in the limbs of an oak (verse 9), and a man saw and told Joab.

Despite David’s instructions, Joab wasted no time in killing Absalom.  Probably he feared that if left alive, Absalom would have the chance to rise up again.  Verse 17-18 contrast the monument that Absalom in vanity had set up for himself with the anonymous pit covered with a pile of rocks that Joab and his men threw him into.

David’s immense grief in verses 31-33 serve as an exclamation point for us in the punishment predicted in 2 Samuel 12:10.

Photo of Absalom's Tomb in Kidron Valley - 1860s

Photo of Absalom’s Tomb in Kidron Valley – 1860s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The monument known as “Absalom’s Tomb” we see today in the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem is a structure that was built in a later period – possibly during the Roman rule.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 17 – Hushai Saves David

The Banquet of Absalom attributed to Niccolò d...

The Banquet of Absalom attributed to Niccolò de Simone around 1650 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ahithophel continues his counsel, and he tells Absalom to let him choose twelve thousand men and pursue David tonight, while he is weary and discouraged.  He says he will throw them into a panic and all the people will flee.  All he needs to do is kill David and everyone else will “be at peace” and fall in line.  It was very sound advice and no doubt would be successful.  But Absalom calls for the advice of Hushai as well.  Hushai compares David and his mighty men to  an enraged bear “robbed of her cubs,” and says that even now  warriors are ready to strike (verses 7-8).  But mostly, he appeals to Absalom’s ego –  it should be Absalom gathering all the people of Israel and leading the attack himself, and David would not have a chance.

Absalom and all the elders of Israel decided this was the course to take.  Verse 14 says that “the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom.”   Ahithophel knew that once this decision was made, and his advice would not be followed, that time would now be on David’s side; and though David’s force was out-numbered (he was without much of the army – see verse 1), Absalom’s forces would be out-matched once these warriors had time to re-group and plan.

Hushai got word to Abiathar and Zadok, and they sent Ahimaaz and Jonathan to warn David and have him cross over the Jordan and re-gather his forces.  Time was indeed now on David’s side – and Ahithophel got his house in order and killed himself (verse 23).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 16 – Shimei Curses David

In verses 1-4, we find Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth meeting up with David.  He has donkeys saddled and much food.  David asks what he is doing and where his master is, and he replies that Mephibosheth is delighted to believe that he is about to inherit his father’s kingdom.  There is much discussion on whether Ziba is lying here; and it is rather suspicious for him to show up with all these much-needed supplies at this time.  But we just don’t know.

Shimei throwing stones at David outside of Bahurim

Shimei throwing stones at David outside of Bahurim (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then, as David and his men come to Bahurim, Shimei a man from the house of the family of Saul began cursing David and throwing stones at him.  David is surrounded by his “mighty men,” and they grow tired of it.  Abishai offers to go take care of this problem, and he would make short work of it gladly. But David tells everyone to leave Shimei alone.  Perhaps he deserves to be cursed for his sins.  Maybe good will come to him from God later for the wrong done to him.  So Shimei followed them further cursing, stoning, and flinging dirt.  By the time they reach the Jordan, David and his men are weary (verse 14).

Hushai arrives in verse 16 and convinces Absalom that he has defected to his side.  Absalom asks Ahithophel for his counsel, and he tells him to take his father’s concubines, and do it in the sight of all Israel so that he will be a “stench” to David after that.  So he takes them on the roof, fulfilling the prophecy from 2 Samuel 12:11-12.  Ahithophel knew that once he did that, there would be no turning back for Absalom.  In a kingdom, the one who possesses the royal harem is claiming the kingdom.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.