Organization of David’s Kingdom – 1 Chronicles 27

As we can see David’s time coming to an end, his preparations for Solomon’s reign continues now beyond the Levites and into the military. The army mentioned here is not David’s more official force, but is best described as a very large citizen militia, consisting of 12 divisions of 24,000 men.

Samuel anoints David, Dura Europos, Syria, Dat...

Samuel anoints David, Dura Europos, Syria, Date: 3rd c. AD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The leaders of the tribes that are listed in verses 16-22 may be from the ranks of elders. We are not told. Nor are we given a reason for the omission of the tribes of Gad and Asher. Interestingly, “Aaron” is listed as a tribe in verse 17. The Lord’s wrath over the census that Joab ended up not finishing (2 Samuel 24:1-17) is only briefly mentioned in verse 24.

Verses 25-31 list 12 administrators over David’s treasuries, corporate workers of the field, and vast amounts of property. David and his kingdom were at a high point of wealth. Among the counselors and friends listed in verses 32-34 are Hushai and Ahithophel. No mention is made of Hushai’s role in David’s victory over Absalom (2 Samuel 15:32-37, 2 Samuel 16:15-17:16), nor of Ahithophel’s betrayal in that same ordeal.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/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.  

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An International Incident – 1 Chronicles 19-20

Landscape with David and Bathsheba

Landscape with David and Bathsheba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of the events of these two chapters are contained in chapters 10-11 of 2 Samuel, but there are some differences. Most conspicuously absent here is any reference to David’s sin with Bathsheba. This affair and betrayal of Uriah the Hittite took place at the time that “Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah” (1 Chronicles 20:1).

Most scholars agree that the account is not left out simply to avoid showing David in a bad light. There are several things that demonstrate David’s goodness which the chronicler did not write about either. But the purpose of the chronicles was to preserve the knowledge (for the returning exiles and their descendants) of God’s covenant with David and reassure them that it was still a promise from God.

As chapter 19 opens, David sends messengers to give his condolences to  Hanun the son of Nahash the Ammonite because Nashash had “dealt kindly” with him. It is unknown what kindness that was. But Hanun, suspecting David’s motives and thinking his servants were spies, he shaved them and cut there clothes off at the hip, sending them on their way. After realizing the seriousness of the international incident he had created, Hanun hired chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia and surrounding areas and kingdoms in a futile attempt to defeat David’s army.

English: The young Hebrew David hoists the hea...

English: The young Hebrew David hoists the head of the Philistine Goliath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Joab “struck down Rabbah,” David accumulated much gold and other precious plunder – including a crown of gold that was taken from the king’s head. Verse 3 of chapter 20 says that they did the same to all of cities of the Ammonites. Then in verses 4-8, came the defeat of many Philistines, some of which were giants on the order of the Goliath that David killed when Saul was king. The Goliath here is not the same one, obviously.

The one mentioned in verse 6 with the extra digits had a condition called polydactyly, a condition that a small percentage of people are born with to this day – including yours truly (mine was an extra thumb). The man that holds the world record for the most digits is Akshat Saxena in India. He was born in 2010 with 7 digits on each hand and 10 digits on each foot, for a total of 34 digits!

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/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.  

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King David’s Favor With God (1 Chronicles 17-18)

English: Nathan advises King David

English: Nathan advises King David (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was important for the chronicler to communicate well the events of I Chronicles 17 to the post-exilic Jews because it contains the covenant of God with David. Covered first in 2 Samuel 7, it begins with David wanting to build God a house. But God tells Nathan the prophet to let David know that it would not be him that builds such a house. Instead, God promises that He would build David’s “house” – that David’s offspring (Jesus) would reign forever.

In answer to God’s covenant, David makes a prayer to God (verses 16-27). It is one of the longest prayers in the bible, and incredibly humble and heartfelt. It begins with “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” They are words that each of us should ask God in prayer as well. The blessings that He has given us and the promises He has made to us are no less magnificent and undeserved that those made to David.

Hama

Hama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 18 contains some stunning military victories, some of which were reported in 2 Samuel 8. Here, David defeats the Philistines, and also takes Gath. The Moabites are defeated and become servants to David. He also “defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah-Hamath, as he went to set up his monument at the river Euphrates.” The plunder he took from the cities of Hadadezer included 1,000 chariots, 7,000 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers, and shields made of gold.

In addition, verse 9 tells us that Tou king of Hamath was so pleased when he heard of the defeat of Hadadezer that he sent his son with gifts of gold, silver and bronze that Solomon would later use in building the pillars and the sea, and the bronze vessels for the temple.  Hamath is associated with modern Hama, which is located on the Orontes River in western Syria. There is an article with a picture there of a noria (a machine for lifting water into an aqueduct) at this link to Ferrell’s Travel Blog. We also recommend this article at BiblePlaces.com and this one at BiblicalArcheology.org for information on discoveries related to Tou (also called Toi and possibly Taita).

The victories continue against the Syrians and 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. And the text says that God gave victory to him wherever he went. Verses 14-17 detail how just and fair David was as a ruler, and how stable and well-organized his administration was. Joab was established as military commander, and “Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests; and Shavsha was secretary; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were the chief officials in the service of the king.”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/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.  

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Psalm 60 – Vain Is The Salvation of Man

A desolate wasteland south of the Dead Sea, which may have been the Valley of Salt

A desolate wasteland south of the Dead Sea, which may have been the Valley of Salt

The rather long superscription instructs the singing of this psalm to be to the tune of “Shushan Eduth” which is usually translated “the Lily of the Testimony,” which some suppose is the same song mentioned in the superscription of Psalms 45, 69, and 80.    There is no record in Scripture of the battles referred to in the first part of this superscription, which is understandable if (as some suppose from the first few verses) that they were defeats for Israel.  The victory in the last part that is ascribed to Joab (for he was David’s commander) in “the Valley of Salt” is accounted in 2 Samuel 8:13-14 and 1 Chronicles 18:12-13.   In the former, David was given the victory and in the latter, Abishai – David was his king and Joab was his commander.  So, although the superscriptions are not part of the inspired word, there is no inconsistency on that account.  As for the difference in the number of Edomites struck down, we will of course refer to the inspired word for the correct final count.

In any case, the psalm appears to be referring to the defeats mentioned above.  Verses 1-5 begin with the suggestion of God’s displeasure with them, as well as the confidence that He would come through for them in the end.  What follows in verses 6-8 is a recital by specific name of various lands that God had promised His people by general reference to Canaan.  Verses 9-12 look forward to the victory at Edom.

For us, verse 11 is the lesson (“Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!”).  It has always been mankind’s folly to rely solely on his own capabilities.  Whether he acknowledges it or not, eventually man is dependent on God.

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.

1 Kings 2 – David’s Death \ Solomon Reigns

As David drew near to death, he gave Solomon his final instructions.  The first part, in verses 2-4, contains instructions on how to conduct himself, and on remaining faithful to God.  The words are just as God spoke to Joshua in his charge in Joshua 1:6-9.  The second part contains specific instructions on housekeeping.  Some of this concerned the fact that Abiathar must be dealt with, as well as Joab.  Both had been treasonous concerning Adonijah, and could not be trusted.  Then there was Shimei, the Benjaminite of the house of Saul that had cursed David so grievously during his flight from Absalom (2 Samuel 16:5-8).  David had promised that he would not kill him, but that promise is not inherited by Solomon, so David leaves his fate in Solomon’s hands.  David dies in verse 10; and verse 11 says that he had been king for 40 years.  In verse 12, Solomon’s “kingdom was firmly established.”

In verses 26-27, Solomon does deal with Abiathar, and he is removed from the priesthood.  As he was in the line of Eli, through Ithamar, this fulfills the prophecy to Eli in 1 Samuel 2:31-33 that his house and priestly line would be done away with.  Joab fled to the tent, grabbing the horns of the altar – thinking he would be safe there (verses 28-30).  But Exodus 21:12-14 makes it clear that is not the case for someone who had done willful murder, as Joab had done in the cases of Amasa (2 Samuel 20:10) and Abner (2 Samuel 3:27).  Solomon commands Shimei not to ever leave Jerusalem, or else he would be put to death.  This was presumably to keep him from returning to incite the Benjaminites to rebellion.  But verses 39-40 tell us that he violated that oath, and Solomon had him killed.

Adonijah had his mother request Abishag for his wife.  But Solomon sees what his mother apparently chose not to.  Abishag was technically part of David’s royal harem.  Adonijah had clearly not given up on his quest for the throne, and likely never would.  So Solomon wisely had him done away with (verses 22-25).

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 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 15 – Absalom’s Conspiracy

The trouble in David’s house has already become bad, but it will get worse.  In chapter 13, his son Amnon raped his daughter Tamar.  There just is no other word for what happened.  It was a horrible and detestable act. 2 Samuel 13:21 states that David was very angry, yet he did nothing.   David’s other son Absalom quickly finds out, and he hated Amnon for it.  But he waits 2 full years to plot his revenge, and has Amnon killed.  Absalom fled to Geshur, and was there another 3 three years (2 Samuel 13:38).  In chapter 14, Joab intercedes, and Absalom is allowed to return.  But he must stay in a separate house, and never be in David’s presence (2 Samuel 14:24).  David cannot bring himself to forgive, but he never really punishes him.  This went on for two more years. After Absalom dramatically gets Joab’s attention in 2 Samuel 14:29-31,   He has Joab tell his father to either let him back “in” or put him to death.  So a reconciliation occurs.  Or does it…?

In chapter 15, we find Absalom conspiring to take the throne.His strategy – how he “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” is brilliant in verses 1-7.  This went on for four more years, then he asked David to allow him to go to Hebron to worship the Lord to fulfill a vow.  David allowed it, and he went.  But he sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to ready for the rebellion to come.  He took 200 men with him, but verse 11 says that they were innocent and did not know what was coming.

Word comes to David, and he knows that if he stays in Jerusalem , Absalom will bring his army to crush him. So he flees the city with his remaining force.  Abiathar and Zadok came with the ark, but David refuses to use it as some sort of “lucky charm,” and sends them back with it, saying that the Lord will bring him back to it and the city if it is His will (verse 26).  In verse 30, David and company reach and ascend the Mount of Olives weeping as they went.  Then he gets more bad news.  Ahithophel, his trusted counselor (and a wise man) has joined Absalom in the conspiracy.  In verse 31, he prays to the Lord to make Ahiphothel’s counsel foolishness. So he send Hushai to Jerusalem to work undercover and report to Abiathar and Zadok, so they can get word to him.   The evil being raised up against him in his own house for his sin with Bathsheba that was prophesied in 2 Samuel 12:11 has reached a new high.

Despite his sin, David has proven to be a great leader and king, as well as a man of God in contrast to Saul.  But chapters 13-14 especially have shown him to be a lousy father.  God’s word does not sugar-coat the heroes of the story of the Bible.  From Noah to Abraham to Jacob, and now David, we see them “warts and all.”  In the end, no matter how favored they are with God, they are just men.  Sinners who need God’s forgiveness – just like us.

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 12 – Nathan Rebukes David

The Lord has decided that it is time to call David into account for his sin with Bathsheba, so He sends Nathan with the words to rebuke him.  Nathan tells David a moving story about a poor man who had a single lamb that he had loved and raised as one of his own children.  And there was a rich man who didn’t want to take any lamb’s from his own flock for food preparation, so he took the poor man’s beloved lamb to prepare a dinner.

English: Nathan Rebukes David, as in 2 Samuel ...

English: Nathan Rebukes David, as in 2 Samuel 12; watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David became very angry, saying that this rich man should die for what he has done, and declares that this man will repay “fourfold” for this act “with no pity.” In verse 7, Nathan tells David “You are the man!”  He then proceeds to tell him all that the Lord has done for him, and how David has despised the word of God with this evil.  He has taken Uriah’s wife and stuck him down “with the sword of the Ammonites.”  This point from verse 9 is sometimes missed when we read about God’s anger with David over this.  The Ammonites were some of the very people, God had brought the Israelites to the promised land to get rid of.  Now David has used those people to help him with his evil deed.

The next words from God in verses 10-11 foretell the great anguish David will face  – the sword will never leave his house, and God “will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.”

And then in verse 12 – “For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.”  David, in contrast to Saul, takes responsibility for his action and confesses that he has sinned against God. Here, we see David acting as the true leader and the man of God that he should be, but his sin will cost him.  David wrote Psalm 51, as he repented for his sin.  The child Bathsheba conceived from their adulterous affair dies (verse 23), but that is far from the end of David’s troubles, as we will see in chapters ahead.

We do not know how much time passed until verse 24 when Solomon was born, but 1 Chronicles 3:5 suggests that he was the fourth son of David by Bathsheba.

Verses 26-31 are important, not just for the military victory over the Ammonites, but for the gold and precious metals for Israel’s treasury – as well as the crown for David, taken from the Ammonite king.

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 11 – David and Bathsheba

We have moved past chapters 8-10 in which David enjoys some key military victories, and in chapter 9, he seeks a survivor of Saul’s house so that he could show kindness to them for Jonathan’s sake.  He finds Miphibosheth, Jonathan’s son, who is lame.  From that day forward, he eats at David’s table.

But chapter 11 focuses on David’s great sin, for which he will pay most dearly.  It is the story of one of the Bible’s greatest men brought to the deepest depravity and callousness by lust and adultery.  It is most disappointing to see a great man of God fall so low.  When David saw her in verse 3 from his roof bathing, his first sin was lust – the right thing would have been to turn away.  When he inquired about her, he is told that she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.  We find out in 2 Samuel 23:39 that this is one of David’s closest warriors – his famous “mighty men” listed in 23:8-39.  He did battle for David loyally, and probably considered him his friend.

King David Handing the Letter to Uriah (1611) ...

King David Handing the Letter to Uriah (1611) by Pieter Lastman, oil on panel, 51.1 x 61.3 cm, Detroit Institute of Arts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David is powerful, and only he can be blamed for this adultery.  When she becomes pregnant, David plots Uriah’s death.  To make things worse, before he returns to battle, Uriah shows his great character and loyalty in verse 11.  Then David sends him to battle with the note containing instructions for Uriah’s death delivered by his own hand!  Joab carries out this sickening deed, and in verse 26 we are told that Bathsheba mourned for her husband.  When the mourning was over, David took her as his wife, and she bore him a son.

This is not the David we know, nor is it the man after God’s own heart that we have read about for so many chapters; and verse 27 tells us that it “displeased the Lord.”  This seems like a very mild statement, and we will see God forgive David.  But the consequences for this deed will be anything but mild.

Sin often has its consequences – for us, and for others; and God never promises to “fix” all the damage we bring on ourselves and others.  We cannot plan to sin, thinking that we will just ask God to forgive us later,  and that He will simply do our bidding – repairing for us all the heartache we may have caused from our sin.  But through or savior Jesus Christ, we can obtain the forgiveness for any sin we truly repent about – no matter how terrible we think of what we have done.

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.