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

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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
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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
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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.