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May 18: Sin

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 11-12, Psalm 111, Mark 14:43-52, Galatians 2 2 Samuel 11-12: These two chapters are some of the most famous in the Bible, and for good reason. They are masterfully told, and they describe a calamitous situation. The story is set by the little detail that it is spring when kings go to war, but David stays at home (11:1). Spring is also the time when young men look to sow wild oats. And David, rather than fighting, is wandering. First mistake. Keep your eyes on seeking God’s kingdom above all, on Christ and his spiritual war, and other temptations will not seem so pressing. Then “it happened” (11:2). David “saw” (11:2), he “sent” (11:3), and he “took” (11:4).  At each step there was an opportunity to say “no,” but with each “yes” the rolling disaster took shape. Why was Bathsheba bathing in view of the king’s rooftop? We cannot...

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May 17: Victories Continue

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 8-10, Psalm 110, Mark 14:32-42, Galatians 1 2 Samuel 8-10: David’s victories continue (8:1-14). He defeats and subdues the Philistines (8:1). He defeats Moab, and does so with such vigor that they are subdued and bring him tribute (8:2). On and on the victories go, until he “made a name for himself” (8:13). He puts garrisons in strategic areas to maintain the power that he has asserted over the other nations around Israel (8:6, 14). He reigns securely over all Israel, and establishes his leadership structure underneath him (8:15-18). In this secure position he now asks whether there is anyone left in the household of Jonathan for whom he can act kindly (9:1-3). He discovers there is Mephibosheth, who is lame in both feet, and for Jonathan’s sake he gives him a permanent income, a place at the king’s table, land and servants (9:3-13). To continue to establish his authority,...

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May 16: A Great King

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 5-7, Psalm 109, Mark 14:12-31, 2 Corinthians 13 2 Samuel 5-7: The height of David’s great achievements is reached and celebrated in these exciting chapters. First, Israel comes to anoint him king at Hebron (5:1-3). David is only thirty years old and he will reign until he is seventy (5:4-5). Then, he takes Jerusalem (5:6-10), a fortified city—it was so strong that they said if only the blind and lame were defending it (5:6), it still could not be taken. But David sends them up the water shaft (5:8), and the city becomes named after him as “the city of David” (5:9). David realizes that all his has come from God: he knows that God has exalted him (5:12). He continues his victory march against the Philistines (5:17-25). The author of Samuel is careful to underline that each time David acts after inquiring of the Lord (5:19, 23). David is...

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May 15: Wise King

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 3-4, Psalm 108, Mark 14:1-11, 2 Corinthians 12:11-21 2 Samuel 3-4: It is a long civil war, and bloody. David is growing stronger and stronger, the house of Saul weaker and weaker (3:1). But within that house of Saul, Abner is himself growing stronger in gaining power over the people and the army (3:6)—so much so that Abner is able to take one of Saul’s concubines (3:7), a statement of political control over Saul’s inheritance. Ish-Bosheth, the notional king of Israel and Saul’s son, plaintively raises an objection. But when Abner refuses to listen (3:8-10), there is nothing that Ish-Bosheth can do for he is afraid of Abner (3:11). How much the fear of man plagues the house of Saul. Abner now goes over to David. He sends messengers to him (3:12), and David (wisely) insists that if Abner is to come to his side in the civil war,...

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May 14: Civil War

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 1-2, Psalm 107, Mark 13:32-37, 2 Corinthians 2:1-12 2 Samuel 1-2: The story now, for obvious reasons, focuses on David. Saul is dead, and David is in camp after his victory over the Amalekites (1:1). Three days later he hears of Saul’s defeat and the death of Saul and Jonathan (1:2-4). The story is told to him by an Amalekite, who claims to have seen it himself, and also to have struck down Saul with his own hand (1:5-10). The likelihood is that the Amalekite is lying; we know from earlier in the story that Saul killed himself (1 Samuel 31:4). But this Amalekite thinks that he will ingratiate himself to David by telling him this lie; little does he understand David. For David to have supported the killing of the Lord’s anointed would put his own life in danger. And so wisely, he views this action of the...

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May 13: Rising and Falling

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 29-31, Psalm 106:24-48, Mark 13:14-31, 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 1 Samuel 29-31: It makes sad reading—but at least by contrast God’s king is being exemplified as the right man for the job. Meanwhile, as Saul is leading an army that is about to suffer a heavy defeat, David is dismissed from the army of the enemies of Israel (1 Samuel 29). They don’t trust him, for good reason, as David has not really switched sides. He is sent away, and as he goes, he discovers that Ziklag, and their women and children, have been taken captive by the Amalekites (30:1-3). You get the sense these are dangerous times in which to live in Israel. You must lock your house turn on an alarm system, and not let your children play outside for fear of some abuser passing by. When God’s authority is flouted, then evil powers attempt to take...

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May 12: The Witch

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 26-28, Psalm 106:1-23, Mark 13:1-13, 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 1 Samuel 26-28: The great denouement is coming—and it will not be a pretty sight. First, David again spares Saul’s life (26:5-12). When he has the chance to kill him, he does not, and Saul once more blesses David and says that David will be successful (26:25). Nonetheless, David begins to despair that he will ever fully escape from Saul (27:1). And so David makes the radical decision to go live with the enemies of Israel and seek their protection (27:1-2). He makes apparent peace with Achish at Gath (27:5-7), though actually David uses his time there to continue to pursue armed aggression against the enemies of Israel (27:8-12). David is hiding in the land of the enemies, to seek protection from the king who is out for his own blood, while at the same time secretly attacking the enemies. It...

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May 11: Two Trajectories

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 24-25, Psalm 105, Mark 12:35-44, 2 Corinthians 10 1 Samuel 24-25: Saul, back from his pursuit of the Philistines (he has run them off from their raid we presume), starts out again in pursuit of David (24:1-2). It is exhausting work running from God’s purpose—first one way, then another, each equally futile. Saul, in a moment that must have caused great hilarity to all, “relieves himself” in the cave where David and his men are hiding (24:3). The text puts it politely, but Saul was definitely exposed in more way than one. David sneaks up on him, cuts a corner off his robe, discarded to the ground or lying around his feet, and brings it back to show his men (24:4). Suddenly mortified by what he has done, the heart of David is shown again (24:5). He has touched the Lord’s anointed (24:6)! However badly he is being treated,...

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May 10: God the Stronghold

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 21-23, Psalm 104, Mark 12:28-34, 2 Corinthians 9 1 Samuel 21-23: David is now on the run, and remarkable stories of God’s rescue of David are told. First of all, David takes the bread of the Presence, the special consecrated bread (21:3-6)—an event referenced by Jesus in support of his disciples (Mt. 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5). He also takes Goliath’s sword (21:8-9). However, one of Saul’s servants is there, sees David (21:7), will report this to Saul (22:9-10), and Saul (through his servant Doeg) will enact fearful vengeance on the priest, and the priesthood, who had thus helped David (22:11-19). When one priest escapes and comes to David, by great contrast with Saul, David protects the priest (22:20-23). While Saul had alienated the prophetic class and the priestly class, claiming authority over these realms in addition to his kingly role, David recognizes and honors these appointments of...

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May 9: On the Run

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 19-20, Psalm 103, Mark 12:13-27, 2 Corinthians 8 1 Samuel 19-20: Saul is determined to kill David (19:1)—jealous of him, and suspecting that God had called David to be king in his place. Jonathan, however, is best of friends with David, and has made a covenant of support for David. This situation set up, the drama unfolds. First, Jonathan persuades his father to relent from his jealousy towards David (19:4-6). But then the jealousy returns, and Michal (David’s wife) lets David escape through their bedroom window in the middle of the night (19:12). David has become a fugitive. Saul pursues him and then—in a truly bizarre set of miraculous circumstances—David is protected by the soldiers in pursuit of him falling into a prophetic worship experience of some kind (19:20-21). Even Saul has the same experience when he pursues David (19:22-24). This, if nothing else, is proof that gifts of...

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