Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 20:1-26

1 Then there was come thither a wicked man (named Sheba the son of Bichri, a man of Benjamin) and he blew the trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Ishai: every man to his tents, O Israel.
2 So every man of Israel went from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave fast unto their King, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
3 When David then came to his house to Jerusalem, the king took the ten women his concubines, that he had left behind him to keep the house, and put them in ward, and fed them, but lay no more with them: but they were enclosed unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.
4 Then said the King to Amasa, Assemble me the men of Judah within three days, and be thou here present.
5 So Amasa went to assemble Judah, but he tarried longer than the time which he had appointed him.
6 Then David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take thou therefore thy lord’s servants and follow after him, lest he get him walled cities, and escape us.
7 And there went out after him Joab’s men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they departed out of Jerusalem, to follow after Sheba the son of Bichri.
8 When they were at the great stone, which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them, and Joab’s garment, that he had put on, was girded unto him, and upon it was a sword girded, which hanged on his loins in the sheath, and as he went, it used to fall out.
9 And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? and Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.
10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s hand: for therewith he smote him in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and smote him not the second time: so he died: then Joab and Abishai his brother followed after Sheba the son of Bichri.
11 And one of Joab’s men stood by him, and said, He that favoreth Joab, and he that is of David’s part, let him go after Joab.
12 And Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the way: and when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa out of the way into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, because he saw that everyone that came by him, stood still.
13 When he was removed out of the way, every man went after Joab, to follow after Sheba the son of Bichri.
14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and Beth Maachah and all places of Berim: and they gathered together, and went also after him.
15 So they came, and besieged him in Abel, near to Beth Maachah, and they cast up a mount against the city, and the people thereof stood on the rampart, and all the people that was with Joab, destroyed and cast down the wall.
16 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear, I pray you, say unto Joab, Come thou hither, that I may speak with thee.
17 And when he came near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, Yea. And she said to him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.
18 Then she spake thus, They spake in the old time, saying, They should ask of Abel: and so they have continued.
19 I am one of them that are peaceable, and faithful in Israel: and thou goest about to destroy a city, and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou devour the inheritance of the Lord?
20 And Joab answered, and said, God forbid, God forbid it me, that I should devour, or destroy it.
21 The matter is not so, but a man of mount Ephraim (Sheba the son of Bichri by name) hath lift up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver us him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.
22 Then the woman went unto all the people with her wisdom, and they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it to Joab: then he blew the trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent: and Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the King.
23 Then Joab was over all the host of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the Cherethites, and over the Pelethites,
24 And Adoram over the tribute, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud the Recorder,
25 And Sheva was Scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar the Priests
26 And also Ira the Jairite was chief about David.

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 19:1-43(a)

1 And it was told Joab, Behold, the King weepeth and mourneth for Absalom.
2 Therefore the victory of that day was turned into mourning to all the people: for the people heard say that day, The King sorroweth for his son.
3 And the people went that day into the city secretly, as people confounded hide themselves when they flee in battle.
4 So the King hid his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, My son Absalom, Absalom my son, my son.
5 Then Joab came into the house to the King, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons, and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines,
6 In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends: for thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither thy princes, nor servants: therefore this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and we all had died this day, that then it would have pleased thee well.
7 Now therefore up, come out, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, except thou come out, there will not tarry one man with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee, than all the evil that fell on thee from thy youth hitherto.
8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate: and they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate: and all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.
9Then all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The King saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines, and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom.
10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle: therefore why are ye so slow to bring the king again?
11 But King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the Priests, saying, Speak unto the Elders of Judah, and say, Why are ye behind to bring the King again to his house (for the saying of all Israel is come unto the King, even to his house.)
12 Ye are my brethren: my bones and my flesh are ye: Wherefore then are ye the last that bring the King again?
13 Also say ye to Amasa, Art thou not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host to me forever in the room of Joab.
14 So he bowed the hearts of all the men of Judah, as of one man: therefore they sent to the King, saying, Return thou with all thy servants.
15 So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, for to go to meet the king, and to conduct him over Jordan.
16 And Shimei the son of Gera, the son of Benjamin, which was of Bahurim, hasted and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David,
17 And a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants with him: and they went over Jordan before the king.
18 And there went over a boat to carry over the king’s household, and to do him pleasure. Then Shimei the son of Gera fell before the king, when he was come over Jordan,
19 And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute wickedness unto me, nor remember the thing that thy servant did wickedly when my lord the King departed out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart.
20 For thy servant doth know, that I have done amiss: therefore behold, I am the first this day of all the house of Joseph, that am come to go down to meet my lord the king. (b)
21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, and said, Shall not Shimei die for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?
22 And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that this day ye should be adversaries unto me? shall there any man die this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?
23 Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die, and the king swore unto him.
24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither washed his feet, nor dressed his beard, nor washed his clothes from the time the king departed, until he returned in peace.
25 And when he was come to Jerusalem, and met the king, the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Mephibosheth?
26 And he answered, My lord the King, my servant deceived me: for thy servant said, I would have mine ass saddled to ride thereon, for to go with the king, because thy servant is lame.
27 And he hath accused thy servant unto my lord the king: but my lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore thy pleasure.
28 For all my father’s house were but dead men before my lord the king, yet didst thou set thy servant among them that did eat at thine own table: what right therefore have I yet to cry anymore unto the king?
29 And the king said unto him, Why speakest thou anymore of thy matters? I have said, Thou, and Ziba, divide the [s]lands.
30 And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all, seeing my lord the king is come home in peace.
31 Then Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan.
32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old, and he had provided the king of sustenance, while he lay at Mahanaim: for he was a man of very great substance.
33 And the king said unto Barzillai, Come over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.
34 And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good or evil? Hath thy servant any taste in that I eat, or in that I drink? Can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? wherefore then should thy servant be anymore a burthen unto my lord the king?
36 Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king, and why will the king recompense it me with such a reward?
37 I pray thee, let thy servant turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried in the grave of my father and of my mother: but behold thy servant Chimham, let him go with my lord the King, and do to him what shall please thee.
38 And the king answered, Chimham shall go with me, and I will do to him that thou shalt be content with: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee.
39 So all the people went over Jordan: and the king passed over: and the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him, and he returned unto his own place.
40 Then the King went to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him, and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel.
41 And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king and his household, and all David’s men with him over Jordan?
42 And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: and wherefore now be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten of the king’s cost, or have we taken any bribes?
43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and have also more right to David than ye: Why then did ye despise us that our advise should not be first had in restoring our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

(a) Editor’s thought - In this chapter one sees a precursor showing how God is long suffering, yet willing and faithful to forgive our trespasses. 
(b) Editor’s notation - Re: vs 20 read also 1 John 1:19

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 18:1-32

1 Then David numbered the people that were with him, and set over them captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds.
2 And David sent forth the third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and the third part under the hand of Abishai Joab’s brother, the son of Zeruiah: and the other third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the King said unto the people, I will go with you myself also.
3 But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not regard us, neither will they pass for us, though half of us were slain: but thou art now worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succor us out of the city.
4 Then the king said unto them, What seemeth you best, that I will do. So the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai, and Ittai, saying, Entreat the young man Absalom gently for my sake. And all the people heard when the King gave all the Captains charge concerning Absalom.
6 So the people went out into the field to meet Israel, and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim:
7 Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David: so there was a great slaughter that day, even of twenty thousand.
8 For the battle was scattered over all the country: and the wood devoured much more people that day than did the sword.
9 Now Absalom met the servants of David, and Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule came under a great thick oak: and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth: and the mule that was under him went away.
10 And one that saw it, told Joab, saying, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
11 Then Joab said unto the man that told him, And hast thou indeed seen? why then didst thou not there smite him to the ground, and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle?
12 Then the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not lay mine hand upon the King’s son: for in our hearing the King charged thee, and Abishai, and Ittai, saying, Beware, lest any touch the young man Absalom.
13 If I had done it, it had been the danger of my life: for nothing can be hid from the King: yea, thou thyself wouldest have been against me. (a)
14 Then said Joab, I will not thus tarry with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
15 And ten servants that bare Joab’s armor, compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
16 Then Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.
17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a mighty great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.
18 Now Absalom in his life time had taken and reared him up a pillar, which is in the King’s dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name, and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s place.
19 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, I pray thee, let me run and bear the King tidings that the Lord hath delivered him out of the hand of his enemies.
20 And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not be the messenger today, but thou shalt bear tidings another time, but today thou shalt bear none: for the King’s son is dead.
21 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go, tell the King, what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.
22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok again to Joab, What, I pray thee, if I also run after Cushi? And Joab said, Wherefore now wilt thou run my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings to bring?
23 Yet what if I run? Then he said unto him, Run. So Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overwent Cushi.
24 Now David sat between the two gates. And the watchman went to the top of the gate upon the wall, and lift up his eyes, and saw, and behold, a man came running alone.
25 And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the King said, If he be alone, he bringeth tidings. And he came apace, and drew near.
26 And the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called unto the potter, and said, Behold, another man runneth alone. And the King said, He also bringeth tidings.
27 And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. Then the King said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.
28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the King, Peace be with thee: and he fell down to the earth upon his face before the King, and said, Blessed be the Lord thy God, who hath shut up the men that lift up their hands against my Lord the King.
29 And the King said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the King’s servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what.
30 And the King said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here: so he turned aside and stood still.
31 And behold, Cushi came, and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the King: for the Lord hath delivered thee this day out of the hand of all that rose against thee.
32 Then the King said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the King, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.
33 And the King was moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom: would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son.

(a) Editor’s thought - The other night, I noted how men do in the sight of God what they would not do in the sight of men.  I was thinking here, that this makes a good analogy. This to say, that there is no act of man that cannot be seen, nor heard by God.  As such I am reminded of the following verses:

Isaiah 2:19 - Then shall they go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth from before the fear of the Lord, and from the glory of his majesty, when he shall arise to destroy the earth.

 Hosea 10:8 - The high places also of Aven shall be destroyed, even the sin of Israel: the thorn and the thistle shall grow upon their altars, and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us, and to the hills, Fall upon us.

Luke 2:30 - Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us: and to the hills, Cover us.

Revelation 6:16 - And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the presence of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 17:1-29

1 Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me choose out now twelve thousand men, and I will up and follow after David this night,
2 And I will come upon him: for he is weary, and weak handled: so I will fear him, and all the people that are with him shall flee, and I will smite the king only,
3 And I will bring again all the people unto thee, and when all shall return, (the man whom thou seekest being slain) all the people shall be in peace.
4 And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the Elders of Israel.
5 Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith.
6 So when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hathspoken thus: shall we do after his saying, or no? tell thou.
7 Hushai then answered unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given, is not good at this time.
8 For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father, and his men, that they be strong men, and are chafed in mind as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: also thy father is a valiant warrior, and will not lodge with the people.
9 Behold, he is hid now in some cave, or in some place: and though some of them be overthrown at the first, yet the people shall hear, and say, The people that follow Absalom, be overthrown.
10 Then he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall shrink and faint: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is valiant, and they which be with him, stout men.
11 Therefore my counsel is, that all Israel be gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba as the sand of the Sea in number, and that thou go to battle in thine own person.
12 So shall we come upon him in some place, where we shall find him, and we will upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of all the men that are with him, we will not leave him one.
13 Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all the men of Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.
14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite, is better, than the counsel of Ahithophel: for the Lord had determined to destroy the good counsel of Ahithophel, that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom.
15 Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the Priests, Of this and that manner did Ahithophel and the Elders of Israel counsel Absalom: and thus and thus have I counseled.
16 Now therefore send quickly, and show David, saying, Tarry not this night in the fields of the wilderness, but rather get thee over, lest the king be devoured, and all the people that are with him.
17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz abode by En Rogel: (for they might not be seen to come into the city) and a maid went, and told them, and they went and showed king David.
18 Nevertheless, a young man saw them, and told it to Absalom. Therefore they both departed quickly, and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, who had a well in his court, into the which they went down.
19 And the wife took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground corn thereon, that the thing should not be known.
20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the wife into the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman answered them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought them, and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 And as soon as they were departed, the other came out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto him, Up, and get you quickly over the water: for such counsel hath Ahithophel given against you.
22 Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they went over Jordan until the dawning of the day, so that there lacked not one of them, that was not come over Jordan.
23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and he went home unto his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in his father’s grave.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he, and all the men of Israel with him.
25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host in the stead of Joab: which Amasa was a man’s son named Jithra, an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab’s mother.
26 So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead.
27 And when David was come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash out of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel out of Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite out of Rogelim,
28 Brought beds, and basins, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentils, and parched corn.
29 And they brought honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 16:1-23

1 When David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred cakes of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of dried figs, and a bottle of wine.
2 And the King said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, They be asses for the king’s household to ride on, and bread, and dried figs for the young men to eat, and wine, that the faint may drink in the wilderness.
3 And the King said, But where is thy master’s son? Then Ziba answered the King, Behold, he remaineth in Jerusalem: for he said, This day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father.
4 Then said the King to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I beseech thee, let me find grace in thy sight, my lord, O King.
5 And when King David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, named Shimei, the son of Gera: and he came out and cursed.
6 And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of King David: and all the people, and all the men of war were on his right hand, and on his left.
7 And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come forth, come forth thou murderer, and wicked man.
8 The Lord hath brought upon thee all the [i]blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned: and the Lord hath delivered thy kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and behold, thou art taken in thy wickedness, because thou art a murderer.
9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the King, Why doth this dead dog curse my lord the King: let me go, I pray thee, and take away his head.
10 But the King said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? for he curseth, even because the Lord hath bidden him curse David: who dare then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son which came out of mine own bowels, seeketh my life: then how much more now may this son of Benjamin? Suffer him to curse: for the Lord hath bidden him.
12 It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and do me good for his cursing this day. (a)
13 And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went by the side of the mountain over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones against him, and cast dust.
14 Then came the King and all the people that were with him weary, and refreshed themselves [m]there.
15 And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.
16 And when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, was come unto Absalom, Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the King, God save the King.
17 Then Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? Why wentest thou not with thy friend?
18 Hushai then answered unto Absalom, Nay, but whom the Lord, and this people, and all the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with them will I dwell.
19 And moreover, unto whom shall I do service? not to his son? as I served before thy father, so will I before thee.
20 Then spake Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel what we shall do.
21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in to thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house: and when all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father, the hands of all that are with thee, shall be strong.
22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
23 And the counsel of Ahithophel which he counseled in those days, was like as one had asked counsel at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

(a) Editor’s notation - Re: vs 12 - Read also Proverbs 20:22; Matthew 5:44-45;  Luke 6:27-28; Romans 12:17-19

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 15:1-37

1 After this, Absalom prepared him chariots, and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood hard by the entering in of the gate: and every man that had any matter, and came to the king for judgment, him did Absalom call unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he answered, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.
3 Then Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and righteous, but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.
4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made Judge in the land, that every man which hath any matter of controversy, might come to me, that I might do him justice. (a)
5 And when any man came near to him, and did him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.
6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel, that came to the King for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And after forty years, Absalom said unto the King, I pray thee, let me go to Hebron, and render my vow which I have vowed unto the Lord.
8 For thy servant vowed a vow when I remained at Geshur, in Aram, saying, If the Lord shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, I will serve the Lord.
9 And the King said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.
10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, When ye hear the sound of the trumpet, ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.
11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called: and they went in their simplicity, knowing nothing.
12 Also Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, while he offered sacrifices: and the treason was great: for the people increased still with Absalom.
13 Then came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are turned after Absalom.
14 Then David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Up, and let us flee: for we shall not escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he come suddenly and take us, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.
15 And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, thy servants are ready to do according to all that my lord the king shall appoint.
16 So the king departed and all his household after him, and the king left ten concubines to keep the house.
17 And the king went forth and all the people after him, and tarried in a place far off.
18 And all his servants went about him, and all the Cherethites and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, even six hundred men which were come after him from Gath, went before the king.
19 Then said the King to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore comest thou also with us? Return and abide with the King, for thou art a stranger, depart thou therefore to thy place.
20 Thou camest yesterday, and should I cause thee to wander today and go with us? I will go whither I can: therefore return thou, and carry again thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.
21 And Ittai answered the King, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there surely will thy servant be.
22 Then David said to Ittai, Come, and go forward. And Ittai the Gittite went, and all his men, and all the children that were with him.
23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people went forward, but the King passed over the brook Kidron: and all the people went over toward the way of the wilderness.
24 And lo, Zadok also was there, and all the Levites with him, bearing the Ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the Ark of God: and Abiathar went up until the people were all come out of the city.
25 Then the King said unto Zadok, Carry the Ark of God again into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and the Tabernacle thereof.
26 But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee, behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good in his eyes.
27 The King said again unto Zadok the Priest, Art not thou a Seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you: to wit, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28 Behold, I will tarry in the fields of the wilderness, until there come some word from you to be told me.
29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the Ark of God again to Jerusalem, and they tarried there.
30 And David went up the mount of olives, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and went barefooted: and all the people that was with him, had every man his head covered, and as they went up, they wept.
31 Then one told David, saying, Ahithophel is one of them that have conspired with Absalom: and David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
32 Then David came to the top of the mount where he worshipped God: and behold, Hushai the Archite came against him with his coat torn, and having earth upon his head.
33 Unto whom David said, If thou go with me, thou shalt be a burthen unto me.
34 But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O King (as I have been in time past thy father’s servant, so will I now be thy servant) then thou mayest bring me the counsel of Ahithophel to nought.
35 And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the Priests? therefore whatsoever thou shalt hear out of the King’s house, thou shalt show to Zadok and Abiathar the Priests.
36 Behold, there are with them their two sons: Ahimaaz Zadok’s son, and Jonathan Abiathar’s son: by them also shall ye send me everything that ye can hear.
37 So Hushai David’s friend went into the city: and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

(a) Editor’s thought - We have seen in earlier chapters the character of Absalom. It is one of deceit and wickedness. Envy, and greed, and a lust for power. In essence it reminds me of how the originator of lies, that is Satan, works in mankind.   Was it not through persuasive lies that he caused Eve, and later Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge?  It can be noted that the tongue of the wicked, can do more damage than any standing army.  It can be used to turn anyone from what they know is right towards that which they know is wrong.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 14:1-33

1 Then Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived, that the king’s heart was toward Absalom,
2 And Joab sent to Tekoa, and brought thence a subtle woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to mourn, and now put on mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil: but be as a woman that had now long time mourned for the dead.
3 And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him, for Joab taught her what she should say.
4 Then the woman of Tekoa spake unto the king, and fell down on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O King.
5 Then the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow, and mine husband is dead:
6 And thine handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, (and there was none to part them) so the one smote the other, and slew him.
7 And behold the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him for the soul of his brother whom he slew, that we may destroy the heir also: so they shall quench my sparkle which is left, and shall not leave to mine husband neither name nor posterity upon the earth.
8 And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give a charge for thee.
9 Then the woman of Tekoa said unto the King, My lord, O King, this trespass be on me, and on my father’s house, and the King and his throne be guiltless.
10 And the King said, Bring him to me that speaketh against thee, and he shall touch thee no more.
11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the Lord thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer many revengers of blood to destroy, lest they slay my son. And he answered, As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.
12 Then the woman said, I pray thee, let thine handmaid speak a word to my lord the King. And he said, Say on.
13 Then the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? or why doth the King, as one which is faulty, speak this thing, that he will not bring again his banished?
14 For we must needs die, and we are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again: neither doth God spare any person, yet doth he appoint means, not to cast out from him, him that is expelled.
15 Now therefore, that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the King, the cause is that the people have made me afraid: therefore thine handmaid said, Now will I speak unto the King: it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid.
16 For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me, and also my son from the inheritance of God.
17 Therefore thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for my lord the King is even as an Angel of God in hearing of good and bad: therefore the Lord thy God be with thee.
18 Then the king answered, and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.
19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? Then the woman answered, and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the King, I will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for even thy servant Joab bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid.
20 For to the intent that I should change the form of speech, thy servant Joab hath done this thing: but my lord is wise according to the wisdom of an Angel of God, to understand all things that are in the earth.
21 And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go then, and bring the young man Absalom again.
22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself and thanked the King. Then Joab said, This day thy servant knoweth, that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord the king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.
23 And Joab arose, and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
24 And the King said, Let him turn to his own house, and not see my face. So Absalom turned to his own house, and saw not the king’s face.
25 Now in all Israel there was none to be so much praised for beauty as Absalom: from the sole of his foot even to the top of his head there was no blemish in him.
26 And when he polled his head, (for at every year’s end he polled it: because it was too heavy for him, therefore he polled it) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels by the king’s weight.
27 And Absalom had three sons, and one daughter named Tamar, which was a fair woman to look upon.
28 So Absalom dwelt the space of two years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king’s face.
29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab to send him to the King, but he would not come to him: and when he sent again, he would not come.
30 Therefore he said unto his servants, Behold, Joab hath a field by my place, and hath barley therein: go, and set it on fire: and Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants burnt my field with fire?
32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent for thee, saying, Come thou hither, and I will send thee to the king for to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? It had been better for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king’s face: and if there be any trespass in me, let him kill me.
33 Then Joab came to the king, and told him: and he called for Absalom, who came to the king, and bowed himself to the ground on his face before the king, and the king kissed Absalom.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 13:1-39

1 Now after this, so it was, that Absalom the son of David having a fair sister, whose name was Tamar, Amnon the son of David loved her.
2 And Amnon was so sore vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar: for she was a virgin, and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.
3 But Amnon had a friend called Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtle man,
4 Who said unto him, Why art thou the king’s son, so lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? Then Amnon answered him, I love Tamar my brother Absalom’s sister.
5 And Jonadab said unto him, Lie down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father shall come to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and let her dress meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it of her hand.
6 So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king came to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may receive meat at her hand.
7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon’s house, and dress him meat.
8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he lay down: and she took flour, and knead it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
9 And she took a pan, and poured them out before him, but he would not eat. Then Amnon said, Cause ye every man to go out from me: so every man went out from him.
10 Then Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
11 And when she had set them before him to eat, he took her, and said unto her, Come, lie with me, my sister.
12 But she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me: for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: commit not this folly.
13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee speak to the king, for he will not deny me unto thee.
14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice, but being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.
15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred wherewith he hated her, was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her: and Amnon said unto her, Up, get thee hence.
16 And she answered him,There is no cause: this evil (to put me away) is greater than the other that thou didst unto me: but he would not hear her,
17 But called his servant that served him, and said, Put this woman now out from me, and lock the door after her.
18 (And she had a garment of diverse colors upon her: for with such garments were the King’s daughters that were virgins, appareled) Then his servant brought her out, and locked the door after her.
19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent the garment of diverse colors which was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went her way crying.
20 And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? Now yet be still, my sister: he is thy brother: let not this thing grieve thine heart. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.
21 But when King David heard all these things, he was very wroth.
22 And Absalom said unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
23 And after the time of two years, Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is beside Ephraim, and Absalom called all the king’s sons.
24 And Absalom came to the King, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers: I pray thee, that the king with his servants would go with thy servant.
25 But the King answered Absalom, Nay my son, I pray thee, let us not go all, lest we be chargeable unto thee. Yet Absalom lay sore upon him: howbeit he would not go, but thanked him.
26 Then said Absalom, But, I pray thee, shall not my brother Amnon go with us? And the king answered him, Why should he go with thee?
27 But Absalom was instant upon him, and he sent Amnon with him, and all the king’s children.
28 Now had Absalom commanded his servants, saying, Mark now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon, kill him, fear not, for have not I commanded you? be bold therefore, and play the men.
29 And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon, as Absalom had commanded: and all the king’s sons arose, and every man got him up upon his mule, and fled.
30 And while they were in the way, tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the King’s sons, and there is not one of them left.
31 Then the king arose, and tore his garments, and lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
32 And Jonadab the son of Shimeah David’s brother answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the King’s sons: for Amnon only is dead, because Absalom had reported so, since he forced his sister Tamar.
33 Now therefore let not my lord the King take the thing so grievously; to think that all the King’s sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
34 Then Absalom fled: and the young man that kept the watch, lift up his eyes, and looked, and behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him.
35 And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king’s sons come: as thy servant said, so it is.
36 And as soon as he had left speaking, behold, the king’s sons came, and lift up their voices, and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept exceedingly sore.
37 But Absalom fled away, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud king of Geshur: and David mourned for his son every day.
38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
39 And king David desired to go forth unto Absalom, because he was pacified concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 12:1-31

Friends, and brethren in Christ:

There is much to be learned and thought upon in this chapter. However, for me, it is one thing that stands out. This is that God is indeed omnipresent. There is no where we can go, or try to hide our sins. He is witness to all our comings and goings, good and bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral. (a) Over the last couple of chapters we’ve come to see King David, as we are, that is to say a man. As a man, he was subject to all divers of temptation, and emotions.  Yet even through all the deeds we’ve read about, he remained steadfast in his belief in God.  As we see in this chapter, we find that he is confronted with his sin via a parable. At first he shows anger, which, I am sure anyone would do, however when it is revealed as to who the person is in the parable, he acknowledges his sin, and seeks forgiveness and mercy.  (b)

1 Then the Lord sent Nathan unto David, who came to him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city, the one rich, and the other poor.
2 The rich man had exceedingly many sheep and oxen:
3 But the poor had none at all, save one little sheep which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up with him, and with his children also, and did eat of his own morsels, and drank of his own cup, and slept in his bosom, and was unto him as his daughter.
4 Now there came a stranger unto the rich man, who refused to take of his own sheep, and of his own oxen to dress for the stranger that was come unto him, but took the poor man’s sheep, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
5 Then David was exceedingly wroth with the man, and said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing, shall surely die,
6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and had no pity thereof.
7 Then Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee King over Israel, and delivered thee out of the hand of Saul.
8 And gave thee thy lord’s house, and thy lord’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel, and of Judah, and would moreover (if that had been too little) have given thee such and such things.
9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house, because thou hast despised me, and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11 Thus said the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of his sin.
12 For thou diddest it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
13 Then David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin, thou shalt not die. (c)
14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast caused the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child that is born unto thee, shall surely die.
15 So Nathan departed unto his house: and the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was sick.
16 David therefore besought God for the child, and fasted and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
17 Then the Elders of his house arose to come unto him, and to cause him to rise from the ground: but he would not, neither did he eat meat with them.
18 So on the seventh day the child died: and the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how then shall we say unto him, The child is dead, to vex him more?
19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.
20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped, and afterward came to his own house, and bade that they should set bread before him, and he did eat. (d)
21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child while it was alive, but when the child was dead, thou didst rise up, and eat meat,
22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted, and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will have mercy on me, that the child may live?
23 But now being dead, wherefore should I now fast? Can I bring him again anymore? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her, and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: also the Lord loved him.
25 For the Lord had sent by Nathan the Prophet: therefore he called his name Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him.
26 Then Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the city of the Kingdom.
27 Therefore Joab sent messengers to David, saying, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters.
28 Now therefore, gather the rest of the people together, and besiege the city, that thou mayest take it, lest the victory be attributed to me.
29 So David gathered all the people together, and went against Rabbah, and besieged it, and took it.
30 And he took their king’s crown from his head, (which weighed a talent of gold, with precious stones) and it was set on David’s head: and he brought away the spoil of the city in exceedingly great abundance.
31 And he carried away the people that was therein, and put them under saws, and under iron harrows, and under axes of iron, and cast them into the tile-kiln: even thus did he with all the cities of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.

(a) Editor’s notation - Read Psalm 139:1-24
(b) Editor’s notation - Read Psalm 94:18-19
(c) Editor’s notation - Read 1 John 1:9
(d) Editor’s notation - Read Job 1:21

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Daily Meditation
Today’s Reading
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 11:1-26

1 And when the year was expired in the time when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel, who destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah: but David remained in Jerusalem.
2 And when it was evening-tide, David arose out of his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s palace: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself: and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3 And David sent and inquired what woman it was: and one said, Is not this Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam, wife to Uriah the Hittite?
4 Then David sent messengers, and took her away: and she came unto him and he lay with her: (now she was purified from her uncleanness) and she returned unto her house.
5 And the woman conceived: therefore she sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 And when Uriah came unto him, David demanded him how Joab did, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered.
8 Afterward David said to Uriah, Go down to thine house, and wash thy feet. So Uriah departed out of the king’s palace, and the king sent a present after him.
9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s palace with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
10 Then they told David, saying, Uriah went not down to his house: and David said unto Uriah, Comest thou not from thy journey? why didst thou not go down to thine house?
11 Then Uriah answered David, The Ark and Israel, and Judah dwell in tents: and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord abide in the open fields: shall I then go into mine house to eat and drink, and lie with my wife? by thy life, and by the life of thy soul, I will not do this thing.
12 Then David said unto Uriah, Tarry yet this day, and tomorrow I will send thee away. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
13 Then David called him, and he did eat and drink before him, and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
14 And on the morrow David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote [h]thus in the letter, Put ye Uriah in the forefront of the strength of the battle, and recule ye back from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
16 So when Joab besieged the city, he assigned Uriah unto a place, where he knew that strong men were.
17 And the men of the city came out, and fought with Joab: and there fell of the people of the servants of David, and Uriah the Hittite also died.
18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war.
19 And he charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling all the matters of the war unto the King,
20 And if the king’s anger arise, so that he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye unto the city to fight? knew ye not that they would hurl from the wall?
21 Who smote Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, and he died in Thebez? why went you nigh the wall? Then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.
22 So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for.
23 And the messenger said unto David, Certainly the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, but we pursued them unto the entering of the gate.
24 But the shooters shot from the wall against thy servants, and some of the king’s servants be dead: and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.
25 Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing trouble thee: for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and destroy it, and encourage thou him.
26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for her husband.
27 So when the mourning was past, David sent and took her into his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son: but the thing that David had done, displeased the Lord.