Psalm

Psalm 95, 97, 98, and 99

These are called Enthronement Psalms or Royal Psalms.  I know this group through your comments and you are going to LOVE today’s readings.  You all cling to the Psalms that Praise and Celebrate God.  Even in a “lament” Psalm, you guys (“ya’ll” if you grew up in the South) will read a long Psalm and find that ONE verse that Praises the Lord.  Well, you are in for a wonderful read.


Psalm 95:  I picture a church worship leader feeling the Spirit on his church so powerfully that he grabs the microphone and says with his eyes closed because it is not about himself, but his God: (man I miss going to church after reading this!!)

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song….

And then the congregation in unison would Praise God.  Now picture God looking down on it.  Whoever the Psalmist was who wrote this did the same thing, he called the Israelites to sing his praises.

There is a clear shift at the end of verse 7.  This psalm is a reminder that praise needs to connect with trust and
obedience.  What were Meribah and Massah?  In a word: Ingratitude!   Complaining about your blessings!  I could screenshot you a text I sent to my closest friend that I was on a rant about just this week about “my messy house”, “my busy schedule”, “my Quanatine weight gain” “how busy work is”.  From God’s viewpoint: Szymanski’s burdens are: her beautiful house, her healthy busy family, the abundance of food, and her amazing job”.

This is a wonderful Psalm and reminder!

Click here to read Exodus 17if you need a recap


Psalm 97-  As you can imagine after reading this I am ready to set up a Zoom with you and read Revelation!  Don’t dare me…I will!!   So I want you to find a  place and actually sing this.  In your house, at work, go outside for a walk  (and when it goes acapella you better be loud!)

 


Psalm 98– You know when you read something and you know it is NOT a coincidence!  Last night about 11:30  I started researching “leveling the playing field” for work.  I got STUCK on the word Equity.  In other words Equality verse Equity.

And then Psalm 98 ends with-

He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

Shut up!  These are the moments I have to say “Are you talking to me” (Yes,  I said that in my Robert De Niro Italian voice”.  Marla on the blog texted me one day and said: “I get stuck on one word sometimes, and others are pulling phrases”.  I remember thinking “I want to get stuck on ONE word, because I know it will be the Word for me.

Look for your one Word from God sometimes.


Psalm 99-

STOP!  So when I write a post in the Psalms I read one.  I write one.  I read one….So can you picture me writing the above, reopening my BIble and THEN reading –

The King is mighty, he loves justice—
    you have established equity;

If you think God is giving you something to say to me right now about the Word, please share.  Be a conduit of the Lord to me.

 

Back to Psalm 99.-This may be called the Sanctus, or ‘the Holy, Holy, Holy Psalm,’ for the word ‘holy’ is the conclusion and the refrain of its three main divisions.   God extends Mercy without ever compromising His Holiness.  How?  By answering our prayers and forgiving us.  Think about that.  Our Prayers are undeserved!


Have a wonderful day after reading these beautiful Psalms!  I love you and I am not sure what I would have done this year without all of you encouraging me, laughing with me, praying for me, giving me grace when I need it, and just loving me without most of you ever meeting me.  (Sometimes I wonder how you picture me ).  I love you.  Trish.

2 Samuel · Psalm

2 Samuel 22-23 and Psalm 57

We began 1 Samuel with Hannah’s Song of Praise, it is only fitting we end with David’s Song of Praise.  This song is almost identical to Psalm 18.  We haven’t read it yet so I posted it at the bottom if interested.   OK, I wrote a section by section cross-reference post and deleted it because truly each person is going to read a particular stanza and it will be JUST for them.


Chapter 23:  David’s last words:   We have been reading about David Since April 12th.  We took a 40 day Journey on David. Here are his last words:

 

“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,
    the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High,
the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
    the hero of Israel’s songs:

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
    his word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke,
    the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
    when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
    on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
    that brings grass from the earth.’

“If my house were not right with God,
    surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
    arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
    and grant me my every desire.
But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
    which are not gathered with the hand.
Whoever touches thorns
    uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
    they are burned up where they lie.”

David’s last words centered with a prophecy of the Messiah.  Similar prophecies are recorded in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah. However, a beautiful confession from David is in verse 2 where he gives all his credit to God who used him as a vessel.


David’s Mighty Men:  We know that the Lord fought his battles for him, but David knew the value of his warriors.  Thirty-Seven of his men deserved special credit for their commitment to David (and the Lord), but The Three were singled out above the rest.

  • Josheb-Basshebeth killed 800 men at one time
  • Eleazar single handily struck down the Philistines
  • Shammah refused to flee and stood his ground and was successful.

Verse 23-39

Thirty heroes are mentioned that were picked from many parts of Israel including Saul’s capital city.  NOw that we have read, I am betting you might recognize some of the names at the end 😁.


Psalm 57.  When I read this Psalm I went to my computer and tried to find a worship song that went with it and I just couldn’t find the right feel to it.  What song did you think of?

 

 

(Here is the Psalm that matched David’s Song of Praise

Click here to see Psalm 18

Psalm

Psalm 5, 38, 41, and 42

Psalm 5.  I hung on every word, and as much as I picture David as he feels this Psalm, what a reminder and a model for us to bring our troubles before the Lord.  I may not be guilty of bringing my stuff to facebook to complain but I am guilty of bringing it to my friends and not the Lord.   Beautiful Psalm…I am hoping someone cut and pastes their favorite part and put it in comments.


Psalm 38.  Do you remember I spoke about the penitential psalms?  This is one of them.  Maybe take a minute and search your heart for a sin that you know you committed BUT rationalized it.  That is not repentance.  Actually seeing the sin through God’s eyes, and hating the sin so much that if you could go back in time you would do it differently.

For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
    I am troubled by my sin


Psalm 41-Once again I am drawn to the overwhelming sadness David feels regarding “words” “slander” “lies” “speaking falsely”.  I can relate.  I know most of you don’t know me but my outward and inward don’t match.  I appear thick-skinned, confident, strong.  It could not be further from the truth.  “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a lie!!!!


Psalm 42- Yikes this was a memory recall for me.  When major events in the world would happen: Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11 attack….etc. A phrase that would come out of my mouth as a non-believer was “Where is your God now?”  To think I made someone feel like David did breaks my heart now.

2 Samuel

2 Samuel 19-21

Yes, the blog is late and I hate that.  To sum up I have had a really bad week.  I won’t list all that happened this week because that would sound like I feel like my life is busier than yours and that is not true.  But when I sat down to read I was so distracted and confused.  Even when I restarted I just couldn’t understand the passages.  Honestly, I wasn’t committed to my quiet time and I was just “checking it off my list for the day” so I feel God blinded me on purpose so I could step away and come back with the right heart.  So that’s why this is really late and I am sorry.


Chapter 19 starts mid-story with David finding out Absolom has been killed.  Although David’s response is understandable as a father, he ignored his responsibility to the ones that put their lives on the line for him.  Joab gives him a reality check because he feared if David continued mourning him publically he would lose his supporters as king. Joab was really being selfish because if David loses rank it will affect Joab’s high position.   Even though the rebellion started in Judah, by naming Amasa the new commander, it brought peace back into Judah.

You may have picked that the Hebrews are referred to as one of two categories.   Think of it as North verse South.  When the kingdom divides, the two sides are Judah and Israel.  This book was written later in history so the writer refers to them as Judah OR Israel.  (We are not divided yet, but we are getting there soon)

History in the Bible Podcast | The Two Kingdoms of Israel and Judah

As we read, we can see seeds that the nation is already dividing.  The split between David and Absolom is a major event that truly never healed and it is obvious that David favors the South.

In chapter 19 a man named Shimei asked for forgiveness.  I could not remember who he was!  He was the guy who threw rocks at David in chapter 16!  David sees Saul’s grandson (Jonathon’s son) Mephibosheth who admits his servant lied to David; David acts kindly and splits Saul’s estate anyway.  Barzillai was just mentioned this weekend.  Even when David was hated, Barzillai always supported him.


Chapter 20-Sheba a Benjaminite.

So you see that it specifically says Sheba was a Benjaminite, so you have to ask yourself…does that matter?  Yes.  Saul was a Benjaminite so we are still seeing the ripple effect in the tribes from when Saul lost his kingship.  There is a phrase in chapter 20 that I picked up on several times “Joab’s men”. Wasn’t it David’s men??  Take note to these small details as you read.  David’s lack of decisive leadership has caused men to be faithful to Joab so much so that they are referred to as “Joab’s men.

“A man named Sheba son of Bikri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I’ll withdraw from the city.”

The woman said to Joab, “His head will be thrown to you from the wall.”

Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bikri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.

You go girl!!!


Chapter 21-  We begin the LAST for chapters of 2 Samuel.  The last 4 chapters are like an appendix and not in chronological order.  (Arggg, that makes it tough for us) So if it all made sense to you, you can stop reading here.  Otherwise, I will recap some of this if you were as confused as I was this morning.

In these chapters, there are 2 incidents describing God’s wrath against Israel mixed in with some victories of David.  We will read one of them today.  Back in Joshua 9 (seems forever ago), Joshua was attempting to conquer the promised land and he was tricked into making a treaty with the Gibeonites located in the Benjaminite territory.  However, Saul violated this treaty attacking them and killing a bunch.  As a punishment for breaking the treaty, the Lord afflicted the land with a famine for 3 years during David’s reign.  When David discovers the reason for this famine he meets with the surviving Gibeonites and agrees to the request that seven of Saul’s male descendants should be killed in Saul’s capital.

Remember David will ALWAYS keep his covenant with Jonathon so his son Mephibosheth is spared.  The seven were put to death in April (how do I know? It’s Barley season baby) and the LINE OF SAUL IS WIPED OUT!  Normally the dead were buried quickly but not in this case.  The bodies were exposed until God lifted the famine and rain fell.  Then respectfully, the bodies were all gathered as a family and buried with Saul and Jonathon.

verse 15-22 is a series of battles between the Philistines and the Israelites (not necessarily in chronological order).

I am fried.  See you tomorrow. ❤

 

 

Psalm

Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61, 62, 64

Psalm 26.  I picture David writing this the night he was pelted with rocks.  When David asked God to vindicate him, he was praying that the Lord would show others that he had not been guilty of things with which others had charged him.

Psalms 26 - Holy Bible English - BibleWordings.com


Psalm 40-In this psalm, David offered himself as a sacrifice to God because the Lord had delivered him.  This is one of those Psalms that every time a read a verse I say “Oh, that’s my favorite part” and then the next one is my favorite one!


Psalm 58- This psalm shows that David looked to the Lord as the ultimate authority in Israel. David’s view of his own relationship God was proper.  Even though he had the authority to punish the wicked, he still looked to God as the Person who had final authority over them, and he appealed to Him to act instead.


Psalm 61- Knowing the background to the Psalms put them from black and white to color.  David may have been on the run from Saul, enemies, Israelites, or even Absolom when he wrote this.


Psalm 62-Rock, refuge, fortress.  Where was David when he wrote this? Castle Rock or Cave Rock, is doesn’t; matter, it is what is in his heart.

Interesting Green: Reflection - David's comfort in prayer (Psalm 142)Faith In Action – King David's Thanksgiving | My Lord, My Friend


Psalm 64- When you do this read through again, take note to how many times David talked about the ‘mouth’ or ‘their words’ as the weapon that hurts him this most.

2 Samuel

2 Samuel 16-18

I had to read the beginning several times (I kept getting confused).  In short, David runs into 2 people from Saul’s family.  First, Ziba, the servant to Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth.  (He was the one with the disabled legs we read about a few weeks ago).  Ziba brings David supplies and cons him into giving him Sauls’ estate.😠

Then he runs into Shimei who threw stones at David (I bet David wrote some Psalms about this horrible day)  He calls him a murderer, a scoundrel, and that his son Absolom is now the king (ummm no he is not!)  Abishai (who I like!) says “Put me in coach! I will cut off his head”. But David leaves it in the Lord’s hands and spares his life.

Let’s go back to Chapter 12 when Nathan the Prophet said to David after sleeping with Bathsheba:

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

We discussed the calamity…now the underlined portion of the prophecy.

Ahithophel tells David’s son to sleep with his concubines for everyone to see.  Usually, a king’s concubines belonged to the successor, so by this action, Absolom asserts his kingship.  Now all of Israel thinks he is the new king. (Ummm, no he’s not)


The other day in Chapter 15 David was upset and he prayed to the Lord (2 Sam 15:31)

 “Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “Lord, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”

And that is exactly what the Lord did!  His advice was not taken (which is rare for a man in his position) and when the advice was not followed he hanged himself.

Absolom continues to build an army.  The parallel position of Joab (David’s top commander) was replaced by the very man that had married David’s first wife Abigail, and David summoned her back.  Clearly, he does not like David so it was a strategic move on Absolom’s part.    David went to battle, and unlike his mistake in the past, he says in chapter 18:2: “I myself will surely march out with you”. (But tenderhearted David tells his troops to be gentle with his son Absolom).  However, Joab was done with this tomfoolery of protecting Absolom and the physical characteristic of Absolom that showed his strength and his good looks was the very thing that got him killed: his lush hair!

Bible Fun For Kids: Life of David: 27. Absalom's Death

They buried his body under a monument of rocks mocking his own monument to himself he had previously erected called “Absolom’s monument”.

For all the reasons the Lord loves David, we do too because even after everything Absolon had committed against him, David always had a heart.


If you feel like reading ahead the Psalms that follow this read for tomorrow are:

Click here

 

2 Samuel

2 Samuel 13-15

Before you read I recommend reading the post from last night as a recap.  Either scroll below this one or click here.

Unbelievable 3 chapters!  I knew they would take me a while so I started last night to get my brain wrapped around all the details.

Amnon is the firstborn son, (important to note) fell in love lust with his sister (from another mother).  (God told them not to take more than 1 wife for a reason).  Amnon’s cousin (David’s nephew) advises him to concoct this horrible plan to sleep with her and it ends in rape.  Unlike the rape of Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, Amnon hated her after rather than loving her more.

Verse 21: don’t miss it:  “When King David heard all this, he was furious.”  And???  Where is the David that followed the Law of Moses?  Where is the David that inquired of the Lord?    He did nothing!  Oh, David!!

Absolom avenged the death of his sister (just like Simon and Levi did for Dinah).  Obviously, they have been circumcised already, so Absolom used drunkenness to plan his attack and killed Amnon.  Absolom knew that he would be brought to trial at a city of refuge and found guilty so he fled.  David’s reluctance to disciple Joab (his commander when he killed Abner), Amnon (for raping his sister), and now Absolom (for murdering his brother) is a major character flaw in David which has set in motion the “calamity” that was prophesied after his own adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband Uriah.  I can only assume, his own past is what is keeping him from dealing with these situations.  How can he find others guilty for the same sins he himself committed.  He is the appointed King…that is his job!

So what is the undercurrent in all this?  THE THRONE!  The heir has been killed and next in line will be Absolom.  In this court case, we just established a motive (I feel like Perry Mason).  If Absolom becomes king, his right-hand man will be his advisor: Jonadeb!

Calamity!


Chapter 14-  Since David responded so well when Nathan told the parable of the rich man/poor man/ewe, Joab uses the same tactic to shed light on the situation to David. David rules “not one hair will fall to the ground”  What??? The parable allows David to make a judgment on the consequence RATHER THAN following the Law of Moses (wasn’t that #4 in the list from last night).  Absolom is spared any discipline and he and his gorgeous thick hair that wighed 5 pounds when cut “that not one will fall to the ground” return to Jerusalem but are not permitted to see David.

Absolom is turning into a real “donkey”!  He is like a child and wants his own way, and burns Joab’s field to make it happen.    Chapter 14 ends with:

33 So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.

The kiss represents a sign that he has been forgiven.


Chapter 15- Finally, Absolom gets the ball rolling to make himself the king!  For 4 years he and his lush hair become very popular and wins the hearts of the people (betraying David).  Up to this point, David has never been defeated in a battle against his enemies, yet he flees Jerusalem because of his beloved son, Absolom!  He has more support from a foreigner named Ittai, who he just met,  than his own family.  He is desperate and puts a few followers in Absolom’s life as spies.

Calamity with a capital C.


Comment question:  Why is this a 2 Samuel read-only and omitted from Chronicles?  Answer in comments.

 

2 Samuel

Before you read tomorrow… (I call this Bible Tailgate!)

Before you read tomorrow I think it is important to look at a couple of things to refresh our memory.  Back in Deuteronomy 17 God gave instructions for a King.  Click here if you want to read it.

Summary: A king…

  1. He must be the one the Lord chooses
  2. He must not multiply his horses for military purposes
  3. He must not acquire many wives
  4. He must make a copy of the Law and have it with him at all times.  He will read it every day.

Oh David.  How far you have fallen. (2,3, and 4-David) (his son will attempt 1 tomorrow)


The other day I gave you this visual:

David’s transgression with Bathsheba (well, not going to war) began the troubles for David’s house.  Nathan his prophet gave David this message from the Lord in Chapter 12:

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

Calamity on his household!  Well, that is what we will begin to read tomorrow.  God did forgive him for his sins when he confessed, BUT forgiveness does not take away the natural consequences.  (Great lesson there!)


This is for Constance and all my genealogy people.  (This is a familiar handout but I tried to annotate it for you) You will need this for tomorrow.  Here are the main characters: (sorry the image is bad)…but you can click the link to see a better version.

Click here if you want to print 

Image.jpeg

Psalm

Psalm 32, 51, 86, and 122,

(If you saw my post this morning I woke up late!) Keeping accountable to you, I finished.  If you don’t feel like reading this, it is fine but skip to the bottom and listen to some music))

Psalm 32 is a Wisdom Psalm.  It is more of a reflection than a prayer or petition.

I really never noticed the -ed after the word ‘bless’ until now.  As a reflection (not a prayer) it makes total sense.  They are not going to be blessed, they are already blessed.

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.

 

Psalm 32 and 51 read back to back is incredible (go do it again now)  Psalm 32 talks about the NEED to confess and then 51 is the model for the confession.  In it, David did not utter one word of excuse for the sins he had committed, nor did he minimize his offenses or blame others for what he had done.

Psalm 32

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.[b]

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

Are you acknowledging your sin or confessing/repenting of your sin????


Psalm 51 A Penitential Psalm.  Back on April 22nd I described a set of psalms that were used when repenting.  Click here if you need to go back.

Look at the title of this Psalm:

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

David confessed the sins he committed against Bathsheba and Uriah. Obviously, he had sinned against Bathsheba, her husband, and the nation that he ruled, but David rightfully admitted that the worst thing he had done was offending God. Taking personal responsibility for our sins is an important part of true confession.

My favorite part was probably one that many of you didn’t choose today (because there are so many good one) Verse 16:

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

I cannot “make up for it” with works.  Trust me I try it all the time!  What God takes pleasure in is the broken heart.  How many times have you heard this:

a voice from my heart.: Break my heart for what breaks Yours.


Psalm 86:  Very cool Psalm that it is a compilation assembled by other parts of the Psalms quoted almost verbatim. (LOL, like when I write Essays when I got my Master’s Degree….just kidding)

is a virtual mosaic of other psalms, and its quotations are almost verbatim.
Verses in Psalm 86 Similar verses elsewhere
Verse 1: from Ps. 17:6; 31:2; 35:10; 37:14; and 40:17
Verse 2:  from Ps. 25:20
Verse 3: from Ps. 57:1-2
Verse 5: from Exod. 34:6
Verse 6: from Ps. 28:2
Verse 7: from Ps. 17:6; and 77:2
Verse 8: from Ps. 35:10; 71:19; 89:6; Exod. 8:10; 9:14; and 15:11
Verse 10: from  Ps. 72:18; and 77:13-14
Verse 11: from Ps. 27:11
Verse12-13: from Ps. 50:15, 23; 56:13; and 57:9-10
Verse16: from Ps. 25:16


Psalm 122: A song of ascents. You have to picture it.  Walking uphill, to Jerusalem for a festival or to worship and this song is being sung.  During this Covid-19 shutdown, have we even stopped to consider what it would be like if we lost the privilege of gathering as a group in church forever? Do we take for granted the privilege we have to meet as a group?

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May those who love you be secure.
 May there be peace within your walls
    and security within your citadels.”
 For the sake of my family and friends,
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”


I know this isn’t typical worship music, but listen to the words of this song today as you finish your reading: The song starts at 1:45 (you can skip to that)