Friday, April 19, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 109

The scriptures read are 2 Samuel 1-3, Psalm 90 and Acts 5.

2 Samuel 1. David learns of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan and makes up a lament. We get a reference to the Book of Jashar, a book that no longer exists. There are a number of these mentioned in scripture.

2 Samuel 2. David moves to Hebron and is crowned king of Judah. Saul's remaining son Ish-Bosheth is crowned king of the rest of Israel by Abner, the commander of Saul's army. Joab leads David's army. War breaks out between the houses of David and of Saul. Abner kills Joab's brother.

2 Samuel 3. David gets busy fathering 6 sons by 6 different women. This will turn out to be unwise.

Abner decides to sell out Ish-Bosheth to David. But after negotiations with David, Joab waylays Abner and kills him in revenge for his brother's death. David has to deny he had anything to do with this and makes Joab and his men lead Abner's funeral and make loud laments. But not as loud as David, who writes a song about Abner. The people of Israel accept David's innocence.

Psalm 90. A beautifully written reflection on man's mortality.

Acts 5. A husband and wife sell their land, keep some money back and give the rest to the church, apparently telling everyone they gave all the money. When they are exposed they drop dead. That gets everyone's attention.

The chief priest has the apostles arrested. But an angel releases them that night and they appear in the temple the next day preaching the gospel. When rearrested, Peter tells the Sanhedrin, "We must obey God rather than men." They almost kill them but famous rabbi Gamaliel gets up and gives some wise advice: if this is a human movement, it will eventually fall apart, But if God is behind it, you can't stop. In either case, don't kill them. So they are whipped and released and the apostles consider this an honor.

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