Showing posts with label 2 Samuel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 Samuel. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2 Samuel 23 - 1 Kings 2

King David in Prayer - Pieter de Grebber


2 Samuel Chapter 23
King David related a message that he once received from the LORD. This is his last poetic message. King David’s mighty men, warriors and their military exploits are enumerated in this chapter.

2 Samuel Chapter 24
Against the wish of the LORD, king David took a census of his people. LORD was enraged and a plague came upon the land that killed seventy thousand (70,000) Israelites. King David then purchased a land, built and altar and offered sacrifices.

1 Kings Executive Summary
Follow the link to get a high level info on 1 Kings.

1 Kings Chapter 1
David becomes bedridden and his son Adonijah pronounces himself the next king. However, Nathan and Bathsheba convince David to appoint Solomon as the next ruler. Adonijah’s followers disperse once they hear that Solomon has been anointed with David’s approval.

1 Kings Chapter 2
David orders Solomon to exact vengeance on his enemies. David dies and Solomon kills Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei. He also exiles Abiathar.



-----------------------BIBLE READING------------------
WARNING: Some of the actions performed in this book are dangerous and should only be attempted by professionals familiar with the action in question.
:-)

:-)

:-)
-----------------------INSPIRATIONAL------------------



-------------------FOOD FOR THOUGHT----------------


----------------------------HUMOR--------------------

A first grade Sunday school teacher was asking students what their parents did for a living.

Sunny shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, “My father is a mailman.”

“Thank you, Sunny,” said the teacher.

“John, you be next,” she said. “What does your father do all day?”

John stood up and proudly said, “He’s a doctor.”

“That’s wonderful. How about you, Billy?”

Billy proudly stood up and announced, “My dad smells stinky armpits to test deodorant.”

The teacher was aghast and promptly changed the subject to songs. Later that day she went to Billy’s house and rang the bell. Billy’s father answered the door. The teacher explained what his son had said and asked if there might be some logical explanation.

Billy’s father said, “I’m actually a criminal defense attorney. But how can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?”





-----------------------------
Utilized my lunch hour to wrap this up. 
:-)


2 Samuel 24

King David buys the threshing floor
David Counts the Fighting Men
In a stupid move, king David took census of his people and kindled the wrath of the LORD. Joab had asked him, "Why does the lord my king want to do such a thing?" King David overruled Joab and went on with his census plan.

And angel of the LORD gave king David three options:
(1) Three years of famine in his land,
(2) Three months of fleeing from his enemies while they pursue him,
(3) Three days of plague in his land.

Transparently, king David picked option # 3, and seventy thousand (70,000) people died. He became very disappointed since so many of his people died, when he was the actual sinner.

David Builds an Altar
The Angel of the LORD asked him to build an altar. He purchased the threshing floor and the surrounding land from Araunah. This site was located on Mount Moriah, north of David's city overlooking it. He later built an altar and offered burnt and fellowship offerings.

The plague on Israel came to an end.

This plot of land would later become the location for LORD'S temple.







My Thoughts
Why in the world would king David want to conduct a census? The entire Israelites had to suffer due to one man's mistakes. How can he justify so many deaths?

Araunah was willing to give the land as a gift to king David, but the king insisted on paying for it.

I am glad that this chapter came to an end. We now move on to the book of Kings :-)


2 Samuel 23


David’s Last Words
King David's last poetic testimony to Solomon. A short snippet:
‘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.’
David's Mighty Men
Any great story has a long list of credits to those who took part in it. Here are those mighty men of king David:

  • Josheb-Basshebeth the Tahkemonite
  • Eleazar ben Dodai the Ahohite
  • Shammah ben Agee the Hararite
  • Abishai ahi Joab ben Zeruiah
  • Benaiah ben Jehoiada
  • Asahel ahi Joab
  • Elhanan ben Dodo of Bethlehem
  • Shammah the Harodite
  • Elika the Harodite
  • Helez the Paltite
  • Ira ben Ikkesh of Tekoa
  • Abiezer of Anathoth
  • Mebunnai the Hushathite
  • Zalmon the Ahohite
  • Mahari the Netophathite
  • Heleb ben Baanah the Netophathite
  • Ithai ben Ribai of Gibeah of Benjamin
  • Benaiah the Pirathonite
  • Hiddai of the Ravines of Gaash
  • Abi-Albon the Arbathite
  • Azmaveth the Barhumite
  • Eliahba the Shaalbonite
  • the sons of Jashen
  • Jonathan ben Shammah the Hararite
  • Ahiam ben Sharar the Hararite
  • Eliphelet ben Ahasbai the Maakathite
  • Eliam ben Ahithophel the Gilonite
  • Hezro the Carmelite
  • Paarai the Arbite
  • Igal ben Nathan of Zobah
  • the son of Haggadi
  • Zelek the Ammonite
  • Naharai the Beerothite
  • Ira the Ithrite
  • Gareb the Ithrite
  • Uriah the Hittite 

Pay attention to the last name - Uriah made it to the list of mighty men.

My Thoughts (notes for myself)
The last poetic testimony has one word that stands out - righteousness.

Most of my readers are not even going to read a single name out of this. However it is unfair and unjust on my part to ignore them. After all, it's the work and sacrifices of these men that made David into the king David we know of.



Monday, September 9, 2013

2 Samuel 16 - 22

David fleeing Jerusalem



2 Samuel Chapter 16
Ziba provided help and support for king David. He accused Mephibosheth of treason. David shows restraint when Shimei hurls epithets and pelted stones upon. Absalom slept with David’s concubines in Jerusalem.

2 Samuel Chapter 17
Hushai delayed Ahitophel’s attack on king David. He messaged king David in time so that he could escape. Ahitophel committed suicide. David and Absalom’s prepare for battle.

2 Samuel Chapter 18
David’s army routed Absalom’s forces. Absalom's hair got tangled in a tree and was killed by Joab. Messengers told king David about Absalom's death and about the battle.

2 Samuel Chapter 19
David weept for his son. He made his way back to Jerusalem. He pardoned those who wronged him, and honors those who exalted him.

2 Samuel Chapter 20
Sheba lead the Israelites away from David spreading rumor. Joab pursued Sheba and besieges him in the city of Abel. The siege ended when a wise woman gave Joab the severed head of Sheba.

2 Samuel Chapter 21
Saul’s descendants were killed by the Gibeonites. David retired from the military. His men defeated many Philistine warriors.

2 Samuel Chapter 22
David sang a thanksgiving song praising God for saving him from his enemies.


---
-----------------------BIBLE READING------------------
WARNING: Some of the actions performed in this book are dangerous and should only be attempted by professionals familiar with the action in question.
:-)

:-)

:-)
-----------------------INSPIRATIONAL------------------



-------------------FOOD FOR THOUGHT----------------


----------------------------HUMOR--------------------

A young engineer was leaving the office at 6 p.m. when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is important, and my secretary has left for the day. Can you make this thing work?”

“Certainly,” said the young engineer. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

“Excellent, excellent!” said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy.”
--------------------Related Paintings----------------



www.flickr.com
sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset

2 Samuel 22

David's Song of Praise
David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

Here is an attempt to translate the song into prose:

1: David addressed the words of this song to the LORD, after the LORD had saved him from the hands of all his enemies and from the hands of Saul.

5-7: For the breakers of Death encompassed me, The torrents of Belial terrified me; The snares of Sheol encircled me, The toils of Death engulfed me. In my anguish I called on the LORD, Cried out to my God; In His Abode He heard my voice, My cry entered His ears.

8-11: Then the earth rocked and quaked, The foundations of heaven shook — Rocked by His indignation. Smoke went up from His nostrils, From His mouth came devouring fire; Live coals blazed forth from Him. He bent the sky and came down, Thick cloud beneath His feet. He mounted a cherub and flew; He was seen on the wings of the wind.

16: The bed of the sea was exposed, The foundations of the world were laid bare By the mighty roaring of the LORD, At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.

29-31: You, O LORD, are my lamp; The LORD lights up my darkness. With You, I can rush a barrier, With my God, I can scale a wall. The way of God is perfect, The word of the LORD is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

47-49: The LORD lives! Blessed is my rock! Exalted be God, the rock Who gives me victory; The God who has vindicated me And made peoples subject to me, Rescued me from my enemies, Raised me clear of my foes, Saved me from lawless men!



My Thoughts
One verse that caught my attention:
21 “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;

    according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.


2 Samuel 21


The Gibeonites Avenged
This event is believed to have taken place after David's kindness was extended to Jonathan's son Mephibosheth and before Absalom started his rebellion.

Saul had put the Gibeonites to death and during the reign of king David, there was a famine in the land for three years. The Gibeonites and Benjamites had neighboring territories and there was some dispute over the land.

King David in an attempt to get out to famine, reached out to Gibeonites. They wanted seven male members from Saul's family to be killed. King David handed over seven males from Saul's family accordingly. Two sons of Rizpah and five sons of Merab were handed over to be put to death.

Rizpah, Saul's concubine mourned extensively and king David came to hear about it. He then took the bones of Saul and Jonathan, along with the bodies of those seven men and buried them.

After that, LORD answered the prayers and the famine came to an end.

Wars Against Philistines
Four war related incidents are narrated in this section. They were descendants of Rapha, of Gath, who fell at the hands of king David's men.


My Thoughts
King David was pelted stones due to this incident by Shimei in chapter 19.

Verese 19 is incorrect in NIV.

2 Samuel 20

Sheba Rebels Against David
A new troublemaker named Sheba, from the Benjamite tribe caused a stir. He was jealous about the tribal transfer of royal house from Benjamite (Saul's tribe) to Judah (David's tribe).

When king David returned to Jerusalem, he isolated his ten concubines who stayed back. He providing for them, but has no further relationships.

Amasa was the chief over military and Joab now was reporting to him. The king asked Amasa to summon all elders from Judah and get back in three days. He then asked Abishai to pursue Sheba as he will turn out to be fatal than Absalom.

Joab and his men went after Sheba. On the way, they met Amasa, who had not shown up at king's place within the designated time. Joab 'smelled a rat' and killed Amasa by stabbing him. They then proceeded to Abel Beth Maakah. They built a siege ramp upto the city and were about to destroy the city.

A wise woman came out and had a word with Joab. She said not to destroy the city which has produced several valiant Israeli soldiers. Joab said he was seeking Sheba. The wise woman said, "His head will be thrown to you from the wall." After consultation with city officials.
2 Samuel 20:22 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.







My Thoughts (notes for myself)
The wise woman saved the city. There are few exceptional women, who stand for the truth and keep their word - I liked the way she acted boldly and kept her word.

King David was smart enough to understand that Sheba will turn out to be lethal than Absalom. Nice move by him.

Joab was able to spot that Amasa was a traitor and he acted accordingly.



2 Samuel 19


David Mourns (continued...)
Despite the victory of his men, king David continued mourning the death of his son, Absalom.
2 Samuel 19:4 The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Joab became bit frustrated at this and went into the king's house and questioned his actions. He said he need to encourage his troops for saving the lives of his entire family.

David Returns to Jerusalem
In the absence of a ruler, people considered bringing king David back to the throne. Every cloud has a silver lining, and king David won the hearts of all men in the kingdom. Along with all his men, king David returned to Jerusalem.

Amasa was appointed commander over Joab. This was a political move to secure the allegiance of those who followed Amasa.

Shimei, the one who pelted stones on king David came to meet him and fell prostate before him and begged for mercy. When Abishai interfered, the king said, "You have no right to interfere, and today I am the king." He pardoned Shimei.

Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son went down to meet the king. He had not trimmed his moustache, washed his clothes or taken care of his legs from the day king David left Jerusalem. The king asked him the most logical question, "Where he was, and why he did not go with king David?" Mephibosheth answered that Ziba had betrayed him and did not help him upon a saddled donkey.

The king then ordered the land to be divided between Mephibosheth and Ziba. Mephibosheth let Ziba keep the land, as he only cared about the king's safety.

In short, king David pardoned those who wronged him and honored those who stayed loyal to him.









My Thoughts (notes for myself)
Joab was right in holding a firm dialog with king David.

Shimei is a smart cookie - he knew when to pelt stones on king David and when to beg for his pardon.

Mephibosheth seems to have his father's huge heart too. He gave away all those land to his caretaker, Ziba.

King David exhibited the mark of a brilliant gentleman - by pardoning those who offended him, and by honoring those who exalted him.


2 Samuel 18


Absalom's Death (continued...)
King David made plans to face Absalom's army and planned on marching out as well. The people objected him going out for battle as his life was "worth ten thousand people." He then stayed back and while the army marched out, he commanded Joab "to be gentle" on Absalom.

The battle was fierce and twenty thousand (20,000) men fell. Absalom's mule went under an oak tree and his hair got tangled in the tree and he was left hanging there. Joab then stuck three javelins into Absalom's heart and killed him.

Joab then blew the trumpet and put an end to the bloodshed. He dug up a huge pit and threw Absalom's body into it and piled a heap of stone over it. During his lifetime Absalom had erected a monument for himself in the king's valley.

David Mourns
Messengers carried the news about Absalom's death to king David. Upon hearing it, king David wished he had died instead of his son.







My Thoughts (notes for myself)
King David was asked to stay back because they considered his life to be precious. Protecting precious ones and safeguarding them is a duty at least some of us undertake.

How awfully painful it is, to rally troops against one's own son. While Joab was heading out for the battle, king David requested him to 'be gentle' on Absalom.

Absalom's monument reminds me of a saying, “The man who deserves a monument never needs one, and the man who needs one never deserves it.”





2 Samuel 17


The Advice of Ahithophel and Hushai (continued...)
Ahitophel suggested Absalom that he would muster twelve thousand (12,000) men and go pursue king David. According to his plan, he would strike down only king David and bring the rest of the people back. Ahitophel's plan sounded good to Absalom. Ahitophel also wanted to hear Husahi's opinion and therefore he was summoned.

2 Samuel 17:7 Hushai replied to Absalom, “The advice Ahithophel has given is not good this time.

He warned that king David was a warrior himself. He then devised a better plan to gather entire Israel and Absalom lead the revolt.

2 Samuel 17:14Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.”

Hushai, being the spy, then sent messengers to king David via a female servant. When news about this female servant reached Absalom and he went chasing after. The news finally reached king David's ears and he escaped and then later prepared for battle

Ahitophel committed suicide because his own plan was not put into action.

Absalom's Death
King David was provided support in Mahanaim, his new hiding place. Absalom went chasing after king David.







My Thoughts (notes for myself)
Hushai applied his clever mind here in proposing a better plan than Ahitophel. His plan acted like a a double edged sword, rather he was able to kill two birds with one stone.

The female servant who carried the news had a close encounter with her life, but was protected by the divine presence.




2 Samuel 16



David and Ziba
Whenever a kingdom breaks down or there is shift in leadership, an uncertainly looms and loyalty of an individual is questionable. The revolt in Jerusalem was widespread and loyalty was uncertain. Ziba, Mephibosheth's estate keeper met king David on his way and brought him donkeys loaded with bread, cakes, figs, raisins and wine. When asked about Mephibosheth, Ziba said that he had sided with Absalom, hoping for Saul's kingdom to be restored. Hearing this, king David took away all those estates which belonged to Mephibosheth and gave it to Ziba.  Ziba gladly accepted the offer.

Shimei Curses David
Some historians regard this event occurred after those events in chapter 21, which makes sense. I would encourage readers to go read chapter 21 and then come back to this section.

Shimei belonged to the same Benjamite clan which Saul belonged to. While king David was travelling near Bahurim, Shimei came pelting stones at king David and cursing him for all the death in Saul's family.
2 Samuel 16:7 As he cursed, Shimei said, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel!
Abishai became infuriated when he heard this, but king David calmed him down. Per king David, his own son was trying to kill him, and this insult was nothing compared to that and suggested that they move on.

The Advice of Ahithophel and Hushai
Ahithophel had betrayed and deserted  king David to side with Absalom. He was the grandfather of Bathsheba. His character is similar to that of Judas in the New Testament. Ahithophel had come to Jerusalem with Absalom, when they met Hushai, king David's spy.

Hushai said that his allegiance was to the throne and he decided to stay back, rather than going with king David.

When Absalom inquired with Ahithophel, what to do next, he advised Absalom to sleep with king David's concubines. Two reasons cited for this advice are: (a) to display to the public that Absalom was manly enough and powerful as king David, (b) for Ahithophel to take revenge upon king David for abusing Bathsheba, who was his son's daughter. In any case, Absalom did as Ahithophel advised, and prophet Nathan's prophecy came true as in 2 Samuel 12:11:
2 Samuel 16:22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
Absalom took all those advises which Ahithophel provided.






My Thoughts (notes for myself)
Ziba, Mephibosheth's estate keeper seems like an opportunist. He knows when to surface and what to say. When king David inquired about any survivors from Saul's house, he was quick to answer and thus became the estate keeper. Now, in an act of pleasing king David, he obtained those estates for himself.

Shimei is filled with rage, and when someone expresses such rage, one has to be careful. Such rage will never fade away from their minds. It could be pacified temporarily through reconciliation, but can grow into a flame one day. Leaders should make note of such people and deal with them accordingly.

Ahithophel is a snake-like character. Once he was loyal to king David, and now he shows his loyalty to Absalom. Such people can never be trusted. If there was a third person, he would side with him.

Hushai, the spy seems to be performing well, without blowing up his cover.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

2 Samuel 9 - 15

David Bathsheba and Solomon

Today we look at 2 Samuel chapters 9 thru 11

2 Samuel Chapter 9
After ascending the throne, King David wished to honor one of Saul's descendants. He learned about Jonathan's son Mephibosheth and gave him land. He also granted him servants to look after the land. Finally, Mephibosheth was honored to permanent seat at the King's table.

2 Samuel Chapter 10
When the Ammonite king died, King David sent courtiers to the king of Ammon to express his condolence. They were mistaken for spies and publicly humiliated. King David assembled his army and routed the combined Ammonite and Aramean army.

2 Samuel Chapter 11
King David was filled with lust, when he noticed a sexy woman bathing. He later impregnated this married woman named Bathsheba. He attempted to cover-up her pregnancy by having Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah sleep with her. Being a patriotic soldier, he refused to go home. King David had him killed in the war and later took Bathsheba as his own wife.

2 Samuel Chapter 12
Prophet Nathan condemned King David by narrating a parable. King David and Bathsheba’s first son died. They then had a second son and named him Solomon. King David’s generals conquered the Ammonite capital.

2 Samuel Chapter 13
Amnon was filled with lust towards his sister Tamar. He then devised a scheme to get her near him, which led to her rape. As a revenge, Absalom killed Amnon and fled Jerusalem.

2 Samuel Chapter 14
King David pardoned a man for killing his brother. He then decided to forgive his son, Absolom, for Amnon's murder. Absalom was brought back to Jerusalem to meet up with King David.

2 Samuel Chapter 15
Absalom along with few of King David's associates lead a revolt and forced David to flee Jerusalem. David send spies to Jerusalem to learn about the situation.

---

-----------------------BIBLE READING------------------
WARNING: Some of the actions performed in this book are dangerous and should only be attempted by professionals familiar with the action in question.
:-)

:-)

:-)
-----------------------INSPIRATIONAL------------------



-------------------FOOD FOR THOUGHT----------------


----------------------------HUMOR--------------------

A couple were in the fast food drive-thru. The wife ordered a milkshake with her burger. The husband pointed out that she had a lot of weight to lose, and this was not the idea food while she was on a diet.

The wife did not speak a word, but was chewing on those words that he spoke. There were few cars in front of them and it took few extra minutes to reach the counter.

Handing over the burger and milkshake, the teenager said,

“Sorry about the wait, ma'am.”

“That’s okay,” the wife replied. “I’m going to lose it.”

--------------------Related Paintings----------------



www.flickr.com
sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset




2 Samuel 15

Absalom on chariot

Absalom’s Conspiracy
Wherever Absalom went, chariots, horses and fifty men would run ahead of him. Absalom stood at the city gates early morning and met those who came to the court for judgement. He won the hearts of the people through his actions.
2 Samuel 15:5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.
After four years, he met king David and told him he was heading to Hebron to make some vow. the king agreed to his desire. In the meantime, he was conspiring with other officials in the kings' court, without the king's knowledge. Once in Hebron, he gathered men to shout, "Absalom is king in Hebron." This slogan gained momentum and news reached king David.

David Flees
When king David was told that the hearts of the people were with Absalom, his advisers recommended him to flee the land. The king took his entire family and fled; only ten of his concubines stayed back. The Ark of the Covenant and the Levite priest Zadok was with king David. Then the king asked the Levite, Zadok to return the Ark to Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 15:25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD'S eyes, He will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. 26 But if He says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to Him.”
King David climbed Mount Olive and wept. Hushai, king David's confident was asked to spy on Absalom's movements in Jerusalem.









My Thoughts (notes for myself)
Am wondering why king David did not know of Absalom's movements earlier. Why did he not make Absalom as one of the judges, if people favored him.

Conspiracy and bloodless coup goes hand in hand with monarchy. The leaders need to understand that their reign will not last forever and should find a follower soon. In this case, I guess king David probably did not make Absalom a judge because he knew about his persona. There is no mention about how God-fearing was Absalom.













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2 Samuel 14

King David pardons Absalom as Joab looks on

Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
King David missed his son Absalom and his absence worried him. Joab knew about this and one day he sent a woman to King David with a fabricated story. In that story, she was a widow, and had two sons. One of the sons struck the other and killed him. Now the entire clan was after avenging his death. If they would put her living son to death, she would not have any further descendants. She therefore sought mercy from the King.

King David granted her wish, and forgave her son. She then prolonged the conversation and asked him why he would not forgive Absalom who killed Amnon. King David knew she was beating around the bush.
19 The king asked, “Isn’t the hand of Joab with you in all this?”
The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant.
The king pardoned Absalom and asked Joab to go to Gesher and bring back Absalom. He stayed in Jerusalem without seeing the king's face for two years. Later, he went to king David and met him.







My Thoughts (notes for myself)
Sometimes it is necessary to field a story in another way to get the person's attention. We hear similar stories of the wise in Akbar and Birbal.

Whatever Joab did is commendable, for he knew the king's heart and wanted to put him at peace. A cheerful and peaceful ruler will make sound decisions - good for the family and everyone.

2 Samuel 13

Amnon and Tamar

Amnon and Tamar
Here are the characters who appear in this story:
Amnon - firstborn son of King David & Ahinoam
Absalom - son of King David  & Princess Maakah, of Geshur
Tamar - daughter of King David & Princess Maakah, of Geshur
Jonadab - son of King David's brother, Shimeah
Both Absalom and Tamar were very attractive and had luxuriant hair. Absalom was the most handsome man in the entire Israel. Tamar was very beautiful girl who remained a virgin. Amnon was in love with his half-sister, Tamar. An unruly and unbridled lusts raged in him. However, he could not get near her. Jonadab, son of King David's brother devised a scheme and asked Amnon to lie down in his bed, pretending to be sick. When king David visited him, he was to request the king to send Tamar to cook food for him. The plan worked and the king did so.

When Tamar gave him the cooked food, he caught hold of her. Tamar pleaded with him, saying
12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing.
Amnon gave no attention to her words. Using his physical strength, he subdued her and raped her, against her wish. After his lust was gratified, he hated her more than he loved her earlier. He then insisted her to get of his sight with immediate departure. Tamar begged again not to do this to her, but Amnon would give no heed to her words. She was dragged out of his chamber by means of force and the door was shut.

When Tamar's brother Absalom learned about the disgrace that was brought upon his sister, he waited for a right opportunity to take revenge. He pacified Tamar and asked her to stay calm. King David learned about this incident and did not take any action or issue any punishment.

After two years, when Ammon was drunk, Absalom killed him. He then fled to Geshur, his mother's place and stayed there for three years.

King David mourned due to this sad incident, death of Amnon and now, because of the absence of Absalom.












My Thoughts (Notes for myself)
Advisers like Jonadab can lead many of us into trouble. Before taking the advice from a person, I should watch the personality and character of the person am I seeking advice from. Any day, I can blindly reach out to my parents to seek their advice - their advice will never lead my astray.

The same is true when it comes to spiritual advice as well. I ought to be examine whether the advice I am receiving is from a Godly person who has no hidden agenda, whatsoever. I am still searching for such a spiritual guide. For now, I am looking heavenward to get those.

While children are growing up and once they reach the age of puberty, they start exploring their own bodies and naturally they get attracted to the opposite sex. They try hard to keep the urge of having sex under control. Based on the surroundings in which one is growing up, one could develop a passion towards someone sassy. Most often it one's cousins or close relatives. Given an opportunity, this could lead to a beginner's experimentation of sexual pleasures. When shared these adventures with a close friend, or people like Jonadab, they may very well add fuel to the passion by suggesting schemes, which will not put them in jeopardy.

Absalom waited for two years to take his revenge and the occasion he chose was when Amnon was drunk. When one is drunk, he/she is in a blissful world, forgetting the reality. It turns out to be the perfect occasion to extract one's mind, as alcohol let's one's guard down. Only those who are sober will stay alert at all times.

As parents, it is one's duty to shield children being pushed into 'questionable environments' during family gatherings, festivals and weddings. If I had a son or a daughter, I should consider them as the biggest gift from the LORD and it's my sole responsibility to protect them; not to expose them to an environment which could eventually lead them to develop a lustful mind. In this country, I should by all means, protect my sons and daughters from environments wherein alcohol is being served, especially after sunset. Children may "take off" to a dark location to begin their sexual experimentation. Further, at such liquor centered gathering, it is almost impossible to say who is drunk to a point where one is eyeing another's spouse with lustful eyes. One should only blame the self if one's spouse is "gone missing" for a brief period just like those children.

It is so easy for me to get carried away while I am with my friends and seldom pay attention to what my children are engaged in. Having one's grandparents at such occasion is an added relief as they would keep an eye over the children.  In the end, I am responsible for the welfare of my entire family, and LORD would question me first. I think King David should have been wise enough to know that sending Tamar alone near Amnon was a good move.

If Tamar was a wise girl, she should have known from Amnon's vibes and safeguarded herself by taking an accomplice while cooking for him. LORD has given girls this instinct which tells them if a particular environment is safe or not - which works most of the time.

Once Amnon's lust was gratified, he was 'done' with Tamar and treated her with utter disrespect by dragging her out of his chamber. To a woman, this is equivalent to using her. The shock of such incidents will always haunt her. Most women will not share the fact that they were raped, for the fear of shame and subsequent events.

Another sad chapter where evil intentions triumphing over good and innocent people.





Credits: http://arts.mythologica.fr/artist-t/tiarini.htm

2 Samuel 12

Nathan rebukes David

Nathan Rebukes David
Prophet Nathan came to meet King David and told him a parable. He started by saying, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor." He caught King David's attention and continued, 
2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
Nathan in a calm voice, said, "You are the man." It was severe blow thrust upon King David's face, and he felt slapped. Nathan then explained the punishment which LORD was about to inflict upon Him - his life would be spared, but not the child's. There was more to follow: 
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.’”
King David repented for his deeds. When Bathseba became ill, King David prayed earnestly and began fasting. Soon, news arrived that the newborn baby was dead.

The Birth of Solomon
King David comforted Bathsheba. They then had another child, and named him Solomon :-) Happy Birthday Solomon! The LORD loved him and he was also known as Jedidah - meaning, loved by the LORD.

In the meantime, the Israelites mustered courage and captured the Ammonite citadel, and captured great plunder, which they brought to Jerusalem.







My Thoughts (notes for myself)
I am looking at the painting above, to grasp the message which the artist is trying to convey. Notice how Prophet Nathan rebukes king David for wrongdoing. Again, this is the king of Israel whom he is rebuking. What authority does he have, over the king to reproach, chastise and to scold him? The simple answer is - the power of truth. When one is truthful and stands with it, without swaying to the left or right, he/she gets that colossal audacity to stand firm without fearing anyone. Those who experience how it feels to stick around with truth, will never experience fear, and can thus walk with his/her head high anywhere. I should attain that level of boldness and fear none other than the LORD.

On the positive side, king David seems to have some righteousness in his thoughts, when Prophet Nathan narrated a parable. King David admitted his wrongdoing and repented. The first instinct of many such situation is to plead "not guilty" and instead provide excuses. It takes a lot of courage to admit wrongdoing.

The punishment LORD giving king David seems to be quite harsh. The Bible mentions it in detail. However, king David cannot flee the wrath of the LORD. I am guessing here that his love for Bathsheba was so much that he was willing to endure any punishment for the sake of her love.

The birth of Solomon is exciting. He remains as my hero in the field of wisdom. The more I read about his wisdom, more I wonder how a human being can amass such level of wisdom.



2 Samuel 11


David and Bathsheba
King David was a prophet, who was told by the LORD that one of his descendants will take up his throne. When he saw Bathsheba taking a bath from his palace window, he knew this was the beautiful woman he was waiting for. He then inquired about her and found out that her husband Uriah was engaged in the war.

In those days, when men proceeded for war, they took a formal divorce from their wives as a precaution. In the event a man was killed in the battle, this divorce helped the wife to remarry and continue their life. Uriah had taken such a divorce from Bathsheba.

King David invited Bathsheba to his palace to learn more about her. Once he got to know her better, he was then interested in marrying her. For this, he summoned Uriah, who was at the battlefield. When king David expressed his desire to Uriah, he insulted king David. Insulting a king was considered high treason. King David thought about issuing capital punishment to Uriah, but withheld it thinking it may create 'lot of noise' in his kingdom, as it was a sensitive topic which could lead to a trial. Further, the country was in a state of high alert due to war with Ammonites.

Uriah was sent back to the battlefield. King David issued an order to Joab saying that the lives of other soldiers should not be endangered for the sake of Uriah, as he already deserved death penalty. Uriah was killed in the battle, at the hands of Ammonites archers. Bathsheba mourned the death of Uriah. Later, king David married Bathsheba.

King David soon learned that his actions had angered the LORD, and he repented.

-----------------------------

Puzzled?

Were you expecting to hear a different story?

This is how certain people narrate the story of king David and Bathsheba.
I really encourage everyone to read the word of God from the Holy Bible, so that we cannot be manipulated.

Now, read this story below:

-------------------------------


David and Bathsheba
We are now in Jerusalem, and here is one of the most sought-after stories in the entire bible. It contains all those sordid elements of 'masala' such as lies, deception, adultery, scandal, murder, cover-up, heartache, pain, and loss. This story also serves as a chronicle that narrates the epitome of female empowerment which ultimately led to the downfall of King David.

King David’s army had gone out to war, and he stayed back in Jerusalem. This was the season when the heat of the year had declined as the rains were over, the fields were filled with grass, corn fields were ripe and fruits were plentiful on the trees.

From the balcony of his place, King David saw a beautiful woman who appeared to be overly sexy bathing on her rooftop. She caught King David's attention and he lusted for her. He then sent out men to inquire about her, they told him it was Batsheba, the wife of Uriah.

King David invited her over to his palace, so that he could get to know her better. They then spent the night together passionately. In this act, King David impregnated Batsheba.

In an effort to cover up his deeds, King David sent note to Joab to sent Uriah home from the battlefield. His calculations were such that during his furlough, Uriah would go home and spend time with his wife. Bathsheba's offspring would then appear to be Uriah's.
8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.
Against King David's calculations, Uriah's patriotism refused to indulge in matrimonial pleasures during a time of war. King David learned that Uriah had encamped at the palace itself, even though his house was a stone's throw away. He then chalked out another scheme - 'plan B' to let Uriah's guard down by getting him drunk.
12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.
As two earlier schemes did not work out, King David soon moved to 'plan C' - to first push the patriotic Uriah to the front-lines of the battle and then to withdraw troops so that Uriah would would get killed, without learning his wife's infidelity. King David could then marry Bathsheba.

In a desperate measure, King David drafted a message to Joab. Uriah promptly handed over the message to Joab, which contained his own death warrant. Joab put King David's plan in to action and got Uriah killed.

King David was then told about Uriah's death, in a follow up communication. Upon hearing the death of her husband, Batsheba lamented. Once the lamentation period was over, King David took her as his next wife.













My Thoughts (notes for myself)
Earlier I thought her name to be Bethsheba. Only when I paid close attention, did I realize that it was spelled with an 'a' - Bath-sheba. The name has no connotation of she taking a 'bath' in King David's full view.

According to Uraih's thoughts, his comrades and bosses were waging war and he deprived domestic enjoyment. I wonder how many individuals around me are as patriotic and dedicated as him.

Bathsheba tried to seduce king David. Women know that about 97% of guys will enjoy and cannot take their eyes off of a nude woman right in front of them. While on beaches, it takes extreme discipline of mind to avoid looking at those women clad in thongs and G-strings, exposing their skin. It goes like this - if a guy attempts to train his mind not to look at women's nudity, it is fairly easy not to stare at nude women; look at a semi-nude woman for about a minute, and they want to see more!

Any scathing critique of king David would say that it was his job to protect and take care of his own people - men and women. King David made another cynical comment that death of men are inevitable in any war. King David was not afraid to commit a murder by proxy to cover up his adultery.

The case of king David and Bathsheba can take place in today's world as well. Such temptations prevail throughout history in every culture. It's only through LORD'S blessings that one can escape such situations and temptations. I should do my best never to allow emotionally wrought situations to sway me from the truth and teachings of the LORD. In every walk of life, I should expect to be tempted and be prepared to face it. James 1:14 teaches: But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.

Church Sanctified Adultery is a concept in which one can engage in sexual relations with another’s companion. They can then “repent” and later resume the identical acts in which they were formerly engaged. Many individuals welcome this idea and adhere to this concept.

Several spiritual leaders have this diabolic skill of twisting the scripture to favor their followers. They teach that adultery, followed by a repentance is acceptable by the LORD, such as the case of king David, and the birth of Solomon. They conclude that we can enter into an adulterous relationship, repent and then continue on with that relationship. I should not blindly believe any spiritual leader, as only LORD knows their true intentions.

For anyone fighting temptation, the best biblical verse I can think of is, 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.









2 Samuel 10


David's men humiliated

David Defeats the Ammonites

King David heard the death of Ammonite king and sent courtiers to express his sympathy as the Ammonite king had helped David while he was in exile. The new king, Hanun's commander suggested that King David had sent spies under the pretext of condolences. Listening to this advice, Hanun humiliated the courtiers.
2 Samuel 10:4 So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away.
 King David upon hearing this news, dealt with his courtiers.
2 Samuel 10:5 When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet the men, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.”
The Ammonites realized they had become obnoxious to King David and prepared their army for war, by hiring men from neighboring countries of Beth Rehob, Zobah, Maakah and Tob.

King David's commanders, Joab and Abishai lead the Israelite army to victory by chasing them away. The enemy soldiers regrouped and decided to retaliate. King David heard about this and gathered the soldiers in Israel to go fight them.
2 Samuel 10:18 But they fled before Israel, and David killed seven hundred of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers. He also struck down Shobak the commander of their army, and he died there.
King David emerged victorious.







My Thoughts (notes for myself)
Humiliating others is a enjoyable pastime to many. Those who humiliate others are using some sort of power or position vested within them.

Being humiliated in front of others is a disgrace, and is not easy to bear it. I wish nobody endures humiliation at the hands of others. At times of humiliation, all one can do is look heavenwards and pray for strength. When in such situations, I take a moment and think about Jesus, who was humiliated the most, for doing the right thing.

King David's anger here can be considered as 'righteous anger.'


.





2 Samuel 9

Mephibosheth Pleads with David

David and Mephibosheth
This is a beautiful chapter that brought out the best in King David. Any king will naturally eliminate all his enemies after taking up the throne. King David, on the other hand, took special care to ensure everyone in Saul's family was cared for.
2 Samuel 9:1 David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
One of Saul's servant, Ziba, mentioned about Jonathan's cripped son, Mephibosheth. King David showed special kindness towards him due his physical condition and above all, the place Jonathan had in his mind. He summoned Mephibosheth and said,
2 Samuel 9:7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Ziba was asked to become steward of these lands and provide them to Mephibosheth. Further, he honored Mephibosheth by always being able to eat at the King's table.








My Thoughts (notes for myself)
In light of this chapter, I am wondering if the real reason of King David bringing his first wife Michal to his home was to provide the best possible care - she was Saul's younger daughter, and Jonathan's sister. Michal, when she was young, loved King David and longed to marry him when he was an ordinary 'David.' I bet the love she had in her heart meant only good for him. Michal must have rebuked King David in the earlier chapter, due to her immense love towards him, when he was dancing 'semi-nude' in front of those slave girls. I believe she must have done so, to to correct him. Women, when they have excellent intentions, sometimes use harsh words and language to rebuke a loved one, which often sends a wrong message to those men receiving it. I ought to choose my words carefully while conveying a message - rethink and rephrase what I am about to convey; for it is said, 'thoughtless words can inflict cureless wounds.'

How nice of King David to provide support to Mephibosheth by honoring him by providing a permanent place at the King's table. Those with disabilities fill a unique position in LORD'S plan and it's my moral duty and obligation to bestow love, honor, respect and care for such individuals.




Friday, September 6, 2013

2 Samuel 1 - 8

King David playing Harp

(Note: Am running late and could not post any new pictures/paintings for other chapters. Shall update later)

2 Samuel Chapter 1 
The story begins with David’s grief over Saul’s and Jonathan's death and he sings for them.

2 Samuel Chapter 2 
David is being formally installed as king of Judah.

2 Samuel Chapter 3
There was a challenge to David’s rule by Saul’s house. Civil war erupted between Judah and Israel, and King David is dealing with it.

2 Samuel Chapter 4 
Saul's son Ish-Bosheth is murdered and King David punished his killers.

2 Samuel Chapter 5 
King David consolidated his rule by friendship and alliances with neighboring powers. Jerusalem was captured and King David moved in.

2 Samuel Chapter 6 
Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel Chapter 7
LORD made a promise to King David and spoke through prophet Nathan.

2 Samuel Chapter 8 
King David had numerous victories and the LORD was with him.



--
-----------------------BIBLE READING------------------
WARNING: Some of the actions performed in this book are dangerous and should only be attempted by professionals familiar with the action in question.

:-)

:-)

:-)
-----------------------INSPIRATIONAL------------------



-------------------FOOD FOR THOUGHT----------------


----------------------------HUMOR--------------------

A Sunday School teacher began her lesson with a question, "Boys and girls, what do we know about God?"
A hand shot up in the air. "He is an artist!" said the first grade boy.
"Really? How do you know?" the teacher asked.
"You know - Our Father, who does art in Heaven... "

--------------------Related Paintings----------------



www.flickr.com
sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset