David Psalms When David died he was buried in Jerusalem (also known as the city of David).

Day 126 (May 6): David’s last words to Solomon, stands against sin, pleads for redemption, marvels at God’s creation, heralds God, David dies, God judges

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org.

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s reading
1 Kings 2:1-9
2 Samuel 23:1-7
1 Kings 2:10-12
1 Chronicles 29:26-30
Psalms 4-6
Psalms 8-9
Psalm 11
(970-979 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

We are getting heavy into the Psalms of David.  For background information on Psalms, check out http://biblesummary.org/psalms/1.htm

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Kings 2:5): So, we finally see that King David has a bit more punishment for Joab.  Maybe since David is honoring God in the previous verses, David has God’s blessing to order Solomon to punish Joab?

A. Joab has continuously lived by the sword (in assassinating rivals to further his own career), and because of that, he will die by it.

Q. (2:8-9): So David promised not to kill Shimei, but he’s almost ordering his son to, and it sounds like he wants him to brutally murder him.

A. It is not David’s best moment, but cursing a ruler (as Shimei did) was against the Law (Exodus 22:28) and such behavior was rightly punished by death.  In his wisdom, Solomon will not take his father’s advice, and will offer Shimei a way out similar to the city of refuge.  You’ll see what happens whenever the reading picks up in Kings again.

Q. (2 Samuel 23:2-4): I am confused here if the verses are describing David or the Lord.  If it’s David, he’s getting a little arrogant on his deathbed.  Am I reading this wrong?

A. Actually, its neither David, strictly speaking, or God.  These verses are about the idealized king of Israel, which will be seen as Jesus Christ, who rules through the righteousness of God.  David is not speaking of himself here, but rather casting a vision of what those who follow after him — beginning with his son Solomon — should seek to match.

Q. (Psalm 4:2): Do you have any idea of whom David is saying is ruining his reputation?

A. No one specific, just his enemies, of which David has plenty all of his life.

Q. (Psalm 4:6-8): This is an interesting set of verses.  From our readings thus far, I don’t think we have seen where God has shown his anger and caused hard times unless the people were disobeying/dishonoring God, except for Job and even then, Job had to battle with his ego a bit.  I think it’s safe to say that humans cause their own bad times.  But, what I get from this verse is that, regardless if you are in good or bad times, the only peace you can find is in God.

A. I think that is a very fair reading of the verses.

Q. (Psalm 5:1-6): To me in 1-3, David is telling God to “wake up and look at me.”  This sounds selfish and disrespectful to me.  Of course, God is listening.  In verses 4-6, David is telling God what he is like.  I think God would know himself pretty well.  Verses 7-8 sound to me like they would be more pleasing to God.  In verses 9-10, David sounds like he is judging and asking God for his blessing.  Verses 11-12 are awesome.  So, why does David change his delivery so much?  This was an earlier Psalm, maybe he’ll become more reverent as we go?

A. Don’t count on reverence as we go.  The Psalms jump through all kinds of emotions all over the place.  Also, the poems are compiled into five different books (something that frankly will be difficult for us to see in this particular breakdown, obviously), and we don’t know exactly who did the editing or why.  So, there is no reason to assume that they are assembled chronologically: we cannot assume that just because the Psalms are listed 8, 9, 10, that this was the order they were written in.  Do not assume that the order the Psalms are placed in has any bearing on their “age.”

As to the irreverent content of the Psalm, all people go through frustrating periods where we feel that things are not going well, and it is human nature to blame God when things are not necessarily going right.  So when the writer says, “why aren’t you watching,” perhaps he really means, “why aren’t you doing what I asked you to, God?”  As I said, don’t expect that to stop here.  The Psalms are filled with human emotion at its most raw, and in places like that, God is rarely treated with the full reverence he deserves.

Q. All of these psalms tell what instruments are supposed to accompany them.  I guess this gives us a picture of the Levites who were assigned to music?  So, these songs would be sung/performed in the temple for a congregation to hear?

A. They were probably used for worship of some sort, but it is hard to tell exactly what these poems were used for in the ancient world.  It seems likely to me that David and other kings had these songs/poems performed in his court as part of his public acts of worship.

Q. (Psalm 6): This describes how David’s faith in the Lord is strong.  But David is sorrowful because he doesn’t feel God’s involvement in his life.  Rob, can you talk about this?  Why do we feel such a strong pull toward God at times or like he is giving us clear direction and other times he seems so far?

A. We all go through periods of life when God feels closer or more distant.  Some of that, frankly, has to do with how we are choosing God over our sins, and walking closely with Him, but having a good handle in the sin in our lives (hahahaha) is no guarantee that God will feel close.

In his book The Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis has a very insightful passage about God feeling close or distant.  He notes that the ultimate goal of God’s relationship with human beings is to have them as faithful children, not infants.  If you know anything about the process of helping an infant or toddler grow into being a child, there are a number of often-painful steps in the process.  A toddler must learn how to walk, and the only way for that to happen is for the parent to withdraw their hand.  Many times the toddler will fall at first, but if the parent never lets go, the child never learns to walk on his own.  Our spiritual walk, Lewis says, can be seen in the same way.  When we first commit to God, we often feel very close to God, but eventually, that emotional relationship must change, as all relationships do.  And God must begin to “withdraw His hand,” if you will, in order for us to “walk.”  It is the ultimate test of a believer in Christ to be getting radio silence from God, to not feel Him at all, and still obey what God commands.  That is the surest sign of a faithful follower.  I hope that helps.

O. (Psalm 8): It is amazing that God cares for humans so much.  There are so many more things that seem much more majestic than us: mountains, stars, oceans, baby animals (!).  And, yet, he chose us to share his kingdom with.

Q. (Psalm 9:8): We have talked of fairness before.  In many of the Bible stories thus far, it seems to me that God’s wrath was not always fair.  The more I read, the more I  understand — or accept — God’s actions.  But, to say He is fair.  I don’t think God ever said He was fair.  I thought we talked about fairness being something of a modern term.  I guess they did have judges back then to hear cases.  But, would you consider God fair?  I’m not saying He has to be, He’s God.  He can do whatever He wants.  I envision when our judgment day happens, we will be judged with fairness.

A. To be judged fairly was one of the earliest questions of God by a man (Abraham to be specific, see Genesis 18), and Abraham’s conclusion is that we will be judged rightly by the ultimate Judge.  Is God fair?  That depends on whom you ask, I suppose.  It is perfectly reasonable to expect God to be fair to us, but ultimately, God does not answer to us, we answer to Him.

Q. (Psalm 10:18): The American version of “poor.”  We are definitely not poor.  We have food, shelter, some savings.  What we don’t have much of is disposable income.  So, every month we go through our small budget fast and have to shift some money around and pray for some work — we do that a lot and yes, the work comes!  I pray for enough money so we don’t have to scramble and we can focus on other things, like this blog and having the time — not working, relying solely on my husband’s job — to develop it into something more, what God is telling me to do with it.  And, I think when we past the lottery billboards — the last one I saw said it was up to $191 million — that if I won that, we could give a huge chunk of money to our kid’s school, enough for them to build a new school and give money for more scholarships.  Then, I would pay for all the mortgages of my family and close friends and totally give, give, give to charities.  But, God hasn’t given me the winning six numbers.  When He does, I’m making a bee-line to buy a ticket.  But, as I have seen on TV, big sums of money are often the root of huge sorrow.  So, I guess we’ll just keep on asking God for guidance.  Then, when I see all the starving nations, it makes me feel super selfish!  Like our pastor recently said, God gives you what you need when you need it.

A. Feel free to ask God for whatever you like.  Nothing wrong with that.  Just be careful about what God might expect of you in return!  While we are free to seek out financial peace via the lottery or other wishful thinking (sorry!), it is ultimately our responsibility to be faithful to WHATEVER God gives to us.  This means being generous to everyone, especially those who need it — whether they are poor or not — supporting ministries and churches that you feel God leading you to support, and being a good steward of what God has provided.  That, ultimately, is what God desires of us when it comes to spending: Be a good steward, and to trust Him to take care of the rest.

Q. (Psalm 11): These first verses remind me of my questions about when David fled from enemies.  I was wondering why God wouldn’t protect him and defeat the enemies at all times.  But, I guess we just need to keep in tune with God and do what he tells us.  If he tells us to hold down, stay, if he tells us to flee, run.

A. Sometimes there is great wisdom in fleeing as we saw with David. And sometimes, we must act on what we believe is God’s order to stand our ground.  As with all of these issues we’ve been looking at today, we must trust that God will make the matter clear enough for us to act wisely, but I would say if God tells you to run, get going!

For more interest: How do you know if God is at work in your life? https://p2c.com/students/articles/how-to-know-if-god-is-working-in-your-life/

Shop: With God at your wheel, you will have a Good Life indeed! https://livinlight.org/product/overflow-t-shirt-2/

Tomorrow’s reading
— Psalms 12-17
— Psalms 19-21

Solomon's title threatened. Adonijah attempted to take the throne from Solomon.

Day 125 (May 5): David’s belongings help build temple, Solomon anointed king, his brother tries to claim throne, David quickly plans to king Solomon

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org.

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
1 Chronicles 29:1-22
1 Kings 1
(970 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Chronicles 29:1-22): As we read this story, should we keep in mind that it is 1 Chronicles, where the author may have glorified the actual happenings to paint a prettier picture of King David’s rule?

A. That is always something to have in mind at this point.  We certainly get a “rosy” vision of David, but I would also say that there is not much going on here that is outside of the established character of David: He is willing to make great sacrifices on behalf of his God, and this is just one more instance of it.  It is quite clear why David is held up as an OT example for others to follow, even with his obvious shortcomings.

Q. (1 King 1:1-4): What?  I guess this is a “give the king his last dying wish?”  Whatever the reason is, I’m sure it’s not that important — as I have learned.  But, why include it here?  From the text, we never see David spending much time with his sons.  Maybe this is why they are so at odds.  The brothers didn’t have a strong family nucleus with their father or each other?

A. The historian Josephus mentions the “medical” practice of using a healthy person to keep the elderly warm, so it appears that this was an accepted practice in this day.  It appears to be part of the process of making David as comfortable as possible in his final days.  Verse 6 would seem to indicate that David was quite lax in his discipline of his boys, even where it was quite clear what he desired — for Solomon, not any of his other sons, to be king.  David excelled at many things, but it appears that being father of the year was not one of them — and just one more place where the king’s polygamy created unnecessary tension.

Q. (1:5-6): These people seem to be so fickle.  If there was such a huge celebration for Solomon to become king, then why is there an opposing side thinking that they can defeat the named king?

A. Both Solomon and his brother are powerful men, so it is most likely that many who joined Adonijah are hedging their bets as to who will be the “true” king.  They want to be in the good graces of such a powerful monarch, and one of the best ways was to be on his side and cheering for him, right up until the moment someone else prevails.  Fickle is right.

Q. (1:7): Joab sure is a hard one to figure out.  He has always stood beside King David, though he definitely wasn’t completely obedient.  But, if King David named Solomon the next king, then I would think Joab would support Solomon.  On a side note, Joab has to be getting very old too!

A. He is, and this decision to not follow Solomon will be a costly one for him.  Technically, Adonijah is probably, by society’s standards, the right choice for king. He was most likely the oldest surviving son, and the logical choice to be king.  So it is not surprising that Joab followed him.  But as with David, man’s choice for king was not God’s choice.

Q. (1:31): This is a sideline question.  People bow before the king.  Is this OK with God?  I am not sure how God views bowing to anyone except him.  Some people around the world greet one another with a bow, showing a sign of respect.  This came up once when President Obama bowed to a foreign leader.  I was taking a martial arts class with my daughter and we were supposed to bow when you entered the dojo and when we left, I believe, as a sign of respect to the master.  I did not like this one bit.  I have never met the master who is in another part of the world.  I bow my head to God when I pray, but rarely a full-body bow.  I definitely don’t feel like bowing to someone that I don’t know, or moreover, someone who isn’t God.

A. I think there is a fine line between bowing in respect for a leader or another person, and “bowing your heart” to an idol.  Bowing your heart to anything other than God is obviously not what God desires, but I don’t see a particular problem with showing respect for others, as long as it is not worship.

Q. (1:34): Solomon has already been anointed.

A. Anointing is a public ceremony, so I’m not surprised that Solomon is anointed many times.  There wouldn’t have been any CNN covering the ceremony, so the repeated anointing might have had something to do with different people being involved in the process.  Part of the reason for this particular ceremony is David’s desire to publicly make it crystal clear who the king is going to be.

Q. (1:50): Adonijah was afraid of Solomon because he had David and the Lord backing him?  I would think that Adonijah would die from grabbing the horns of the altar.  Maybe he has learned from observing the Lord’s power and will be obedient to Solomon?

A. The horns of the altar are not the same as the Ark, which is what was not to be touched.  The horns of the alter were the place where sacrifices were made, and would have been seen as a place of mercy and surrender.  This is most likely what Adonijah is attempting to convey: I have sinned against the true king, my brother, and need his forgiveness and mercy.

For further reading: David had a big family!  Here’s the list — of sons, anyway, https://www.christianity.com/wiki/people/sons-of-david.html

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— 1 Kings 2:1-9
— 2 Samuel 23:1-7
— 1 Kings 2:10-12
— 1 Chronicles 29:26-30
— Psalms 4-6, 8-9, 11

David instructs Solomon on plans for the temple and encourages to seek God

Day 124 (May 4): Gatekeeper duties, treasurers, military commanders, military divisions, tribal leaders, officials, David instructs Solomon

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
1 Chronicles 26-28
(979-970 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Chronicles 27:25-31): Why does the king have so many possessions?  I just thought kings were there to rule and have a fancy place to live with fancy things in it and nice clothes.  Why olive oil, sheep, goats, donkeys, etc.?

A. Well, it is clear from this text that he had a lot of people in his “employment,” so that is probably part of your answer.  From what I understand, being a king involved regular work as the ambassador of your nation to those around you.  We will see more of this type of activity under Solomon than we did with David.  In order to make an impact, I suspect part of what a king would do would be to share the goods that they had stockpiled in order to make a good impression.  It would be a great way to “grease the wheels” of diplomacy.  The other thing I could see is the king’s court could serve as a kind of storehouse for the nation, so that since the king controlled these things like food, he could distribute them to those who had need.  I have no idea if David actually did this or not, but it sounds like something God would desire out of a king.

For curiosity’s sake: Proof that King David existed, https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/the-tel-dan-inscription-the-first-historical-evidence-of-the-king-david-bible-story/

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— 1 Chronicles 29:1-22
— 1 Kings 1

David names his son king over Israel.

Day 123 (May 3): David names Solomon King of Israel, Levites cast lots to assign temple duties

Moody Publishers / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
1 Chronicles 23-25
(979 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Chronicles 23:25): What does it mean when David said that The Lord will always live in Jerusalem?

A. When the temple that David has been planning for is built by his son Solomon, it will become the final location for the Ark and therefore God’s presence.

Q. (1 Chronicles 24:6): What does “casting lots” mean?

A. It’s the same thing we’ve been looking at before: the use of the Urim and Thummim to determine God’s will.  They were “cast” or thrown as a kind of “yes” or “no” answer.

Q. (1 Chronicles 23-25): Today’s reading is primarily for record-keeping?  One thought that comes to mind is why is there so much work in the temple?  Of course, I am judging this in today’s standards where you go to church with 30-10,000 people depending on the size of the building.  But, when you have hundreds of thousands of worshippers, the duties would be multiplied.  And, this is no basic church, it is where the Ark rests.

A. Yes, it is pointing out two important aspects of ministry for the various priests: care for the temple and ministries of worship on behalf of the king and royal family.  Those tasks would have required plenty of labor, so it is not really a surprise to me that there were a lot of priestly families involved.

For further reading: How did the tribe of Levi become the tribe of priests? https://www.christianlearning.com/how-the-tribe-of-levi-became-the-tribe-of-priests/

Shop: Today, it’s our duty to show God’s love, https://livinlight.org/product/deepest-love-t-shirt/ and by showing our love, and when we do that, we share the truth — https://livinlight.org/product/truth/ — with others and, in turn, find favor with the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Chronicles 26-28