Reading #1 – Joshua 13
Reading #2 – Psalms 138
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 3
Reading #4 – John 11
Reading #5 – 2 Samuel 14
Joshua 13 – Land Yet to Be Conquered. In a course of 40 or more years, the nation conquered most of the land. When Joshua was an old man, the LORD said to him, “You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered (1). There are some specifically referenced lands that I will point out. Geshur, which is in the territory of Gad, is where David’s wife Maacah was from. Maacah was Absolom’s mother. But the Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day (13). These marriages, such as David’s and Solomon’s set the stage for future problems. The people who had not been dealt with in the time of Joshua would cause problems for the kings to come and the for the nation currently.
2 Samuel 14 – Joab Arranges For the Return of Absolom. There is an old axiom “Let sleeping dogs lie” (Sir Robert Worpole). In this case, the sleeping dog is Absolom. After the death of Amnon, the future king, Absolom fled to the land of the Geshurites in the territory of the Gadites because that is where his grandfather was living. David wanted to see Absolom and so Joab contrived a way to get Absolom back for what I believe would be retribution. The woman’s story was like the story Nathan used to convict David indirectly. David’s kingdom began to fracture like what happens when a rock hits a windshield. Absolom is brought back by the hand of Joab with the strict instruction that the Absolom would go to his house and never see the king’s face again (24). These events and the ones to follow are what David asked for when he first set eyes on Bathsheba.
Psalms 138 – A Psalm of David. I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name (1-2). The word “I” implies a personal decision. The world demands us to comply with its ways or face persecution. Before G_d, though, if we deny him to save our carcass, he will deny knowing us. When we honor him with our life, our prayers, and refuse to bow down to the idols of the world, he makes us be the head, not the tail. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right-hand saves me. The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me (7-8).
Song of Solomon 3 – Love Sonnet
John 11 – The Raising of Lazarus. Lazarus was the brother of Mary the one who poured the expensive perfume on his feet (1). Although Jesus loved Mary, her sister Martha, and Lazarus, he chose to wait for two days for reasons known only to him. Going back to Judea meant facing the same people who wanted to throw stones at him. Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. But at night there is a danger of stumbling because they have no light.” Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up (9-11).” Once Lazarus was raised from the dead, it created another problem for the Pharisees because it put further strain on the already fractured relationship between the religious leaders and the people. IF Jesus had done nothing more then run his mouth with no manifestation of his connection with G_d, the leaders could refute him but these miracles confirmed his authority. Caiaphas, the high priest of the time, prophesied that this man would die not only for the nation but for all the people of G_d so, the Pharisees set to work to kill him. There is a problem though, making a prophecy come about will never work because manipulation will alter the outcome. The Pharisees were not concerned so much about Jesus as they were about losing their plum positions.