2 Samuel 2:12-27
Joshua 6:1-14 – The Fall of Jericho. Jericho was 36 KM south of Gilgal where the nation had spent their first night in the new land. Jericho was occupied by the Natufian people who were known for being affluent foragers and lived off of the resources in the land. The people were one of the first groups to become sedentary hence the walls of Jericho (Jericho). Towards the end of the Ice age, this group migrated to what is now Northern Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria (Jericho). So, the people inside the walls of Jericho thought the walls were impregnable which is why the city was closed up (1). The Commander of the Lord’s Army encouraged Joshua to not be afraid of the imposing walls because the men of valor and the King would be handed over to Joshua (2). The plan of attack should have been seen as a “Fool’s errand” but the Lord knew something Joshua didn’t (3-5). So Joshua passed on the instructions to his commanders and down to the foot soldiers as if it was coming from them (6-7). So the plan was put into action (8-11). For six days the army of Israel marched around the impregnable walls without making a sound (12-14). Personal Notes: Joshua’s actions at Jericho were distinguished from Moses’ because, Joshua did not ask why, did not throw out objections, he went in faith believing. The devoted things would go to the tent of the Lord which would be used to build up the nation in the new land. Except for Rahab and her family, all other living things were to be put to the sword. Taking the gold and silver for yourself was a death sentence because being a thief would make the nation as bad as the Natufians.
Psalms 63 – My Soul Thirsts for You. When our bodies are thirsty, it is often misunderstood by thinking it needs food (Thirst). In the same way, when our soul thirsts for the words of the Creator we think we need things so we buy them and yet we think we need more (1). When we turn our hearts and minds to the Lord, that thirst is satiated and we want nothing else except more of the Lord (2-4). When we set our hearts on pilgrimage to the Kingdom of G-d, everything else will be fodder for the earth (5-11). Personal Notes: It is the spring of the year and I have started my plant seedlings. Initially, the plants are seeds and the package has a picture of the plant. In time, the seedlings will be planted, watered, and in the fall we will have fruit to eat. In the same way, when I consider the seeds of G-d’s word that I plant in my soul. Initially, G-d’s plan for my life is but a dream but in time those seeds will grow and develop fruit. Faithfulness, discretion, and discipline are valuable nutrients to growing in G-d.
Proverbs 23:1-18 – Words of the Wise. In every situation we face in life, we need to exercise discretion because not everything is as it appears (1-8). Unless our counsel is sought after, our wise words will be little more than sandpaper to an open wound (9). Doing things that suit our benefit at the cost of the innocent will in the end be a noose around our neck (10-12). The word “discipline” has become a naughty word in our society because implies that we need to “beat the bad behavior out of children and ourselves”. The word discipline means, “training to obey the rules” (Dictionary.com). When an athlete trains for an event, the discipline he or she receives will teach their body to obey the rules (13-18). Personal Notes: When there is a lack of discretion and discipline, there is a “default response”. Lack of discretion leads to foolishness and fights. Lack of discipline leads to unruliness and laziness.
Isaiah 1:1-20 – The Wickedness of Judah. The kingdom that was built up and united under David, would be divided into two kingdoms after Solomon’s death. Unfaithfulness was at the root of Judah’s problem and it was learned from Solomon (2-3). When we are unfaithful to the Lord, separation from Him is not far behind and we will be the first to turn our backs (4). The enemy of our soul, the Devil, uses this turn of events to compel us to see the futility of serving the Lord. Because of this, the High places are leveled, families broke down, and communities are at odds with each other leading to wars and fights (5-6). The nations that flocked to us in the good times will become our attackers in the bad times (7-8). Hearts that had never left the Lord’s side would be more effective than all of the sacrifices, all of the Festivals, and all the traditions combined (9-11). Until the blood that is on our hands and the sin that separates us from G-d is dealt with, we will still walk away from the Temple as dirty as the moment we walked in (12-17). Amid the flood of sin is an olive branch from the Lord (18-20). Personal Notes: Temptation and sin are like smoke screens that block us from seeing the approach of the enemy (Mike Krier). Solomon could not possibly conceive the problems that lay ahead for the tribe of Judah and how the people who supported him would fight for control of the kingdom.
2 Samuel 2:12-27 – Saul and Jonathan Lamented. The young man who thought he would receive a reward for telling David about the battle ended up being executed. While his story is fabricated, it became his testimony (12-16). The Book of Jashar was a collection of poetry that dated back to Joshua (17-18, Joshua 10:12-13, ). King Saul was the 1st king of Israel and Judah and because of that, he was the glory of Israel (19-20). Mount Gilboa would be a holy place and the sacrifice would be the blood of the slain (21-22). Jonathan would have been the crown Prince and the one to succeed Saul. Unfortunately, he would die on Mount Gilboa beside his brothers and father (23). In life, Saul provided for the daughters of Israel from his campaigns although many of them gave more credit to David and much less to Saul (24). Jonathan’s death was a blow to David because of how Jonathan befriended, protected, and extended royalty to David (25-27). Personal Notes: David opened his heart for all to see. David did not hate Saul no matter what the man did to him. Agape love is an unconditional love that sees beyond the pain, warts, and troubles to the heart of the one you love. Loving a person who is kindly disposed to you is much easier than loving someone who wants to end your life.“How the mighty have fallen”.