Wednesday, June 13, 2012

II. Samuel 7-9: David sets up his kingdom

The chapters in this book each seem to be very specific. Each one tells a specific piece of the David story. Here is a summary of tonight's sections:

Chapter 7: David has the realization that he has a house of cedar but the Ark only has curtains to surround it. So he asks his prophet Nathan if he could check with God and see if he wants a house. Nathan says OK and has a vision from God letting him know that God does in deed want a house now. Just as God will have a house, he also says that the people of Israel are in their permanent home, and even though they will have invaders if they are naughty, God's mercy will always befall them. God finishes up by letting Nathan know that David will always be great and his lineage will be in God's graces (unlike what happened to Saul). So Nathan tells David and David goes to God and basically repeats all of this back to God, saying, "God that's a really great idea, I won't let you down."

Chapter 8: David smites a lot of different peoples and expands his kingdom. It gets to the point that kings no longer want to fight him, they just praise him and submit to him before the inevitable smiting would happen. In a rather boring turn, this chapter then proceeds to describe David's cabinet, who his priests, scribes, etc. are.

Chapter 9: David wants to do right by his covenant with Jonathan so he goes looking for anyone from Saul's lineage that might be alive. David finds out that Jonathan's crippled son is still around, so David adopts him and brings him into his household, making good on a promise to a late friend. This is particularly interesting in that in those days a new king would have slain any of the old kings family so that there couldn't be a challenge for the throne.

The more and more of this book we read, the more we see just how much of a narrative it is. It is a history of the Jewish people just as we have our history. Famous battles, leaders and their adventures are all depicted in this book just as we learn about Washington, Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor and the like. While there is less insight into how to live to be drawn from these books than the prophetic books we've read, these narrative books help provide the context within which to place the prophetic books, alowing for a deeper understanding of what is in the prophesies.

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