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Posts Tagged ‘David’


king-solomon

King Solomon

Tuesday

December 16, 2014

Joy and Songs

Celebration

We continue our reflection on joy in the Books of Wisdom and today we see joy in the event of King Solomon’s marriage. When we read the full story of this man’s life we come to understand that although he demonstrated so much, and although much of God’s promise is fulfilled in him, this promise deteriorates, and at his death the kingdom that Solomon and his father pulled together begins to unravel.

If today’s Noontime calls you to search for more ways to encounter joy, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter the word Joy in the blog search bar. Or visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com

It is so very easy to be joy-filled when all is going well; and yet . . . is it? A famous comedienne once commented that after honors were distributed for a unique award she had earned and the celebration ended, she went home and put a load of laundry in the clothes washer. She realized that the trappings of fame were not nearly as important to her as the simple joy of tending to her children and husband. Let us remember that when we have few hurdles to overcome and we find ourselves in the easy place of joy, we must weigh out accolades to put them in proper perspective. Perhaps this is what Solomon does today as he appears for his wedding procession as the beautiful Song of Songs describes.

joyVerses 3:10-11: Solomon made the columns of his litter of silver,
    its roof of gold,
Its seat of purple cloth,
    its interior lovingly fitted.
Daughters of Jerusalem, go out
    and look upon King Solomon
In the crown with which his mother has crowned him
    on the day of his marriage,
    on the day of the joy of his heart.

Select more of these beautiful verses and ponder them, considering your own marriage relationship with Christ. Compare the different versions of Songs at the scripture link above and reflect on how well God loves us, how much God guides us, and how much God heals and restores.

For more information about anxiety and joy, visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/

 

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joyWednesday, November 12, 2014

1 Chronicles

Joy and the LORD

We move forward in our journey as we visit with scripture looking for stories about joy that will amaze us in a number of ways. To explore other stories in which joy surprises us, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter the word Joy in the blog search bar. You may also want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com to see how joy surprises you there. Today our stories are from 1 Chronicles.

In the books of Chronicles we find an historical perspective of all that we read in the previous books of the Old Testament and when we search these chapters and verses for references to joy we are not surprised to find stories like these . . .

Chapter 12: Warriors join David in Hebron, many of them banished by Saul in his angry jealousy over David’s talent and popularity. When we think of escaping a wretched leader, or when we think of breaking long and enduring relationships we may be surprised to find joy as a possibility in such dark scenarios . . . yet here it is. As always, resting in the presence of the LORD who is always abiding with the broken-hearted.

Philistines_cow_pulling_arkChapter 16: David and his warriors arrive in Jerusalem bearing the Ark of the Covenant, the ancient chest containing the Mosaic commandment tablets, Aaron’s blossoming rod, and manna from the desert. This physical presence of the LORD among them, brings the faithful great joy. When we think of celebrating our good fortune and happiness we might be surprised to discover that God is just as joyful as we are . . . yet, here God is. As always, rejoicing in goodness and blessing.

Chapter 29: David and his followers amass gifts to build a new temple in which to house the presence of the LORD. When we think of preparing a temple for the indwelling of the Spirit we may reflect more on what is lacking rather than what is present, what is imperfect rather than what is perfect . . . yet here the Spirit is. As always, joyfully healing and sustaining us with God’s abundant grace.

arkVisit 1 Chronicles to read more and look for the stories above in 12:40, 16:27, 16:33, 29:17 and 29:22. Visit the scripture link above and compare the different versions of these verses found in the drop down menus. Explore these events and reflect on the surprise of God’s joy in our own lives.

For a fun audio version of what happened to the Ark when captured by the Philistines, and how the Ark finally came to Jerusalem, click on the image of the oxen pulling the cart above or visit: http://psalmbird.net/pages/DavidandArk.htm

For more about anxiety and joy, click on the image above or visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/ 

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Joy and Turmoil


joyMonday, November 10, 2014

1 Kings 1

Joy and Turmoil

We continue our journey as we visit with scripture looking for stories about joy that will surprise us in a number of ways. To explore other stories in which joy astounds us, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter the word Joy in the blog search bar. You may also want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com to see how joy surprises you there. Today our story is from the Book of Kings.

It does not take much imagination to envision the picture painted here in this opening chapter of the long books of Kings. David has reached old age and the many sons, wives, concubines and courtiers all jockey for the throne of this now powerful nation.

julia Margaret Cameron: Study of King David

Julia Margaret Cameron: Study of King David

God says: When you read these verses you will see how the plans of men and women come to nothing when they are made without me. You will also see how my faithful servant David includes me in his plans even when he must rely on family, friends and counselors to do his bidding. As you read this story, do not lament David’s old age or feebleness. Do not worry about the turmoil you see on these pages in such a way that you forget me. Do not rely on your own resources alone when you find strife in your own lives for where there is confusion and injustice I am also there. When you remember how David’s leaps of joy stir great jealousy in others, remember also that this darkness does not destroy him. Remember that with the grimness of suspicion David also knows the jubilation of joy. He is not foolish to rely on me, to trust in me. And neither are you . . .  

Visit 1 Kings to read more of this story.

For more about anxiety and joy, click on the image above or visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/ 

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joySunday, November 9, 2014

1 Samuel 18

Joy and Suspicion

Today we continue to visit with scripture to look for stories about joy that will surprise us in a variety of ways. If you want to explore other stories in which joy astounds us, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter the word Joy in the blog search bar. You may also want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com to see how joy surprises you there. Today our story is from the Book of Samuel.

Too often the high points in our lives are followed by turmoil and darkness brought on by jealousy. My dad always warned us that as we move up the ladder of life to become more proficient in the workplace we may also become targets for office gossip and suspicion. But, he added, we cannot allow this to affect either our work or our relationships. Rather than frighten us, Dad meant to arm us with the knowledge that joy is accompanied by suspicion, and we see truth play out with David today when he returns from slaying the giant Goliath to be greeted with both great joy . . . and deep suspicion. If we spend time with these verses, we see that success may breed its own kind of darkness. It is up to us to decide how we will react. It is in our power to look for joy hidden in the dark recesses of suspicion.

Verses 6-9: It happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with musical instruments. The women sang as they played, and said, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on.

Steen: David's Triumphant Return

Steen: David’s Triumphant Return

Suspicion, gossip, jealousy, envy. These are the slippery steps that David navigates with God’s help. Later in his story, David succumbs to temptation that ruins the lives of many, but his actions bring us hope when we understand that even God’s anointed will err.

Fidelity, trust, hope, love. These are the footholds we look for in the face of the mountain we climb. We find joy even in the darkest of places when we rely on God’s providence, God’s wisdom and God’s love.

Visit 1 and 2 Samuel if you have time over the next few hours to put today’s Noontime into context.

Enter the words, Saul, David, envy or jealousy into the blog search bar and explore. Discover ways in which God’s quiet joy is always with us . . . even when we lest expect to feel its presence.  

Click on the Steen image above for more information about this story of triumph, suspicion and ultimately . . . joy. 

For more about anxiety and joy, click on the image above or visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/ 

 

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Clay Cylinder of Nebuchadnezzar II

British Museum: Clay Cylinder of Nebuchadnezzar II

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Jeremiah 46

Routed Heroes

This oracle against Egypt that we read today is one of Jeremiah’s many. The young Hebrew nation sought refuge in Egypt under the protection of Joseph, they prospered and grew in the land of Goshen and were later enslaved. Led from their enslavement by Moses, they migrated to their promised land where they again prospered and grew. They became a formidable force under the leadership of Saul and David but with Solomon the empire begins to crumble. This young king who had shown so much promise bows to the desires of pagan wives and allows his people to turn to pagan gods. Babylon threatens in the north while Israel and Judah become two kingdoms. Ahead of the forces of Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah is swept away and carried off to Egypt; but Babylon follows and Nebuchadnezzar’s forces move swiftly through the Levant to rout the heroes who attempted to stem the force of his advance. Jeremiah had warned his people but they chose to ignore the word of God as delivered by the prophet.

Prepare shield and buckler! March to battle!

The prophet Daniel reminds us that the faithful need not fight, they only need rely on the providence and goodness of God. (Daniel and the Fiery Furnace in Daniel 3)

Harness the horses. Mount, charioteers. Fall in with your helmets; polish your spears, put on your breastplates.

Saint Paul reminds us that the only impenetrable armor is Christ himself. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

What do I see? With broken ranks they fall back; their heroes are routed, they flee headlong without making a stand. Terror on every side!

Jesus tells us that we have nothing to fear when we live in him.

The swift cannot flee, nor the hero escape. There in the north, on the Euphrates’ bank, they stumble and fall. Who is this that surges toward the Nile, like rivers of billowing waters?

Jeremiah warns that there is no route of escape, no avoidance of the inevitable end which corruption and arrogance guarantees.

Pack your baggage for exile, Memphis shall become a desert, an empty ruin. The mercenaries are like fatted calves; they too turn and flee together, stand not their ground.

The unthinkable will take place. All who are powerful will be weak. All who are mighty will fall. Heroes and cowards alike will collapse.

I will make an end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make an end. I will chastise you as you deserve, I will not let you go unpunished.

So compassionate is our God that even those who go against him have an opportunity to change their ways.

But you, my servant Jacob, fear not; be not dismayed, O Israel. Behold, I will deliver you from the far off land for I am with you.

So faithful is our persistent God that those who are lost in the wake of routed heroes will be healed, restored and transformed.

So hopeful is our transformative God that those who fall on the banks of the Nile will be reconciled, rebuilt and made new.

So loving is our merciful God that even those who are swept away with the tide of routed heroes will be raised up, resurrected and brought to eternal life.

For information on the Babylonian Culture and Jeremiah’s prophecy, click on the image above or go to: http://www.biblesearchers.com/temples/jeremiah4.shtml 

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Bathsheba

Bathsheba

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

1 Chronicles 20

Not Judging 

From the HARPERCOLLINS STUDY BIBLE (633): “At this point 2 Samuel 11.2-12.25 tells the story of David, Bathsheba, Uriah, and the prophetic condemnation by Nathan before reporting the conclusion of the battle with the Ammonites. Since Chronicles idealizes David’s and Solomon’s work for the temple and its ritual life, it would not have served its purposes to rehearse the sins of the United Monarchy. We may be sure that the Chronicler and his readers were well aware of these negative incidents”.

Evil sneaks up on us when things are going well, when we are most confident and assured and most likely to have left God for a time. God accompanies us in our good times and bad. We may not feel God’s presence but God is with us all the same.

Thoughts from Scripture . . .

John 15:18: If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.

Wisdom 2:12: Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.

Jeremiah 18:18: The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said, “Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah”.

Matthew 20:26: Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be you servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.

Matthew 20:22: Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?

The Chronicler knows, as we read in our notes, that David has sinned . . . so have we all.

Jesus tells his apostles that leading is serving . . . this Message we have heard many times.

Jeremiah witnesses to the treachery that lies in wait for the faithful . . . this reality we have lived.

Jesus reminds us that the world hates goodness . . . this rejection we have felt.

Jesus asks us if we can drink from his chalice . . . this question we have heard within ourselves.

Judging . . . not judging . . . it is difficult for us to refrain from forming ideas for or against individuals or groups but it is essential for us to refrain from judging. We know that the measure that we measure is measured out to us. Ultimately, we have only this to ask ourselves: Can we live up to the harsh yardstick against which we measure others?

Meeks, Wayne A., Gen. Ed. HARPERCOLLINS STUDY BIBLE (NRSV). New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1989. 633. Print. (Meeks)

To learn more about Bathsheba’s story, click on the image above or go to: http://godzdogz.op.org/2012/08/women-of-old-testament-bathsheba.html

Adapted from a March 23, 2011 favorite.

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watchmanforjerusalemTuesday, July 8, 2014

1 Chronicles 26:1-28

Gatekeepers

David gathers materials to build a palace and temple structure; he commands the nation’s leaders and priests to support Solomon; he prepares the liturgical cult, the treasurers and magistrates, the tribal leaders and overseers, and then the entire assembly for the coming of the new king. He readies the architectural plans, the offerings, and even his final prayer before he dies. David thinks of everything.

One of the groups he names and calls is the Gatekeepers. These are men who divide themselves among the city gates to take up the watches of those gates. They provide the warning call when enemies approach, because if the tent of the tabernacle is to be replaced by an immovable structure . . . the sentinels must take their work seriously. There will be no folding up and moving this Holy of Holies to safety. The task of gate-keeping takes on major importance.

THE ARQUEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE tells us on page 614 that these gatekeepers were not only the city’s security force; they also oversaw the city revenues and were in charge of maintaining the temple precinct. Lots were cast to determine the gate and the time of the watch. This method of selection prevented partiality and emphasized the divine nature of the decision, since the outcome of a lot was from the Lord.

We might think of the gate-keeping that happens in our own lives. Who are our sentinels? On whom do we rely to raise the cry when enemies approach? Are all the gates covered? Are there any watches that have too few guards? Are there any places or any sentries who have proven unreliable? What do we do when we realize that a gate has been breached? Do we rely on God alone to appoint the time and place for our gate-keeping assignments?

Yesterday’s MAGNIFICAT reflection was written by Father Bede Jarrett, a Dominican priest who died in 1934. He writes: Each one of us has some special work to do for God. God made his plans for us before we came into the world at all – for the work is of primary importance, it comes first in God’s thought, and we follow as instruments. When an architect is commissioned to build a house, he has to know first its destined use, its locality, and the weather conditions, etc. Every detail must be taken into consideration. Only then can he collect his materials and begin to work . . . God is the architect. He has made our souls a certain size and shape, to fit certain holes, so to speak. It is not for us to say that we are incapable, or unfitted for the work given to us . . . Nothing is ever quite what we anticipated. There is the interplay of circumstances on our desires. It makes known to us what is God’s will for us; and so we give up in our desires what does not fit in with God’s plan for us, content to do as he wishes.

And so we wonder . . . as God builds the great temple of creation, if we are called to be a gatekeepers, will we be happy with our duty post? Will we be content with the shift to which we are assigned? Will we stay awake when it is dark? Will we be alert during the day or the late afternoon? If we prefer the morning hour, will we be called to serve at dusk? And if we are, will we go without grumbling to our expected post? Will we be faithful gatekeepers?

Isaiah 62:6: On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; never by day or by night shall they be silent. 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE (NIV). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005. 614. Print.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 28.2 (2009. Print.  

Adapted from a reflection first written on March 1, 2009.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

1 Chronicles 16

The Ark Comes to Jerusalem

Anonymous: King David Dances Before the Ark

Anonymous: King David Dances Before the Ark

Here – and also in 2 Samuel 6 – we see David bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem amid celebration and festivity. The presence of God brings a response of joy and thanksgiving from the people. The priest blesses both the occasion and the faithful; David cavorts with elation; a meal is served. The people worship God because the Ark containing sacred text, sacred food and the sacred blooming staff has taken up residence. These people feel invulnerable, joyful and grateful.

Within each of us is the place where God dwells and where scripture flourishes like Aaron’s staff. We are sustained by the new desert manna: the body and blood of Christ. We take this dwelling with us on our desert journey. We too might leap for joy and bow down in reverence and happiness. We too might bring the Ark to Jerusalem. There is no obstacle to knowing God’s presence except the obstacles we ourselves set up.

Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name.

God is the originator of all that is good and holy.

Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!

We can offer up all that sorrows us when we come into the presence of the Lord.

Look to the Lord in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.

We honor God when we perform his works rather than our own.

Give to the Lord . . . bring gifts and enter into his presence.

The best offering to God is that of ourselves. We carry to him the burdens of our day, our attempts to do his bidding.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his kindness endures forever.

We do not need to build an ark to house our sacred reminders of God’s presence for we already possess it. It is our hearts that hold all sacredness holy.

We do not need to build a temple to God for it is already built. It is the temple of our bodies.

We do not need to offer burnt sacrifices to God for they are already present in any sorrow we experience.

So let us bring the burnt remnants of our losses, let us give thanks for God’s providence and care, and let us rejoice in the knowing that we are created for love by love.

David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem to place it in the tent set aside for Yahweh.

Let us lay our burdens on the altar of our lives . . . and like David, let us leap and dance for joy.

Adapted from a reflection written on February 21, 2009.

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Rebellion


Thursday, July 4, 2014

1 Chronicles 10

In the U.S. today we celebrate the founding of our country, a time when our forbearers took action against those who were seen as oppressors. At The Noontimes we return to a favorite reflection as we consider . . . Rebellion.

Mattia Preti: Samuel Anoints David

Mattia Preti: Samuel Anoints David

Thus Saul died because of his rebellion against the Lord . . .

It is difficult to wait for God’s time to unfold and it takes patience to understand our place in God’s timeline. It takes a great deal of trust to rely on God and his economy because there are so many times when we think we have a better solution, a kinder consequence, a more comfortable method for a more sensible solution. In all of this kind of thinking we stray from our true origin, purpose and destination. David and Saul provide us with an opportunity to reflect on who we are and how we interact with God.

David has been anointed by Samuel, the prophet, as the new King of Israel; yet Saul, the present King, still holds the reins of power. The relationship of trust once shared between David and Saul has ruptured and now Saul hunts David down, all the while sinking deeper into paranoia. David might have killed Saul a number of times yet he does not, choosing instead to witness, to watch and to wait. The story of this conflict can be read in the closing chapters of 1 Samuel. What we spend time with today is this: We separate ourselves from God when we anticipate God’s plan and move forward with our own. We divide ourselves into two camps. We split ourselves into two beings . . . and then we make ourselves unhappy and blame circumstances, others and even God himself for our unhappiness.

Rebellion is good when it brings us the strength to take action against abuse or corruption. Rebellion is not good when it draws us into ourselves, and away from common sense and good advice. Rebellion is our ruin when it bolsters pride, inflates our ego and enables narcissistic blindness to our separation from good.

In this Old Testament story, God is a judge standing over all and deciding “thumbs up or thumbs down” on each action. The New Testament expression of God’s love for us, Jesus, moves us beyond this simplistic way of evaluating our behavior. Rather than recommend that we ought not rebel, the new message is: Why are you terrified, O you of little faith? We have in Christ one who rebukes storms, calms seas, heals wounds and shows pity. With Saul, rebellion lured him into the arms of those who bolstered his illness and took advantage of his distress. With David, rebellion moved him away from abuse and toward God.

Rebellion is good when it brings us the courage to speak out against abuse or corruption. Rebellion is not good when it draws us into anger and away from the light. Rebellion is our ruin when it feeds our selfishness. We must decide how to best use rebellion in our lives.

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