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Posts Tagged ‘King David’


2 Samuel 16: Adversaries

William Brassey: Hole: David Fleeing Jerusalem is Cursed by Shimei 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

We have journeyed through Christmastide. We have spent time with the magi and their gifts of wisdom, mystery and grace. Today we reflect on one of Jesus’ major messages: Loving our enemies.

Various translations present today’s story with varying titles; yet despite the words, the story of David’s patience, wisdom and forgiveness remains the same. David – who seeks forgiveness from Yahweh himself – understands the importance of mercy. David says that we need to allow our foes to curse us if that is the will of God, for who are we to stand in the way of God’s design?  When Shimei curses him, David says, Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. Later, in Chapter 19, Shimei returns to David and repents his cursing.  David forgives him.

What do we learn today? We never know when someone is on his or her conversion path, and to allow someone conversion of heart is correct, just, and God-like.

As we move forward into this new year, we will want to give thought to the benefit, the beauty and the grace we might find in allowing our adversaries to curse us.

When we use the scripture link and the drop-down menus to explore various versions of these verses, we discover the many gifts that come to us when we love our enemies. 

For an in-depth look at today’s story, visit: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/what-about-reconciliation-a-lesson-from-shimei-and-king-david 

Adapted from a reflection written on February 4, 2008.

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1 Samuel 25: The Inverted Kingdom – Part VI

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ernst Josephson: David and Saul

Ernst Josephson: David and Saul

Today and tomorrow we remember this Favorite from October of 2007 as we explore how the story of David, Saul, Nabal and Abigail presage the coming of Christ’s inverted kingdom.

Reading closely, we see that Saul fears David because he sees how closely David follows God. This obedience threatens King Saul and even stirs envy. He knows that despite the favor God has shown him, he struggles to obey.

For his part, David refuses to kill Saul, even when he has been presented with opportunities to do so. David understands that God has anointed both men as present and future king. He also understands that God’s plan is the ultimate plan and, unlike Saul, David does not succumb to the sin of “pride of self”. David understands that his authority comes from God, not from his own cleverness, good works or talent.

This interplay infuriates Saul who attacks David and then ostracizes him.  In the ensuing battles, David repeatedly spares Saul’s life – which angers Saul even further.  We might see these same dynamics playing out in our own lives. If so, let us see where we stand and who we are. The loyal and vulnerable David or the troubled, envious Saul?

Joseph Schonmann: David and Abigail

Joseph Schonmann: David and Abigail

In today’s story, we read about Abigail, an intelligent, reverent, patient woman, married to an alcoholic. She does not succumb to the twisted world of co-dependence and she understands that she is powerless in the face of certain “givens” of ancient times. She has little influence in the affairs of her husband; yet she lives her invisible life in a visible way. She must take sustenance from her confidence in God, act in a way that does not enrage an already angry master, and she must address injustice as best she can. Throughout this ordeal, we see that she continues to rely on God.

We also see the loyalty of Abigail’s servants.  Knowing of the struggle between Saul and David, they realize that their entire household is naked against the band of David’s rebels. They are also keenly aware that their master is wealthy but a drunkard; and that his churlishness has placed them in a dangerous situation.  They go to Abigail who takes action in a calm, quiet and respectful manner.  She wins their safety, and then waits until the morning when her husband is sober to let him know what she has done . . . that she has saved them.  The hand of God acts to seal their safety as we see the results of Nabal’s courage.

As we reflect on these ancient tales and see the lessons of inversion – where the strong are weak and the weak are strong – and we anticipate their unfolding in the New Testament story of Jesus of Nazareth.

Tomorrow, the inversion that Jesus teaches.

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Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013 – Zechariah 9:9

Seeing the Summit as Plateau

Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!  See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.

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We reflect today on King David’s Jerusalem, examining our own lives for those times when all seemed right, when we felt our most competent, when challenges were met and breaches mended.  We look at a welcoming plateau in our lives when we reached what we thought was an ultimate summit.  We leaf through memories of warm relationships when decisions were reached easily and when we found a common bond with others who were anxious to fend off the common enemy.

In 2 Samuel 6 David enters Jerusalem bearing the Ark David, girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the Lord with abandon, as he all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.  David’s success brings both elation and jealousy from others.  David’s entry into Jerusalem marks both beginning and an end

Today is Palm Sunday, the day we recall Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as a hero. People swarm after him hoping to catch a glimpse, perhaps hoping for a cure of some disease or heartbreak.  His followers, jostled by the crowd, either rejoice with pride or grumble with aggravation.  But as Jesus descends from the Mount of Olives, he, his disciples and the crowd all move forward inexorably into the city. They roll along powered by their enthusiasm and joy.  They have no idea that within the week some of them will have betrayed him.  Some of them will have jeered at him.  Some of them will have denied or condemned him.

Picture2When we exert great effort and take great risks to do as God asks, we celebrate as we reach what we perceive to be a pinnacle; but we must learn to collapse into the refuge of the plateau that God offers us rather than consider that we have reached the end of our journey.  Today we look at Jerusalem when David enters bearing the presence of the Lord and in that moment we see both happiness and envy – we know the stories of the events that follow.  Today we look at Jerusalem as Jesus enters in victory as the presence of God among us and in that moment we see deep happiness tinged with sorrow – for again we know the stories of the events that follow. Today if we look closely at our own entry into Jerusalem as a follower of Christ we see that we bear both our gifts and our pain to the Lord.  We have struggled to reach an impossible victory yet we know that there are untold stories yet to tell.

We know that this mountaintop is not an end experience but a high point in our journey home.  We need not see this gain as a loss for we are Easter people who live in Christ who tells us that the wonder and miracle of the Easter story that is about to unfold is true.  We know that each time we discover that a new conquest has been followed by a new defeat . . . we also discover that God is with us to carry us home.

When we find that our mountain victory is simply a plateau on which to rest we must rejoice . . . for we know that God is with us.

Spend some time today with King David’s Jerusalem and make connections to your own Jerusalem experience.

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