Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 9:2’

2 Samuel 15:13-18: Fleeing the Sanctuary

Julius Kronberg: David and Saul

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

In thinking about David as King and priestly leader of a chosen nation, we might forget about the twisting and turning of his story and the times when he fled a place or a people where he had previously found refuge.  One summer, I was able to slowly read the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles to get a better picture of the spiritual history from which we spring.  As with all history, the saga is full of error and woe, accompanied by the providential watchfulness of God, and our experience of joy.  The story of David is no different, and it merits careful reading and reflection because there are many places in this narrative in which we will want to stop along the way, places that speak to both our losses and our celebrations.

From Psalm 24: Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?  Who shall stand in his holy place?  The man with clean hands and pure heart, who desires not worthless things, who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

David Roberts: Citadel of Jerusalem

We are imperfect, yet we cannot let this imperfection keep us from seeking the perfection that is God.  Sometimes this seeking is also a healthy escape as when Joseph takes Mary and the infant Jesus to Egypt to avoid the wrath of corrupt leadership.  We notice in today’s reading that David in flight pauses opposite the ascent to the Mount of Olives.  This is the place where Jesus also halts before entering Jerusalem triumphantly on the day we now celebrate on Palm Sunday.  He stays there and sends his disciples ahead to prepare for his entry.  Many times in the Gospel, we see Jesus pause, retreat, and even vacate a place or people.  We will also notice, if we continue to read, that he gathers himself for re-entry.

From 2 Chronicles 30:18-19: May the Lord, who is good, grant pardon to everyone who has resolved to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, though he be not clean as holiness requires.


Sometimes it is necessary to evacuate the sanctuary.  Sometimes we leave behind all that we cherish, all that has made us feel safe and comfortable.  Sometimes we step off into an abyss of doubt and anxiety because we fear the destruction of the people and places that normally are our havens.

From Psalm 92How great are your works, Lord!  How profound your purpose!

Sometimes we must leave the sanctuary . . . and take the faithful with us . . . because we go toward something that holds greater value . . . greater potential . . . greater hope and life.

From MAGNIFICAT today: To be a disciple means to follow the Master.  He ascended the hill of the cross and transformed it into the seat of glory, a holy place.  Risen, he invites us to leave behind all worthless desires and seek him in holiness, that is, in love. 

Sometimes we are driven from the sanctuary by the ones we hold dearest . . . as with David and his son Absalom who later self-implodes.

1 Corinthians 2:11: No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Sometimes we evacuate the haven to look for restoration and then, like David, we may be lead back to this refuge. As humans, it is impossible to know the plan or mind of God, but what we do know, if we allow ourselves to rest in the Spirit, is God’s care, Christ’s healing touch and restoring hand. Yet despite this love, there are times when – in order to take in the enormity of this precious gift, in order to fully receive this gift – we first must evacuate our safe harbor. We must flee the sanctuary.

Tomorrow, despite our flight . . . we make a presentation of our work.

Adapted from a Favorite written on May 15, 2008.

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Mini-Reflection.” MAGNIFICAT. 15 May 2008. Print.

Images from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul and http://www.darnleyfineart.com/component/igallery/david-roberts and http://justoccurred.blogspot.com/2014/07/that-this-young-guy-had-issues.html 

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slideshow_advent_3First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014

Joy and the Psalms


The Book of Psalms calls us to praise God and these hymns created millennia ago still resonate with us as we ask for God’s help and intercession, bless and honor God’s name, mourn our losses and rejoice in our understanding of God’s goodness. Many resources are available to understand this longest Book in the Bible – and the second of the Wisdom Books – and during this first week of Advent we will focus on the power of the psalms in a number of ways: they connect us with God as sisters and brothers in Christ, they give us a healing pathway on which to carry our lament to the Spirit, they call us together as we praise and honor the creator God, and they offer us more examples of how God’s joy surprises and even overcomes us when we least expect it.

If this week’s exploration of Psalms calls you to search for more surprises, 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 we find joy in acknowledging God’s presence.

joyUsing a concordance we can easily find dozens of references to Joy in the Psalms. Devoting a bit of time each day this week, we may be surprised to find how much joy these simple verses lend to our lives in this time of year so full of activity. The following verses have been modified to give us mantras that we might hold on to as we move through our days and nights. If you are able, carve out a bit of Advent time this afternoon or evening to reflect on one or two of these verses and ponder what their meaning might be for you in your particular circumstances. Click on the scripture links and explore other versions of these verses. Share an idea about the surprise of joy in the dark places and times in your lives with a loved one, a neighbor or friend. And allow the surprise of joy to brighten this first Sunday in the season of hope-filled waiting for the arrival of the Christ.

Psalm 4 verse 7: The joy that you have given us, Lord, is more than we will ever have with all our grain and wine. How might we might share God’s joy with others?

Psalm 5 verse 11: But all who find safety in you, Lord will rejoice; they can always sing for joy. Protect those who love you; because of you they are truly happy. Do we call on God’s joy when we are in dark times and places?

Psalm 9 verse 2: I will sing with joy because of you, Lord. I will sing praise to you, Almighty God. Do we acknowledge God’s role in the joy that unexpectedly comes to us?

Psalm 16 verse 11: You will show me the path that leads to life, Lord; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever. Do we recognize and value God’s presence in our lives? Do we share the joy of this presence with others?

god's presenceDuring this first week in Advent we will continue to share simple verses from Psalms that bring joy to our hearts. Let us consider broadening our horizon and find the time today to listen to part or all of a podcast interview with Dr. Robert L. Okin, a clinical pychiatrist who challenges us to find our political will to change the lives of the homeless. Listen and reflect at: http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2014-11-24/dr_robert_l_okin_silent_voices_people_with_mental_disorders_on_the_street We may also want to begin an Advent journey of seeking God’s true presence by dipping into Okin’s book, Silent Voices: People With Mental Disorders on the Street.

Jonathan is one of the homeless men psychiatrist Robert Okin met on the Streets of San Francisco.

Jonathan is one of the homeless men psychiatrist Robert Okin met on the Streets of San Francisco.

Tomorrow, God protects and defends, rescues and saves.

For a brief reflection on God’s presence in our lives, click on the Presence image above or visit the “Practicing God’s Presence” post at: http://scottberglan.org/2013/03/22/practicing-gods-presence/ 

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

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