10/27 Reading (2 Samuel 22-24; 2 Corinthians 10)

2 Samuel 22: Notes from the NRSV version indicate that this chapter is actually a psalm and is essentially the same as Psalm 18. According to the scholars this was actually written “long after David’s time” (p. 478). Interesting little tidbit. Verses 1-20 focus on God rescuing the psalmist (assuming it’s supposed to be David). Verses 21-51 focus on David’s military activities. Overall the psalmist is thanking and praising God for being there to help.

This is an interesting read. There’s actually some natural events addressed here.

8 The earth rocked and shook; the sky’s foundations trembled and reeled because of God’s anger. 9 Smoke went up from God’s nostrils; out of his mouth came a devouring fire; flaming coals blazed out in front of him! 10 God parted the skies and came down; thick darkness was beneath his feet. 11 God mounted the heavenly creatures and flew; he was seen on the wind’s wings. 12 God made darkness his covering; water gathered in dense clouds! 13 Coals of fire blazed out of the brightness before him. 14 The Lord thundered from heaven; the Most High made his voice heard. 15 God shot arrows, scattering the enemy; he sent the lightning and whipped them into confusion. 16 The seabeds were exposed; the earth’s foundations were laid bare at the Lord’s rebuke, at the angry blast of air coming from his nostrils.

It reads like a description of an earthquake or volcanic eruption. The most interesting part is that the prevailing thought was that events like this were caused by God or gods (depending on your religion). Now the prevailing thought is natural explanations, not supernatural. But this is interesting.

2 Samuel 23: David’s last words. Verses 1-7 focus on David’s recognition of everything God did for him. Verses 8-39 focus on his warriors throughout his time of fighting.

2 Samuel 24: The last chapter in 2 Samuel is a little confusing. It starts with God being mad at Israel and he seems to ask David to take a census of the people in Israel and Judah. Once that’s done, David is upset and says he’s sinned. He asks for forgiveness from God, who makes him choose between three punishments. He picks the 3 day plague. God stops this early and then the text describes David building an altar to God to get him to stop the plague.

In other words, God wanted David to do something, David did it, David felt bad, God punishes David (and the people), God feels bad and stops on his own, and then David builds an altar to God which makes him stop the plague. Um…ok.

2 Corinthians 10: Paul begins to directly defend himself including his words and his actions, both of which are criticized by false prophets. I like that he is making it clear that he will continue to focus on what he needs to focus on, which is spreading Christ’s message.

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