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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 56 - 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge - 2 Samuel 21 - 24 Great Adventure A Journey Through the Bible

Day 56 

2 Samuel 21 - 24

Bible Time Period:  Royal Kingdom 
You established a kingdom on your servant David and promised him an eternal throne:  Establish your kingdom in our midst.

"The promises of the Lord I will sing forever, proclaim your loyalty through all ages, For you said, "My love is established forever; my loyalty will stand as long as the heavens.  I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant:  I will make your dynasty stand forever and establish your throne through all ages."" (Psalm 89: 1 - 5)

The Davidic Covenant
The covenant with David was the charter of the Davidic dynasty, which would rule longer than any other dynasty that we know of in the ancient Near East.  This covenant was a pure grant, bestowed on David as a reward, and God alone swore the oath. 

The terms of the covenant with David are expressed in 2 Samuel 7 and amplified in Psalms 2, 89, and 110.  There are seven main features in the covenant: 

1.  Kingdom.  David and his descendants would be great kings. "And I will make him the first born, the highest of the kings of the earth." (Psalm 89:27)

2.  Dynasty.  Unlike Saul's line, which was extinguished as a punishment for his disobedience, the line of David would continue to rule the kingdom:  "the Lord will make you a house."  (2 Samuel 7:11)

3. Divine sonship. The son of David, when he was anointed as king, would be adopted as God's own son:  "I will be his father, and he shall be my son." (2 Samuel 7:14) The image of a royal adoption expresses the especially close relationship God promises to keep with the Davidic kings. 

4.  Unlimited duration.  The kingdom of David's sons would be established "forever."  (2 Samuel 7:13)

5.  Jerusalem the center.  The capital of the kingdom and the center of worship would be Jerusalem:  "I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill."  (Psalm 2:6) 

6.  The Temple.  David's son woulds build the Lord "a house for my name" (2 Samuel 7:13), and that Temple would become the center of worship for Israel and all the nations drawn to the Lord.  The very structure of the Temple would be erected by Gentiles and Israelites working together: Solomon's men worked side by side with the Phoenician artisans sent by King Hiram of Tyre (1 Kings 5). 

7.  Wisdom.  The Law ruled Israel as a nation apart, but "this is the law for man," says David in 2 Samuel 7:19.  Solomon's wisdom lured the kings of the earth to his court (1 Kings 4:29 - 34), and the wisdom literature traditionally attributed to Solomon reaches out to all mankind, leading all the nations to God by way of universal truths. 

Besides the seven primary features, there are three characteristics of the Davidic kingdom in Israel and Judah that might be called secondary features: 

1. Queen Mother.  The queen mother would take on an especially important role.  Bathsheba set the pattern:  she actively advised her son Solomon and sat on a throne next to him (1 Kings 2:19).  

2. Prime Minister.  Each Davidic king had a certain royal official who acted as his prime minister or head of household, as Solomon had Ahishar (1 Kings 4:6).  The sign of the prime minister's office was the keys of the kingdom, or "key of the house of David."

3.  Sacrifice of Thanksgiving.  This thank offering, emerged as the most important liturgy in Davidic times:  "Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?  Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High." (Psalm 50:13 - 14).  Our word "Eucharist" comes from the Greek word that Jews used to translate "sacrifice of thanksgiving." (Catholic Bible Dictionary, General Editor, Scott Hahn, page 199 - 201)

Today's Reading
2 Samuel 21 - 24

Discussion Boards Day 56

For items devotional items related to the Catholic Church 

Back to Index 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge

Illustration from the Morgan Bible of Joab approaching Abwl-beth-maachah and Sheba's head being thrown down ( 2 Samuel 20)

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