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June 4, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Job 11-13
Audio: Job 11-13

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

2 Samuel 21 (ESV)

Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?” The Gibeonites said to him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “What do you say that I shall do for you?” They said to the king, “The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel, let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. The king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the Lord, and the seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest.

10 Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell upon them from the heavens. And she did not allow the birds of the air to come upon them by day, or the beasts of the field by night. 11 When David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa. 13 And he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14 And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father. And they did all that the king commanded. And after that God responded to the plea for the land.

15 There was war again between the Philistines and Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines. And David grew weary. 16 And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, “You shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.”

18 After this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants.19 And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants.21 And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. 22 These four were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

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Next: 2 Samuel 22

Back: 2 Samuel 20

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Appendix to the Story of David

    The final four chapters of 2 Samuel (21-24) concludes material (not necessarily in chronological order) that details David's reign. The time period is set between the revolt of Sheba and Adonijah's bid for the throne in 1 Kings 1. 

    As you read these chapters, you will find much of the material fits into an earlier time. It could be the writer of 2 Samuel wanted to explain David's actions against the house of Saul (as mandated by God to relieve the famine). 

    One thing that stands out is that in today's chapter and the closing chapter of 2 Samuel describes the Lord's anger against Israel. 

    Ninety-seven times in the ESV the phrase "anger of the Lord" is used. David wrote in Psalm 7:11-13, "God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. 12 If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; 13 he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts."

    David certainly experienced the anger of the Lord!

    What a shame this truth is often ignored in contemporary churches today. To focus on only "comfortable" aspects of God's character is to distort who God is. Doing so can easily result in us creating a god in our image that suits us and is worthy of worship. 

    In an article at, the writer says, "A good being hates what is evil, and mercy only makes sense if there is an undeserving person to whom mercy can be shown. In any case, let us always remember how our Creator’s anger is not subject to the same imperfections and sin of our ire. God is never sadistic, tired, or irritable. He is not a short-tempered hothead. Since He is perfectly righteous, His anger is always righteous and good."

    As we close out 2 Samuel, let's appreciate this appendix to the story of David.

  2. In the midst of all David’s issues trying to deal with the disunity in the kingdom, now a famine! Wisely, humbly, David seeks the Lord, and God impresses upon him the need to atone for Saul’s sin against the Gibeonites. 

    Remember that in Joshua 9 (see Joshua 9:1-27) Joshua made an oath that Israel would never harm the Gibeonites. Even though the Gibeonites had tricked Joshua into the promise out of fear, and even though the people of Israel were angry to have been deceived, Joshua kept the oath because he was a man of integrity and honor.

    According to the Gibeonites, Saul broke the oath, and the only remedy to atone for the blood of their people is the blood of 7 of Saul’s sons. 

    So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. (Numbers 35:33)

    Notice David keeps HIS oath to Mephibosheth, and does not deliver him up to the Gibeonites. 

    I’m reminded this morning that a man or a woman of integrity always keeps their promises. Am I a woman of my word? God especially holds His people accountable for every word we speak, careless or not. We have to be careful not to make rash commitments led by our emotions and good intentions, because God expects us to honor our commitments. 

    Just as God does not break His commitments to us, we must not break our commitments to Him or to others. 

  3. Thank you, Michelle! I needed your comment today. 

    For so long, I allowed myself to be ruled by my emotions. What a tough habit to break!

    I know how the poison of resentment and indignation feels dark and heavy, just as the spiritual nourishment of doing what God commands feels light and bright.

    Still, the darkness can be so easy to slip back into – so much so that it's possible to not even realize it's happening. I experienced this dealing with my friend's death and attending his memorial service. I was definitely setting some necessary boundaries, but it may have been a tad harsh to the boundary-crossers.

    I need to constantly tell myself to respond with love and not resentment, to LOVE my enemies, especially the wolves in sheep's clothing. It can be so difficult. 

  4. “I need to constantly tell myself to respond with love and not resentment, to LOVE my enemies, especially the wolves in sheep's clothing. It can be so difficult.” ~Brynne 

    Amen, Brynne!! ❤️

    I’ve heard some say it’s “loving” to be harsh “when someone needs it,” but not according to what I read about love in Scripture. We can’t look to godly people in Scripture and say, “He did it, so I can,” because aside from Jesus, who had no sin in Him, everyone else was influenced by and at war with their sinful nature just as we all are. And they would be the first to say so!

    I look to 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 as a way to reflect on how I not only feel about people, but how I treat them, and God humbles me every time. As soon as I feel irritable or resentful toward someone, I know how short I fall. It’s a daily battle for me, and even multiple times a day, to not resent certain people…and if I’m not careful to destroy that list every day, to forgive completely as God forgives me completely (only because of Christ!), bitterness will take root and the spirit of God will be quenched by my sin. I so want to honor and glorify Jesus and love as He loves me!

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