Week 4 of our Bible in 90 Days Discussions. Please joins us as we read along. For more details on reading the Bible in 90 days, please visit our main page.
David — how would you describe him?
- A good person but still human and wanted what he wanted and did things that were not pleasing. He paid for it but God did not throw him away like other people. Feel better about self as David was not perfect and he was still favored by God.
- Bathsheba and David killing her husband, Uriah was cold. Other cruel things, including reference to laying out the Moabites and killing every 2 lengths.
- Liked how it described David dancing crazy before Lord.
What did you think of the Story of David and Bathsheba – Uriah the Hittite killed? Nathan the prophet’s story (2 Samuel 12).
- No different than now — Famous people have done it – had affairs, etc…
- Even people like Dr. Martin Luther King have had indescretions. But, often we should look at the great or good things they have done as well.
- What was the sin of David? Sleeping with Bathsheba or killing her husband or both? It seems to come down to sex, money, ego, power, judgmentalism
- Was God testing David to see if he would be tempted? It was not clear what he did what he did – it just seemed he could have probably gotten the woman have a divorce or something. It did try first to trick Uriah into believe the baby was his – trying to send him home to Bathsheba first.
People seem to be thinking about themselves and not future generations or progeny. And, certain things were done because of intergenerational justice – withholding the punishment until the next king, for example…punishment held off until future generations.
How would you describe King Solomon? (Asks for wisdom 1 Kings 3)
- Wise and rich.
- Unbelievable how many wives and concubines he had.
Troubling Treatment of Women:
Seemed like women were cattle — the richer the more wives and concubines. Reading how women were viewed it is understandable how women have had a hard time to getting rights. Some disturbing passages: with Adonijah sleeping with David’s concubines in full view of everyone. But, Solomon took care of them afterward. The story of man (Levite) who’s concubine was raped by Benjaminites and she was cut up into 12 pieces and sent to tribes to show what an outrageous thing was done – but then they orchestra women being kidnapped for the remaining Benjaminites.
What did you think of the Queen of Sheba?
The woman who visited Solomon — almost like something exotic. Solomon had a big ego — couldnt wait to show her all his wealth. Like Solomon thinks that this stuff makes me a big man. She was giving him gifts. Like an ambassadorial relationship.
What was Solomon’s downfall? Foreign women (1 Kings 11) – action led to God tearing Israel apart – Rehoboam (Judah) and Jeroboam (10 tribes of Israel). Jeroboam built 2 golden calves. (Jerusalem and Samaria) Note: David’s bloodline maintained in Judah while different kings ruled Israel. 1 Kings 11:35
David with people (his horizontal relationships) was not the best but his vertical relationship with God solid. But, starting with King Solomon and the kings after, their relationships with God were different.
Interesting it took 7 years to build Temple but much more for time for Solomon’s own palace. Wonder if that raises questions about Solomon’s priorities. It’s interesting that the priority on earthly wealth never comes up as something that contributed to his downfall.
What did you think of the kings of Judah and Israel and all the idol worship?
People take advantage of power. They kept getting it wrong. Some of kings also very young so how do they make good judgments and it would seem they would be easy to manipulate. Do you blame the king or the people? The people were the ones worshiping in high places and maybe the kings felt there was not much they could do about it.
What was the book of annals they kept referencing? Translation in some of the audio recordings for annals is chronicles. Notice that some of the positions listed for the kings are “recorders” presumably there were official records that its referring to. It seems at that time they kept records and very likely there were libraries and records of events of each king and genealogies etc…and there are some that believe there are lost books of Bible.
The view of death and violence was very disturbing. For example, Saul got angry about the women singing about how many people he killed versus David as if killing more was a good thing…like it’s no big deal. It seems to minimize killing people…and shows how little it meant. From Joshua to David it’s like genocide — men, women and children. The killing of children is especially confusing. Or in 2 Kings: 15:16 — killing even the pregnant women. Hebrews learned to kill people. But, gneocide unfortunately continues to today — Rwanda, lynchings and holocausts. One Holocaust survivor was recently quoted this week given it was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz: “I only know we did not learn from the Holocaust that we should stop killing, because we did not.” But, here in the reading killing seems sanctioned by God.
King Ahab and Jezebel — who were they? Why did they do evil? Naboth’s Vineyard. (1 Kings 21) Think Jezebel held the reign. Definitely got back at Jezebel with eunuchs pushing her to her death. Note: eunuch often are taught a being men who were physically castrated to be trusted to serve with the wives and concubines; however, there is evidence it was a term generally used to refer to sexual minorities, including LBGT people. Note a reference in future reading in the New Testament in Matthew about people who are “born” eunuchs.
Elijah (taken up in a whirlwind) and Elisha/miracles?
Elijah prophet – he heard God not in the thunder but received a whisper from God….taken up in whirlwind. Elijah would have these amazing highs and then he would be down in the dumps. Interesting the story about Elisha just before Elijah taken up someone saying, “you know Elijah is going to be taken today” and Elisha says, “yes be quiet.” It is like Elisha is saying to Elijah he’s going to be faithful to Elijah and see he taken up. Those stories are interesting. 2 Kings 2:9 Didn’t understand what was going on when Elisha asks for a double portion of what Elijah has. And Elijah says it difficult, but “if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” Elijah knew was not a gift he could give but was only something from God and so he said let God decide — if you see me then that means God will grant it.
- Shunammite woman (son restored to life) 2 Kings 4/2 Kings 8
- Athaliah (2 Kings 11) – kills royal family but another woman (Jehosheba) saves Joash the rightful king. Athaliah rules for 6 years. Judah.
- Huldah – prophetess whom King Josiah sends priests to consult (2 Kings 22) Josiah renews covenant.