The Great Coffee Disaster
I had to get up earlier than normal yesterday to help my wife and one of my daughters get out the door on a camping trip. Since it was 4:30 AM I figured I’d get plenty of Bible reading done and still have plenty of time to finish my other goals for the day. Wrong.
My coffee pot was dead – all the way dead in a way that makes it worthless dead. That meant I had no morning coffee and that is not a good thing. So once I got my wife out the door I tried to read and work until the other kids got up. I guess I’m not used to concentrating without my coffee. I didn’t get very far.
So I made a trip to town and bought a new coffee pot – well a coffee press actually. I’ve been wanting one for quite awhile but didn’t want to spend the money. Now that I was faced with purchasing a new coffee pot anyway I nabbed a press instead. Like most models this one doesn’t use any electricity to heat up the water. That means I heat up the water in a large measuring cup in the microwave and once it’s almost ready to boil I pour it in, cap it – let the brew steep for four minutes and then slowly press the grounds down to the bottom. The result? A really good cup of coffee.
Now, let’s open the Bible and get some reading done.
I enjoyed starting with the Psalms first so much yesterday that I think I’ll do it again.
Today’s reading is still a bit of catch up from the lighting induced Internet outage over the weekend so the reading is slightly expanded as well. We’ll do 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. I’ve got a chart that I use when reading through the kings to help me get a grip of what’s going on. So I’ll share it with you today. You can click on the thumbnail here or just download the PDF from the bottom of the post. I find it very useful.
The Psalms of Asaph are, in some ways more laced with mourning than the Psalms of David. The mourning of the Davidic Psalms is more personal while the Asaph psalms while personal are more national in nature. Reading through Psalm 78 and 79 brings out a really good sense of the type of suffering that Asaph witnessed and the immense struggle that he had in trying to make it mesh with the Omnipotence and love of God. To anyone struggling with personal or national tragedy in any age I commend the Psalms of Asaph.
It could be titled the rise and fall and rise of a godly man. David was not godly because he was perfect – that is a flawed definition which we all too often try to cling to. Righteousness and godliness for fallen men is described in Proverbs as a man who falls seven times and yet rises again (Proverbs 24:16). Thus David was a man after God’s own heart, who foolishly stumbled (Nay rather jumped headlong into the ground) but who in contriteness of heart (Psalm 51) rose back to his feet before the Lord. 2 Samuel can well be divided between BB and AB (Before Bathsheba and After Bathsheba) for his adultery and Murder separates David’s life into two halves and sets the stage for Israel’s struggles.
Apart from the affair with Bathsheba David truly was a man after God’s own heart. He established his kingdom by righteous choices rather than encouraging needless bloodshed and distancing himself from political intrigue. He reached out to the family of his former enemy and embraced a desire to be a blessing back to the Lord by building a temple. Even as the judgments of God came down upon his nation and his family because of his sin, David did not resort to further sin in the name of expediency. When he was cursed he did not reject it. When he was challenged he did not bear unnecessary grudges. A man after God’s own heart, even when he messed up big time, he still tried to pursue the Lord. May I do as much.
The rise and fall of Solomon. What began as the most successful monarchy on earth should have continued. But “Solomon loved many foreign women” (1 Kings 11:1). So much for being the wisest man on earth, anyone foolish enough to marry 700 women and to keep 300 as concubines is begging for trouble. I don’t know if he had to mess with the petty squabbles but I do know they dragged him down and enticed him to worship their gods – and thus came the destruction of Israel.
In Deuteronomy God told the Israelites what a king must not do: multiply wives and horses and Solomon had more of both than anyone. And Solomon’s heart was turned to the gods of his wives and for this reason God divided the kingdom with two tribes in the south for Solomon’s son Rehoboam and ten in the north for Jeroboam the son of Nebat who caused Israel to sin.
Thanks to Jeroboam the northern ten tribes were plunged into idolatry and the two nations began to spiral out of control toward their ultimate destruction at the close of 2 kings.
Bad king follows bad king in the north and the southern tribes are graced with pitiful few “good” kings who seek to honor the Lord. In rapid fire succession we move from Evil king (Ahaz) to good king (Hezekiah) to most evil (Manasseh) father to best king (Josiah) as we careen from king to king and kingdom to kingdom.
Take my chart and USE it as you read through Samuel, Kings and Chronicles as well as the Prophets it will help you to hang them on a historical framework.