It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Reflection on readings for May 16

Praise the Lord!
Happy are those who fear the Lord,
who greatly delight in God's commandments.
(adapted from Psalm 112:1)

1 Samuel 18:5-19:24
A mighty enemy has been eliminated. The reaction of the people is joy. The king's reaction is to get angry because someone else is getting praised. In a plan to get rid of David, Saul decides to bribe him to death--to offer him the prize of his daughter if David kills a hundred Philistines. When David brings proof that he has done so, Saul gives him Michal (who, incidentally, loves David) as a wife. David continues to be successful in battles against the Philistines.

And Saul is still paranoid, still feels that his own status is being threatened by David's success, and talks to his servants and Jonathan about killing David. Jonathan intervenes. He warns David and then tries to reason with his father. Things are all right for a while, but when David has another victory, Saul decides to kill him. His daughter Michal helps her husband David escape. David sought refuge with Samuel. Saul tracked him down.

John 8:31-59
Jesus told them, "You say  that Abraham is your father, but you act as if you are children of the devil." He then added, "God is my father. You don't know him, but I do."

In our own times, we can be confronted by people who claim that they are following God's wishes, but what they do doesn't look at all like what Jesus said that God's children would be doing.

Psalm 112:1-10
Blessings accrue to the righteous. Following the Lord's commandments will make you happy, your descendants rich. I read the first three verses and wondered if I had entered into Prosperity Gospel land. Wondering how this psalm was related to the pride v. humility message, I kept reading.

Verses 4 through 9 describe the lives and actions of the righteous: they are merciful and generous.

People secure in the Lord don't have to be afraid.

When righteous people favor distribution to the poor, the wicked get angry. But, those angry people--or as I would rather interpret it, the anger of those people--melts away.

Proverbs 15:12-14
Scoffers do not like to be rebuked;
they will not go to the wise.
A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.
The mind of one who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.

Prayer for Today: Choose a prayer for Joan Stott's website The Timeless Psalms.

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