2 Samuel 21; 2 Samuel 22; Luke 18:24-43

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2 Samuel 21

1 In the time of David, there was a famine for three successive years, and David asked the LORD's advice about it. The LORD answered, "It's because of Saul and his family. They are guilty of murder because they killed the people of Gibeon."
2 (The Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were left over from the Amorites. Although the Israelites had sworn [to spare them], Saul, in his eagerness, tried to destroy them for Israel and Judah.) The king called the Gibeonites
3 and asked them, "What can I do for you? What should I [give you] to make peace with you so that you will bless what belongs to the LORD?"
4 "We do not want silver or gold from Saul's family," the Gibeonites answered him. "And none of us wants to kill [anyone] in Israel." The king asked, "What are you saying that I should do for you?"
5 They answered the king, "Give us seven of the male descendants of the man who wanted to finish us off. He planned to wipe us out to keep us from staying anywhere in Israel's territory.
6 We will execute them in the LORD's presence at Saul's town Gibeah." (It was Saul whom the LORD had chosen.) "I will give them [to you]," the king said.
7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son and Saul's grandson, because of the oath in the LORD's name between David and Jonathan, son of Saul.
8 The king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons whom Rizpah (Aiah's daughter) gave birth to for Saul, and five sons whom Merab (Saul's daughter) gave birth to for Adriel, son of Barzillai from Meholah.
9 The king handed them over to the Gibeonites, who executed them on the mountain in the LORD's presence. All seven died together. They were killed at the beginning of the harvest, when people started harvesting barley.
10 Rizpah (Aiah's daughter) took sackcloth and stretched it out on the rock for herself from the beginning of the harvest until the sky rained on the dead bodies. She wouldn't let any birds land on them during the day or any wild animals come near them during the night.
11 When David was told what Saul's concubine Rizpah (Aiah's daughter) had done,
12 David went and took the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. They had stolen them from the public square of Beth Shean, where the Philistines had hung them the day they killed Saul at Gilboa.
13 When David brought up the bones of Saul and Jonathan, his men gathered the bones of those who had been executed.
14 Then they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin, in Zela, in the tomb of Saul's father Kish. They did everything the king ordered. After that, God answered the prayers for the land.
15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. So David and his men went to fight the Philistines, but David became exhausted.
16 A descendant of Haraphah named Benob, who had a bronze spear weighing 7½ pounds which he wore on a new belt, captured David and intended to kill him.
17 But Abishai, son of Zeruiah, came to help David. He attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David's men swore an oath, saying, "You'll never go into battle with us again. The lamp of Israel must never be extinguished."
18 After this, there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of Haraphah.
19 When more fighting broke out with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan, son of Jaare Oregim from Bethlehem, killed Goliath of Gath. (The shaft of Goliath's spear was like a beam used by weavers.)
20 In another battle at Gath, there was a tall man who had a total of 24 fingers and toes: six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He also was a descendant of Haraphah.
21 When he challenged Israel, Jonathan, son of David's brother Shimei, killed him.
22 These four were descendants of Haraphah from Gath, and David and his men killed them.

2 Samuel 22

1 David sang this song to the LORD when the LORD rescued him from all his enemies, especially from Saul.
2 He said, The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my Savior,
3 my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, the strength of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior who saved me from violence.
4 The LORD should be praised. I called on him, and I was saved from my enemies.
5 The waves of death had surrounded me. The torrents of destruction had overwhelmed me.
6 The ropes of the grave had surrounded me. The clutches of death had confronted me.
7 I called on the LORD in my distress. I called to my God for help. He heard my voice from his temple, and my cry for help reached his ears.
8 Then the earth shook and quaked. Even the foundations of the heavens trembled. They shook violently because he was angry.
9 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and a raging fire came out of his mouth. Glowing coals flared up from it.
10 He spread apart the heavens and came down with a dark cloud under his feet.
11 He rode on one of the angels as he flew, and he soared on the wings of the wind.
12 He surrounded himself with darkness. He made the dark rain clouds his covering.
13 Out of the brightness in front of him, he made lightning.
14 The LORD thundered from heaven. The Most High made his voice heard.
15 He shot arrows and scattered them. He flashed streaks of lightning and threw them into confusion.
16 Then the ocean floor could be seen. The foundations of the earth were laid bare at the LORD's stern warning, at the blast of the breath from his nostrils.
17 He reached down from high above and took hold of me. He pulled me out of the raging water.
18 He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, because they were too strong for me.
19 On the day when I faced disaster, they confronted me, but the LORD became my defense.
20 He brought me out to a wide-open place. He rescued me because he was pleased with me.
21 The LORD rewarded me because of my righteousness, because my hands are clean. He paid me back
22 because I have kept the ways of the LORD and I have not wickedly turned away from my God,
23 because all his judgments are in front of me and I have not turned away from his laws.
24 I was innocent as far as he was concerned. I have kept myself from guilt.
25 The LORD paid me back because of my righteousness, because he can see that I am clean.
26 [In dealing] with faithful people you are faithful, with innocent warriors you are innocent,
27 with pure people you are pure. [In dealing] with devious people you are clever.
28 You save humble people, but your eyes bring down arrogant people.
29 O LORD, you are my lamp. The LORD turns my darkness into light.
30 With you I can attack a line of soldiers. With my God I can break through barricades.
31 God's way is perfect! The promise of the LORD has proven to be true. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.
32 Who is God but the LORD? Who is a rock other than our God?
33 God arms me with strength. His perfect way sets me free.
34 He makes my feet like those of a deer and gives me sure footing on high places.
35 He trains my hands for battle so that my arms can bend an [archer's] bow of bronze.
36 You have given me the shield of your salvation. Your help makes me great.
37 You make a wide path for me to walk on so that my feet do not slip.
38 I chased my enemies and destroyed them. I did not return until I had ended their lives.
39 I ended their lives by shattering them. They were unable to get up. They fell under my feet.
40 You armed me with strength for battle. You made my opponents bow at my feet.
41 You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and I destroyed those who hated me.
42 They looked, but there was no one to save them. They looked to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
43 I beat them into a powder as fine as the dust on the ground. I crushed them and stomped on them like the dirt on the streets.
44 You rescued me from my conflicts with my people. You kept me as the leader of nations. A people I did not know will serve me.
45 Foreigners will cringe in front of me. As soon as they hear of me, they will obey me.
46 Foreigners will lose heart, although they are armed in their fortifications.
47 The LORD lives! Thanks be to my rock! May God, the rock of my salvation, be glorified.
48 God gives me vengeance! He brings people under my authority.
49 He frees me from my enemies. You lift me up above my opponents. You rescue me from violent people.
50 That is why I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the nations and make music to praise your name.
51 He gives great victories to his king. He shows mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his descendant forever.

Luke 18:24-43

24 Jesus watched him and said, "How hard it is for rich people to enter the kingdom of God!
25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
26 Those who heard him asked, "Who, then, can be saved?"
27 Jesus said, "The things that are impossible for people to do are possible for God to do."
28 Then Peter said, "We've left everything to follow you."
29 Jesus said to them, "I can guarantee this truth: Anyone who gave up his home, wife, brothers, parents, or children because of the kingdom of God
30 will certainly receive many times as much in this life and will receive eternal life in the world to come."
31 Jesus took the twelve apostles aside and said to them, "We're going to Jerusalem. Everything that the prophets wrote about the Son of Man will come true.
32 He will be handed over to foreigners. They will make fun of him, insult him, spit on him,
33 whip him, and kill him. But on the third day he will come back to life."
34 But they didn't understand any of this. What he said was a mystery to them, and they didn't know what he meant.
35 As Jesus came near Jericho, a blind man was sitting and begging by the road.
36 When he heard the crowd going by, he tried to find out what was happening.
37 The people told him that Jesus from Nazareth was passing by.
38 Then the blind man shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
39 The people at the front of the crowd told the blind man to be quiet. But he shouted even louder, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
40 Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him. When the man came near, Jesus asked him,
41 "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said, "Lord, I want to see again."
42 Jesus told him, "Receive your sight! Your faith has made you well."
43 Immediately, he could see again. He followed Jesus and praised God. All the people saw this, and they, too, praised God.