Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: 2 Samuel 22-24
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
2 Samuel 22
David Sings to the Lord
1. David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord rescued him from the power of all his enemies, including Saul.
2. He said: “The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer.
3. My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter, my shield, the horn that saves me, my stronghold, my refuge, my savior. You save me from violence!
4. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was delivered from my enemies.
5. The waves of death engulfed me; the currents of chaos overwhelmed me.
6. The ropes of Sheol tightened around me; the snares of death trapped me.
7. In my distress I called to the Lord; I called to my God. From his heavenly temple he heard my voice; he listened to my cry for help.
8. The earth heaved and shook; the foundations of the sky trembled. They heaved because he was angry.
9. Smoke ascended from his nose; fire devoured as it came from his mouth; he hurled down fiery coals.
10. He made the sky sink as he descended; a thick cloud was under his feet.
11. He mounted a winged angel and flew; he glided on the wings of the wind.
12. He shrouded himself in darkness, in thick rain clouds.
13. From the brightness in front of him came coals of fire.
14. The Lord thundered from the sky; the sovereign One shouted loudly.
15. He shot arrows and scattered them, lightning and routed them.
16. The depths of the sea were exposed; the inner regions of the world were uncovered by the Lord’s battle cry, by the powerful breath from his nose.
17. He reached down from above and grabbed me; he pulled me from the surging water.
18. He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
19. They confronted me in my day of calamity, but the Lord helped me.
20. He brought me out into a wide open place; he delivered me because he was pleased with me.
21. The Lord repaid me for my godly deeds; he rewarded my blameless behavior.
22. For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands; I have not rebelled against my God.
23. For I am aware of all his regulations, and I do not reject his rules.
24. I was blameless before him; I kept myself from sinning.
25. The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds; he took notice of my blameless behavior.
26. You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful; you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent.
27. You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless, but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse.
28. You deliver oppressed people, but you watch the proud and bring them down.
29. Indeed, you are my lamp, Lord. The Lord illumines the darkness around me.
30. Indeed,with your help I can charge against an army; by my God’s power I can jump over a wall.
31. The one true God acts in a faithful manner; the Lord’s promise is reliable; he is a shield to all who take shelter in him.
32. Indeed, who is God besides the Lord? Who is a protector besides our God?
33. The one true God is my mighty refuge; he removes the obstacles in my way.
34. He gives me the agility of a deer; he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.
35. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend even the strongest bow.
36. You give me your protective shield; your willingness to help enables me to prevail.
37. You widen my path; my feet do not slip.
38. I chase my enemies and destroy them; I do not turn back until I wipe them out.
39. I wipe them out and beat them to death; they cannot get up; they fall at my feet.
40. You give me strength for battle; you make my foes kneel before me.
41. You make my enemies retreat; I destroy those who hate me.
42. They cry out, but there is no one to help them; they cry out to the Lord, but he does not answer them.
43. I grind them as fine as the dust of the ground; I crush them and stomp on them like clay in the streets.
44. You rescue me from a hostile army; you preserve me as a leader of nations; people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects.
45. Foreigners are powerless before me; when they hear of my exploits, they submit to me.
46. Foreigners lose their courage; they shake with fear as they leave their strongholds.
47. The Lord is alive! My protector is praiseworthy! The God who delivers me is exalted as king!
48. The one true God completely vindicates me; he makes nations submit to me.
49. He delivers me from my enemies; you snatch me away from those who attack me; you rescue me from violent men.
50. So I will give you thanks, O Lord, before the nations! I will sing praises to you.
51. He gives his chosen king magnificent victories; he is faithful to his chosen ruler, to David and to his descendants forever!”
2 Samuel 23
David’s Final Words
1. These are the final words of David: “The oracle of David son of Jesse, the oracle of the man raised up as the ruler chosen by the God of Jacob, Israel’s beloved singer of songs:
2. The Lord’s spirit spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.
3. The God of Israel spoke, the protector of Israel spoke to me. The one who rules fairly among men, the one who rules in the fear of God,
4. is like the light of morning when the sun comes up, a morning in which there are no clouds. He is like the brightness after rain that produces grass from the earth.
5. My dynasty is approved by God, for he has made a perpetual covenant with me, arranged in all its particulars and secured. He always delivers me, and brings all I desire to fruition.
6. But evil people are like thorns – all of them are tossed away, for they cannot be held in the hand.
7. The one who touches them must use an iron instrument or the wooden shaft of a spear. They are completely burned up right where they lie!”
8. These are the names of David’s warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was head of the officers. He killed eight hundred men with his spear in one battle.
9. Next in command was Eleazar son of Dodo, the son of Ahohi. He was one of the three warriors who were with David when they defied the Philistines who were assembled there for battle. When the men of Israel retreated,
10. he stood his ground and fought the Philistines until his hand grew so tired that it seemed stuck to his sword. The Lord gave a great victory on that day. When the army returned to him, the only thing left to do was to plunder the corpses.
11. Next in command was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines assembled at Lehi, where there happened to be an area of a field that was full of lentils, the army retreated before the Philistines.
12. But he made a stand in the middle of that area. He defended it and defeated the Philistines; the Lord gave them a great victory.
13. At the time of the harvest three of the thirty leaders went down to David at the cave of Adullam. A band of Philistines was camped in the valley of Rephaim.
14. David was in the stronghold at the time, while a Philistine garrison was in Bethlehem.
15. David was thirsty and said, “How I wish someone would give me some water to drink from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate!”
16. So the three elite warriors broke through the Philistine forces and drew some water from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate. They carried it back to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord
17. and said, “O Lord, I will not do this! It is equivalent to the blood of the men who risked their lives by going.” So he refused to drink it. Such were the exploits of the three elite warriors.
18. Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was head of the three. He killed three hundred men with his spear and gained fame among the three.
19. From the three he was given honor and he became their officer, even though he was not one of the three.
20. Benaiah son of Jehoida was a brave warrior from Kabzeel who performed great exploits. He struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in a cistern on a snowy day.
21. He also killed an impressive-looking Egyptian. The Egyptian wielded a spear, while Benaiah attacked him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.
22. Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoida, who gained fame among the three elite warriors.
23. He received honor from the thirty warriors, though he was not one of the three elite warriors. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
24. Included with the thirty were the following: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,
25. Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite,
26. Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,
27. Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite,
28. Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite,
29. Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,
30. Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash,
31. Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite,
32. Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan
33. son of Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite,
34. Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,
35. Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite,
36. Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite,
37. Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite (the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah),
38. Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite
39. and Uriah the Hittite. Altogether there were thirty-seven.
2 Samuel 24
David Displeases the Lord by Taking a Census
1. The Lord’s anger again raged against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go count Israel and Judah.”
2. The king told Joab, the general in command of his army, “Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beer Sheba and muster the army, so I may know the size of the army.”
3. Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God make the army a hundred times larger right before the eyes of my lord the king! But why does my master the king want to do this?”
4. But the king’s edict stood, despite the objections of Joab and the leaders of the army. So Joab and the leaders of the army left the king’s presence in order to muster the Israelite army.
5. They crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, on the south side of the city, at the wadi of Gad, near Jazer.
6. Then they went on to Gilead and to the region of Tahtim Hodshi, coming to Dan Jaan and on around to Sidon.
7. Then they went to the fortress of Tyre and all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went on to the Negev of Judah, to Beer Sheba.
8. They went through all the land and after nine months and twenty days came back to Jerusalem.
9. Joab reported the number of warriors to the king. In Israel there were 800,000 sword-wielding warriors, and in Judah there were 500,000 soldiers.
10. David felt guilty after he had numbered the army. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by doing this! Now, O Lord, please remove the guilt of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”
11. When David got up the next morning, the Lord had already spoken to Gad the prophet, David’s seer:
12. “Go, tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am offering you three forms of judgment. Pick one of them and I will carry it out against you.’”
13. Gad went to David and told him, “Shall seven years of famine come upon your land? Or shall you flee for three months from your enemy with him in hot pursuit? Or shall there be three days of plague in your land? Now decide what I should tell the one who sent me.”
14. David said to Gad, “I am very upset! I prefer that we be attacked by the Lord, for his mercy is great; I do not want to be attacked by men!”
15. So the Lord sent a plague through Israel from the morning until the completion of the appointed time. Seventy thousand men died from Dan to Beer Sheba.
16. When the angel extended his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented from his judgment. He told the angel who was killing the people, “That’s enough! Stop now!” (Now the Lord’s angel was near the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.)
17. When he saw the angel who was destroying the people, David said to the Lord, “Look, it is I who have sinned and done this evil thing! As for these sheep – what have they done? Attack me and my family.”
David Acquires a Threshing Floor and Constructs an Altar There
18. So Gad went to David that day and told him, “Go up and build an altar for the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”
19. So David went up as Gad instructed him to do, according to the Lord’s instructions.
20. When Araunah looked out and saw the king and his servants approaching him, he went out and bowed to the king with his face to the ground.
21. Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David replied, “To buy from you the threshing floor so I can build an altar for the Lord, so that the plague may be removed from the people.”
22. Araunah told David, “My lord the king may take whatever he wishes and offer it. Look! Here are oxen for burnt offerings, and threshing sledges and harnesses for wood.
23. I, the servant of my lord the king, give it all to the king!” Araunah also told the king, “May the Lord your God show you favor!”
24. But the king said to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it from you! I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt sacrifices that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty pieces of silver.
25. Then David built an altar for the Lord there and offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings. And the Lord accepted prayers for the land, and the plague was removed from Israel.