Showing posts from August, 2012

Reflections from the Pastor – Song of Songs 2:8-13

Read the text here: Song of Songs 2:8-13 Song of Love Last week we concluded our series on King David with the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem by David’s son and successor, King Solomon (I Kings 8).   That temple stood for close to 400 years before it was completely destroyed by the Babylonians.   It was later rebuilt after the Persians conquered Babylon and the 2 nd Temple stood for over 500 years before it was finally and permanently destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 (A.D.).   It is hard to overstate the importance of the Temple in the life of the people of Israel.   The Temple was the center of their religious and civic life.   You can see the centrality of the Temple just by reading through any of the Gospels.   Jesus’ final week was spent in and around the (2 nd ) Temple.   Jesus cleared the moneychangers from the Temple courtyard; Jesus taught in various parts of the Temple; Jesus’ trial before the Council of Elders (The Sanhedrin) was held in the reside

Reflections on I Kings 8 – “The Temple Is Dedicated”

Read the text here: I Kings 8:1-43 Reflections on I Kings 8 – “The Temple Is Dedicated” Well, we have come to the end of the story.   King David died last week and his throne has passed to his son Solomon.   Solomon then initiates a series of building projects, the most of important of which is to build the Temple to house the Ark.   When it is finally complete it is an amazing structure, encased in gold and utilizing only the most precious and expensive materials.   Built with slave labor the work is now complete and today the text today is a portion of the story of the dedication and a part of the public prayer that Solomon prays. In many ways this text is a good summery of all that we have experienced over the summer.   Many of the themes that we have touched on in previous texts are lifted up in this text as well.   The narrator, for example, makes sure we see Solomon’s faults: his grasping for wealth, his extravagance in spending, his use of slave labor and his abs

Reflections on Ends and Beginnings– I Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

Read the text here: I Kings 2:10 - 3:14 We have come to the end of the story of David.   One might have expected David’s story to end in glory, but rather it ends with a bitter old man being manipulated by one political faction; and with David giving Solomon instructions for taking revenge on everyone who David considers an enemy.   It is not a very glorious end, David seems simply bitter and petty.   And for his part, Solomon’s start is not so glorious either. Solomon has to secure a lot of support in order to succeed to the throne, for he is not the next in line – his older brother Adonijah is the next in line.   So much of the text that surrounds today’s text is telling the story of how Solomon manages to outmaneuver Adonijah and then how Solomon eliminates all of his political opponents.   This part of the story is somewhat unpleasant and certainly is not very spiritually enlightening – or is it?   The fact is that God is still present with David as he ends

Reflections on "Nathan Condemns David" - II Samuel 11:26-12:15

Read the text here - II Samuel 11:26-12:15 Coram Deo – Ever Before God This week we read the 2 nd part of the sad and sordid story of David’s taking of Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. To fully understand this climactic ending to the story we do need to review the first part of the story.   So, in a nutshell, here’s what happened last week: 1.      David does not accompany the army out to the field of battle but remains back at the palace. 2.      One afternoon, after getting up from his afternoon nap on his roof, he sees a woman, Bathsheba, engaging in the purification ritual bathing and he wants her. 3.      He takes her, uses her and discards her. 4.      She informs the King that she is pregnant. 5.      David summons her husband, Uriah, home from the front, plies him with wine and tries to get him to go home and sleep with his wife. 6.      Uriah refuses. 7.      David sends a note back to General Joab (with Uriah!) that Joab