Give Me Understanding that I May Live

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2 SAMUEL 17:1-29 | JOHN 19:23-42 | PSALM 119:129-152 | PROVERBS 16:12-13

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The story of Absalom’s pursuit of his father continues.  Absalom seeks out the advice of two advisors to the king, each giving different advice.  David, in the meantime is still on the run and is a king without a kingdom.  One of the advisors, Hushai, sends word to David to alert him to Absalom’s plans.  It is to be seen what may come of all this and whether Absalom succeeds in displacing his own father David as king of Israel.

Turning to our passage in the book of John, we come upon the gruesome account of the crucifixion of Jesus.  After a most horrific ordeal, Jesus breathes his last on the cross.  It is indeed a matter of curiosity as to where all his disciples have gone because there is no one to tend to the body; instead, it is two relatively unknown men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who ask Pilate for the body and take it away for a proper burial.

Our reading in the psalms continues through chapter 119, the longest psalm.  Some verses that are worthy of reflection and emulation are as follows:

130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
132 Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
134 Redeem me from human oppression,
that I may obey your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees.

140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
and your servant loves them.
141 Though I am lowly and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands give me delight.
144 Your statutes are always righteous;
give me understanding that I may live.

145 I call with all my heart; answer me, LORD,
and I will obey your decrees.
146 I call out to you; save me
and I will keep your statutes.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I have put my hope in your word.
148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises.
149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love;
preserve my life, LORD, according to your laws.

Finally, two verses from the book of Proverbs pertaining to the true character of kings.  One can’t help but wonder if Solomon, king of Israel, had his father David or even himself in mind when he wrote this:

12 Kings detest wrongdoing,
for a throne is established through righteousness.

13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips;
they value the one who speaks what is right.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.

2 thoughts on “Give Me Understanding that I May Live

  1. As you point out, most of the disciples are gone, except for the beloved disciple and at least four women (at least three of whom named Mary). It’s fascinating that in that world, where women usually are not given their rightful recognition, the gospel writers consistently mention women being present at the most crucial times. And even make sure to name them.

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