June 3 – (2 Sam. 19-20) Let’s go back to Shimei (the guy who cursed David as he fled from Absalom). What happens to him?  I think David was feeling benevolent at the time… or was that just David’s character?

We also notice here in these chapters that Sheba, a Benjamite, called upon the Israelites to follow him and rebel against king David. The house of Benjamin had been a rival of David’s since he became king.  David had just defeated Absalom’s rebellion.  He now has to put down Sheba’s rebellion.  I believe this is all because of David’s sin with Bathsheba and her husband.  Didn’t God tell him that there would always be fighting?  Again, the choices we make are always forgiven but we may have to bear the consequences.  I thank God He gives us the grace to do so! 

June 4 – (2 Sam. 21-22) There is so much in this chapter. I could spend a week here (at least). It speaks to me of waiting for God to answer and of sowing and reaping (there was a three-year famine in David’s reign because Saul sinned concerning the Gibeonites).  Then David took five sons from Michal (a wife) to be hanged with two others for this sin, so that God would bless the land again.  These five sons were not from David but a former husband that Saul chose during the time of David’s fleeing from Saul.  Michal was also the wife that despised David in her heart for dancing before the ark as it was brought into the city.  God said she would be barren the rest of her life.  Many, many lessons for us but so little time!   

June 5 – (2 Sam. 23-24) What were three qualities a ruler must have?  Let’s pray that our president (and the presidents to come) develop more and more of these qualities.

                Why was it so wrong to number the people?  I kept asking myself this question…for years.  When I get to a conundrum or ponderable, I have to “put it on the shelf” that is marked “to be understood at a later time”.  When I do that it helps me to let go of it and trust God that He will give me understanding when I am ready or needing it.  Now let’s get back to the passage.  In that time when you numbered or took a census, it was done by the person or king who owned whatever was numbered.  David was saying in essence that he owned all of Israel and Judah and we all know that this was God’s people.  Joab, his commander, even knew this and tried to dissuade King David.  There was some pride in David that God needed to address.  My mind then goes to how the Angel picked who would die because of David’s sin. Immediately I look within myself and wander how my sin (of not telling someone about Jesus’ saving grace) has allowed someone else to die spiritually.  “Oh God, forgive our sins and give us courage to speak your name when You tell us to!” 

June 6 – (1 Kgs. 1-2) In general overview, 1st & 2nd Kings describes the period of the monarchy in ancient Israel (970-586 B.C.) concentrating on the kings who ruled after David.  1st Kings shows that Israel suffers again and again because of its great sinfulness.  Yet there is still hope for the nation, because God’s chosen family of kings has not come to an end. God remains ready to forgive those who repent.  Aren’t you so thankful, He continues that to this day?  “Thank you, God, for your steadfast forgiveness and love!”

                David spoke to Solomon words of wisdom and warning as he was about to die (2:1-4).  What were five things he encouraged Solomon in doing?  It really is a great example of what we all need to hand down to our family!  I would suggest even writing them to hand down. 

June 7 – (1 Kgs. 3-4) Do you remember when Samuel warned the Israelites what it would be like to have a king (just like their neighbors) but they wanted a king anyway (I Sam.8:10-20)?  Here we see God’s warning coming true even with Solomon as their wise and God-fearing king (I Ki. 4:11, 15)!  Be careful what you demand (or ask for) …. especially when God says it’s not for your best!

                How many governors did Solomon have just to provide for him and his household (4:7, 22)?  Take notice how much food was needed EVERY DAY…. but they wanted a king!

Wouldn’t you have liked to have been Solomon to receive wisdom and exceedingly great understanding and largeness of heart (4:29)?  I know we all say YES!!! Then I think about the responsibility that Solomon had in leading God’s people.  Could we get the wisdom and exceeding great understanding and largeness of heart without all that responsibility?  I know God wants us to receive just that for whatever great responsibility He gives specifically to each one of us! Let’s ask Him! 

June 8 – (1 Kgs. 5-6) Solomon has built a temple for God to dwell.  Remember the commands God made in order for His presence to dwell there?  Ponderable:  Do these commands apply to His holy temple that dwells inside us?  I’m asking myself, to what extent am I obeying those same commands?  Another way to ask that:  How richly does God’s presence dwell in me today?

                DID YOU KNOW?  Keep in mind the measurements: 1 cubit = almost 18 in. (17.72 in.) = 6 hand breaths or palms (a royal palm was 7 palms = 20.67 in.) Here’s the breakdown: Measure of 4 fingers=1 hand breath or palm; 3 hand breaths = 1 span; 2 spans = 1 cubits = 17.72 in. or a royal or long cubit = 20.67 in. (This is a little hard to convert isn’t it?) 

June 9 – (1 Kgs. 7). Did you notice that Solomon took seven years to build the Lord’s Temple and thirteen years to build his own house?  Hmm.

                The House of the Forest of Lebanon, just the first of several buildings in the palace complex, was much bigger than the temple (6:2). This building had so much cedar that it was named after the forest from which the cedar came.  It was apparently designed as a treasury or armory (10:17,21; Isa. 22:8).  This shows that Solomon was much more concerned about his palace than about the temple. The Hall of Pillars was almost as large as the temple.  There was a throne hall, also called the Hall of judgment. Two palaces were built, one for Solomon and one for his Egyptian wife. We can be very wise in some things but so… not wise in others!  “Lord, help us have your mind and heart in all things!”