Day 160 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. A wise woman from Tekoa speaks to King David. Absalom returns home. The Apostles gain miraculous powers.
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2 Samuel 14
2 Samuel 15:1-12
Proverbs 14: 15-24
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2 Samuel 14
Joab Sends a Wise Woman to David
Joab son of Zeruiah knew that King David missed Absalom very much. 2 So Joab sent messengers to Tekoa to bring a wise woman from there. Joab said to this wise woman, “Please pretend to be very sad. Put on rags. Don’t dress up. Act like a woman who has been crying many days for someone who died. 3 Go to the king and talk to him using these words that I tell you.” Then Joab told the wise woman what to say.
4 Then the woman from Tekoa talked to the king. She bowed down with her face to the ground. Then she said, “King, please help me!”
5 King David said to her, “Do you have a problem?”
The woman said, “I am a widow. My husband is dead. 6 I had two sons. They were out in the field fighting, but there was no one to stop them. One son killed the other son. 7 Now the whole family is against me. They said to me, ‘Bring us the son who killed his brother. We will kill him to pay for taking the life of his brother, and that will end his father’s family.’ My son is like the last spark of a fire. He is my only hope. If they kill him, there will be no one left on earth to con- tinue my husband’s family and name.”
8 Then the king said to the woman, “Go home. I will take care of things for you.”
9 The woman of Tekoa said, “My lord and king, I pray that people will blame me and my family, not you, for this decision. You and your kingdom are innocent.”
10 King David said, “If anyone says anything bad to you, bring them to me. They will not bother you again.”
11 The woman said, “Please, use the name of the LORD your God and swear that you will stop these people. They want to punish my son for murdering his brother. Swear that you will not let them destroy my son.”
David said, “As the LORD lives, no one will hurt your son. Not even one hair from your son’s head will fall to the ground.”
12 The woman said, “My lord and king,
please let me say something else to you.” The king said, “Speak.”
13 Then the woman said, “In making this decision for me, you have admitted that you are guilty of doing wrong against the people of God. You agreed that my relatives were wrong in wanting to kill my son and end my husband’s family. But you have done the same thing by forcing your son to stay out of the country and never be king. 14 We will all die some day. We will be like water spilled on the ground that no one can gather up again. You know that God for- gives people. He makes a way for the person who has been forced to run away to return safely. 15 My lord and king, I came to say these words to you, because the people have made me afraid. I thought, ‘I will speak to the king. Maybe he will listen to me. 16 Maybe he will save me from the man who wants to kill me and my son to keep us from getting what God has for us.’ 17 I know that the words of my lord the king will give me rest, because you are like an angel from God. You know what is good and what is bad. And the LORD your God is with you.”
18 King David answered the woman, “You must answer the question I will ask you.”
The woman said, “My lord and king, please ask your question.”
19 The king said, “Did Joab tell you to say all these things?”
The woman answered, “As you live, my lord and king, you are right. Your officer Joab did tell me to say these things. 20 Joab did this so that you would see things differently. My lord, you are as wise as God’s angel. You know everything that happens on earth.”
Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
21 The king said to Joab, “Look, I will do what I promised. Now please bring back the young man Absalom.”
22 Joab bowed down with his face to the ground. He blessed King David and said, “Today I know that you are pleased with me. I know this because you have done what I asked.”
23 Then Joab got up and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 But King David said, “Absalom must go back to his own house. He cannot come to see me.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not go to see the king.
25 People really boasted about how good-looking Absalom was. No man in Israel was as handsome as Absalom. Every part of his body was perfect—from his head to his feet. 26 At the end of every year, Absalom cut the hair from his head and weighed it. The hair weighed about two kilograms. 27 Absalom had three sons and one daughter. Her name was Tamar, and she was a beautiful woman.
Absalom Forces Joab to Come and See Him
28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two full years without being allowed to visit King David. 29 Absalom sent a message to Joab, asking for permission to see the king, but Joab refused to come and see him. So Absalom sent a second message to Joab. Again, Joab refused to go and see him.
30 Then Absalom said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to my field. He has barley growing in that field. Go and burn the barley.”
So Absalom’s servants went and started a fire in Joab’s field. 31 Joab got up and came to Absalom’s house. He said to him, “Why did your servants burn my field?”
32 Absalom answered, “Because you didn’t come when I sent for you. I wanted to ask you to go to the king for me and ask him why he told me to come home from Geshur. If I cannot see him, it would have been better for me to stay in Geshur. Now let me see the king. If I am guilty of doing wrong, he can kill me!”
Absalom Visits King David
33 Then Joab went to the king and told him what Absalom had said. Then the king called for Absalom. Absalom went to the king and bowed low on the ground before the king. The king kissed him.
2 Samuel 15:1-12
Absalom’s Plan to Be King
After this, Absalom got a chariot and horses for himself. He had
50 men run in front of him while he drove the chariot. 2 Absalom would get up early and stand near the gate. He would watch for anyone with problems who was going to King David for judgment. Then Absalom would talk to them and say, “What city are you from?” They would say they were from such and such tribe in Israel. 3 Then Absalom would say, “Look, you are right, but King David will not listen to you.”
4 Absalom would also say, “Oh, I wish someone would make me a judge in this country! Then I could help every- one who comes to me with a problem. I would help them get a fair solution to their problem.”
5 And if anyone came to Absalom and started to bow down to him, Absalom would treat him like a close friend— he would reach out and touch him and kiss him. 6 Absalom did this to all the Israelites who came to King David for judgment. In this way Absalom won the hearts of all the people of Israel.
7 After four years,† Absalom said to King David, “Please let me go to Hebron to complete a special promise that I made to the LORD. 8 I made that promise while I was still living in Geshur in Aram. I said, ‘If the LORD brings me back to Jerusalem, I will serve the LORD in a special way.’”
9 King David said, “Go in peace.”
Absalom went to Hebron. 10 But he also sent spies to all the tribes of Israel. They told the people, “When you hear the trumpet, say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron!’”
11 Absalom invited 200 men to go with him. They left Jerusalem with him, but they did not know what he was planning. 12 Ahithophel was one of David’s advisers. He was from the town of Giloh. While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he invited Ahithophel to come and join him. Many others also began to support him. So Absalom’s plans were going very well.
Proofs From God
12 The apostles were given the power to do many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers met together in the part of the Temple area known as Solomon’s Porch. 13 None of the other people dared to join the apostles, but everyone was saying wonderful things about them. 14 More and more people believed in the Lord, and many men and women were added to the group of believers. 15 So the people brought those who were sick into the streets and put them on little beds and mats. They were hoping that Peter’s shadow might touch and heal them as he walked by. 16 People came from all the towns around Jerusalem. They brought those who were sick or troubled by evil spirits. All of them were healed.
The Apostles Are Arrested
17 The high priest and all his close followers, a group called the Sadducees, became very jealous. 18 They grabbed the apostles and put them in the city jail. 19 But during the night, an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail. The angel led the apostles outside and said, 20 “Go and stand in the Temple area. Tell the people everything about this new life.” 21 When the apostles heard this, they did what they were told. They went into the Temple area about sunrise and began to teach the people.
The high priest and his followers came together and called a meeting of the high council and all the older leaders. They sent some men to the jail to bring the apostles to them. 22 When the men went to the jail, they could not find the apostles there. So they went back and told the leaders about this. 23 They said, “The jail was closed and locked. The guards were standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors, the jail was empty!” 24 The captain of the Temple police and the leading priests heard this. They were confused and wondered what it all meant.
25 Then another man came and told them, “Listen! The men you put in jail are standing in the Temple area teach- ing the people.” 26 The Temple police went out with their captain and brought the apostles back. But they did not use force, because they feared the people. They were afraid the people would stone them to death.
27 They brought the apostles in and made them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them. 28 He said, “We told you never again to teach using that name.* But look at what you have done! You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching. And you are trying to blame us for his death.”
29 Peter and the other apostles answered, “We must obey God, not you! 30 You killed Jesus by nailing him to a cross. But God, the same God our fathers had, raised Jesus from death. 31 Jesus is the one God honored by giving him a place at his right side. He made him our Leader and Saviour. God did this to give all the people of Israel the opportunity to change and turn to God to have their sins forgiven. 32 We saw all these things happen, and we can say that they are true. The Holy Spirit also shows that these things are true. God has given this Spirit to all those who obey him.”
33 When the council members heard this, they became very angry. They be- gan to plan a way to kill the apostles. 34 But one member of the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, stood up. He was a teacher of the law, and all the people respected him. He told the men to make the apostles leave the meeting for a few minutes. 35 Then he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful of what you are planning to do to these men. 36 Remember when Theudas appeared? He said he was an important man, and about 400 men joined him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and ran away. They were not able to do anything. 37 Later, during the time of the census, a man named Judas came from Galilee. Many people joined his group, but he was also killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 And so now I tell you, stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If their plan is something they thought up, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be fighting against God himself!”
The leaders agreed with what Gamaliel said. 40 They called the apostles in again. They beat them and told them not to speak any more using the name of Jesus. Then they let them go free. 41 The apostles left the council meeting. They were happy because they were given the honor of suffering dishonor for Jesus. 42 The apostles did not stop teaching the people. They continued to tell the Good News—that Jesus is the Messiah. They did this every day in the Temple area and in people’s homes.
Proverbs 14: 15-24
15 Fools believe every word they hear,
but wise people think carefully about everything.
16 Wise people are careful and avoid trouble;
fools are too confident and careless.
17 A quick-tempered person does stupid things,
but anyone who quietly plans evil is hated.
18 Fools are rewarded with more foolishness.
Smart people are rewarded with knowledge.
19 Good people will defeat those who are evil,
and the wicked will bow down to those who are good.
20 The poor have no friends, not even their neighbors,
but the rich have many friends.
21 It is wrong to hate your neighbors.
Be kind to the poor, and God will bless you.
22 It is a mistake to work at doing evil,
but whoever works to do good will find love and loyalty.
23 If you work hard, you will have plenty.
If you do nothing but talk, you will not have enough.
24 A wise person’s reward is wealth,
but a fool’s reward is foolishness.
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