“The Night The Lights Went Out In Jerusalem” – One Year Bible Reading – May 23

Old Testament: 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39

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2 Samuel 2: 13 – 31  Not So Civil War

Abner was still commander of the forces for Saul’s family meaning specifically Ish-bosheth who had become king.  One day Abner and Joab, David’s commander, met by a pool and proposed a contest between their best warriors.  So they squared off, twelve against twelve.  They ended up offing each other by grabbing the others’ hair and thrusting the other through!  All twenty four fell dead.

Then a battle broke out with Joab’s forces putting Abners’ on the run.  In fact, one of Joab’s brothers, Asahel, was overtaking Abner.  Abner told him to back off and kill someone else.  Asahel wouldn’t back off.  So Abner stuck him with the butt of his spear and it went all the way through his back.  Asahel’s spirit abruptly separated from his body.  The battle came to a stand-still at the place where Asahel lay.

Joab and his other brother, Abishai, took off after Abner.  Abner got up on a hill and called out to Joab, “Hey, let’s knock it off or it’ll never end.”  Joab replied, “If you had just shut up, everyone would’ve gone home anyway.”  And the fighting stopped and Abner took his men back  across the Jordan.

When a count was taken after the battle, twenty of David’s men were missing but three hundred and sixty of Abner’s men had been taken out.

2 Samuel 3: 1 – 26  Ish Gets An Itch

David’s forces continued to fight Saul’s family with the result that David became more and more powerful.

David had sons named Amnon, Chileab, Absalom, and Adonijah, Shephatiah and Ithream.  They were all born to different women.

While the war was going on, Ish-bosheth complained that Abner was trying to gain control of Israel by taking one of Saul’s concubines.  Abner was insulted and said he was going to do all he could to make sure all of Israel fell to David’s rule.  So he sent messengers to David to negotiate a treaty.  “Sure,” David, “We can put something together but bring my rightful wife, Michal, back to me when you come.”  Michal’s husband, Paltiel, started following her, weeping all the way, until finally Abner said to him, “Cut it out.  Get out of here.”  So Paltiel went back home.

Abner tried to persuade the leaders of Israel that since they had been wanting David as king for a long time, they should coronate him right away.  He said they all knew that Yahweh had promised to deliver them through him.  He had Israel’s approval and went with twenty men to meet David at his home in Hebron.  They seemed to have a deal.

Joab had been out raiding and when he came back and heard what had happened between Abner and David, he had a fit.  Joab thought that Abner was snookering David and that he’d turn on David the first chance he got.

David’s forces continued to fight Saul’s family with the result that David became more and more powerful.

2 Samuel 3: 27 – 39  A Dirty Joab

After Joab had the conference with David, he sent messengers out after Abner and asked him to come in for a “pow-wow.”  When Abner approached him not realizing Joab’s intentions, Joab jabbed him through the gut and killed him.  Joab did it to recompense the death of his brother, Asahel.

David was infuriated.  He pronounced a curse on the progeny of Joab that they all have infectious discharges, leprosy, have to do the work of women, get run through themselves or starve.

David mourned the death of Abner.  He lamented, “Abner didn’t deserve to be tricked into being murdered!”  Everyone was weeping.  David refused to eat until sundown, he was so upset.

David said that even though he had been anointed king, the day was tainted by such a dishonorable deed.  Then he cursed Joab and his family again wishing Joab the same fate as Abner.

New Testament: John 13: 1- 30

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John 13: 1 – 20  Taking The Disciples To The Cleaner

Before the Feast of the Passover, the devil had already moved Judas to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew He had come from God and was soon returning.  He got up after eating and took off his robe and wrapped a towel around his waist.  He poured water into a basin and started to wash the disciple’s feet with the towel.

Peter objected vehemently.  “You can’t wash my feet,” he said, meaning it should be the other way around.  Jesus told him if He didn’t wash his feet then he wouldn’t have fellowship with him.  Without having Jesus wash our feet, we might be able to talk the talk but we won’t be able to walk the walk.  Our feet will be dirty!

Peter said, “OK, then give me an entire bath then!”  Jesus corrected him saying that if a person is clean he only has to have his feet washed everyday (cf. 1Jn. 1: 9).  He excepted Judas from the bunch because he knew Judas was going to betray him (v. 10b, 11).

When He was done, He asked the disciples if they knew what He had done.  He told them that if they really thought of Him as their example and Master, they ought to make sure others are cleaned as well.  As subordinates, they should imitate Him and they’d be blessed if they did.  But He again predicted His betrayal by quoting Ps. 41: 9, David’s recounting of his own betrayal by his friend, Ahithophel in 2Samuel 15-17.  Jesus knew that the disciples would be able to look back and feel secure that Jesus had known Judas was going to do what he did.  He also wanted the disciples to know that He was God (“that I am,” v. 19).

John 13: 21 – 30   The Lights Went Out

Jesus became distraught after this because He knew He was going to have to make it clear who it was that was going to turn Him in.  All the guys had guilty consciences apparently since they all suspected themselves as the perp.  John himself was the closest to Jesus since he was resting his head on Jesus’ shoulder (v. 23a).  He always referred to himself as the “one Jesus loved” (v. 23b).  Peter motioned to him to find out who Jesus was talking about.  Jesus gave him a code, it’d be the one who Jesus dipped a piece of bread and gave it to.  He gave it to Judas and Satan entered into him about a second later.

Jesus told Judas to get on with his plan.  The boys just figured He was telling Judas, as treasurer, to go out and buy something or give some money to the poor.

Right after Judas took the bread, it got dark.

Darkness and night are symbolic of sin and spiritual problems in Scripture.

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