Last month for April we had the First Book of Samuel read and so this month we will be reading the Second Book of Samuel. The Second Book of Samuel contains 24 chapters and so if read one chapter a day reading will be complete before the month is over. Second Samuel and First Samuel were originally one book but split into two seperate ones after canonization of the Bible. Second Samuel is a direct sequel to First Samuel and so this is unique in it allows a timeline of understanding.
In order to engage with more specifics we would like those reading to give us their comments on the following questions:
How do the accounts of First and Second Samuel flow together?
Identity five ways that David brought glory to God and five ways he sinned against him
What impact did Samuel have on the events beyond his lifetime?
Why do you think even the losses and evil deeds of Israel were recorded, compared to other nation's records with no accounts of evil or losses
Most of all we provide this program to allow people to become more familiar with their Bibles, which is compared to bread, as a need in the Bible. If anything we hope people are at least reading the book we assign in a month. This is done for the benefit of those Christians who are not biblically literate and for those who are to be able to continue study,
While it would be cool (and not done often) to incorporate Chronciles and less often some of the Psalms into the reading, we have to keep it basic to and have one book reading since our audience is those unexperienced in Bible reading. Thankfulyl I myself am able to read 2nd Samuel this month, but for me I am beyond the familarity stage (though it could probably use good expansion and its not something that ever ends) but rather usually like to focus my reading on pratical application. Hopefully out of gaining familarity readers can learn to pratically apply the Bible to their lives.
I was not advocating that others try to keep up with me. I really was not even "bragging" about it. Sometimes, I wonder why I even use qualifiers when I am so misunderstood. Words mean things. I chose to read through the Bible chronologically this year. It means about 20 minutes (or less) per day. I state that it is "providential" because God led me to the point that we are reading these books at this particular time. Of course, I DID have a say in this.
Speaking of incorporating the Psalms, it might work to schedule them next. It would mean 5 months (a psalm per day, or a "book of Psalms" per month), bringing us up through the fall festivals. This will be easy reading, for the most part, and perhaps build the faith of the young (both physically and spiritually)Christian readers. Then they will become more motivated to write articles. However, articles about the psalms themselves would be impractical.
I would hope that our readership would grow outside of the "inexperienced" Christian wikians that now drop in every once and a while. I agree that a familiarity with the Bible will help Christians to understand how it applies to their own lives.
I completely agree with your statement on articles on Psalms themselves. I myself am today going to start working on Second Samuel's content. We can bring up how we can incorporate Psalms at our meeting this weekend
Something I have noticed throughout both First and Second Samuel throughout my reading is two themes: God keeps promises, God punishes sin and avenges.
From the promises extend both mercy and punishment of sin. God continually keeps his promise of how David will have an established throne and be revered for the rest of history. This is probably the greatest example of mercy to David, because as we see later, David recieves a curse from God. After commiting adultery with Bathsheba, God gives him the curse through Nathan that says "the sword will forever be on your house".
This promise plays into how God punishes sin. By forever inflicting the sword on David's household he experiences a great deal of calamity and suffering: the rape of his daughter, Tamar; the death of his setep-son Amnon by revenge from Absalom, the isolationand death of Absalom. David would also never be able to build the Temple, because of all the violence and bloodsheed he partook in. Countless times God punished people who sinned against David, avenging. This also shows the incredible mercy that God showed to David, despite a curse that would rest him the rest of his life.
I hope others particapting in our monthly readings will be able to glean similair insight as I have from First and Second Samuel. This isn't very theologically complex, but it is simply examples of some basic principles of God. Remember why these historic accounts were written:to be examples so we would not repeat history. This is why study of history and biblical history is so important. Eclessiates 1:9 is also a good verse for to paraphrase it says "What's been done is what will be done, what has been is what it will be, there's nothing new". History repeats itself, so thats why reading historical accounts are so important.
I was going to just "edit" one word above, but the editor would not load. Amnon was not David's "step-son." He was a half-brother to Tamar, but a full son to David, father of them both. I know that mulitple wives can be confusing. In like manner, in articles about individuals, the inclusion of all their "step-mothers" is not necessary. These woman were competing wives, and not mothers of their competitors.
And yes, "history repeats itself only in that human nature remains the same. It is not "cyclic" in the sense that things happen because of a set course of events, though. To God, history is very linear. We see that in the unfolding of God's plan throughout the Bible. No theological point is fully developed at the beginning. We are told that God created everything, and then that He can fulfill his promise or threat as He wills. He then covenants with men, chosing who He wants while justly punishing others that refuse to follow His ways. We are not shown the final meaning of things until the very last book: the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ!
That is why reading the WHOLE Bible is so important.