Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
1 Samuel 22:1-2
1 Chronicles 12:8-18
1 Samuel 22:3-4
1 Samuel 22:5-10
1 Samuel 22:11-23
1 Samuel 23:1-12
Questions & Observations
Q. (Psalm 57:1-11): David is crying out for protection from the evil that lurks around him. I like the chronological Bible in that it puts each of the Psalms with the story that it’s talking about. Why don’t most versions of the Bible group them together?
A. Because of the way that the different books are classified if you will in the OT. The Psalms were compiled into one volume (150 in all) and commemorate various important points in the life of its writers (some are from David, but others from other sources as we will see as they come up). Since 1 Samuel is a history volume, and Psalms is a poetic volume (in Jewish literature, Psalms is classified as a “writing”), they are not found together. They were written to serve different purposes. Psalms has its own ebbs and flows as the reader moves through the various poems, which surely was the intent of the editor/editors that compiled them. The Psalms were put together in a way that would only be recognized if you read them straight through (there are five volumes or “books” of the poems within the book of Psalms itself). So there are pros and cons to reading the Psalms in this way: we gain an emotional connection to the story, but we also miss out on being able to see the way that the creator of the book, not the individual writers, desired to move his audience through the various emotions and highs and lows of the nation’s walk with God.
Q. (1 Samuel 22:3-4): I guess Israel and Moab are on good terms now?
A. Not necessarily. Don’t forget that David, and therefore his father, are related to the Moabite Ruth. The king might be allowing David’s family to stay only because of their family connection. It may have nothing to do with how the king feels about Saul and Israel at the moment.
Q. (22:16-19): So, the priesthood can be a dangerous choice of careers. I am surprised that God didn’t provide some protection for the priests. Is this a coincidence that Saul asked an Edomite to kill the priests and he did it? Rob, you told us at the reunion of Jacob and Esau and then the parting that their descendants would be enemies.
A. This is certainly an example of the animosity between Israel and Edom, and this will be an event that David remembers. We don’t really have any information on why God chose not to spare His priests. But no doubt that those who died in faithful service to Him were surely welcomed into His Kingdom. This certainly seems unjust, but don’t forget that life is not always just on this side of death. God never promises to prevent all hardship — quite the opposite, John 16:33 — but rather that we can trust in Him to make things right in the end. This is a big reason that belief in an afterlife is such a huge part of the writings of scripture: without an afterlife, there is too often injustice.
Q. (23:10-12): So God’s protection of David in this story isn’t a miraculous one, but instead, is just foresight of what Saul and the people of Keilah will do. And thus, David and his men will leave, as we see in the next day’s reading?
A. Yep. Don’t forget that it specifically says that David sought the Lord on the matter, and God was free to respond how He pleased. In this case, we will see that God will continue to delay a battle between Saul and David, for reasons that, I promise, are coming.