Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Read the Bible with Me!

Welcome to the Pauline Family's "Year of the Bible"! I'm reading the Bible clear through this year, and I invite you to read along with me. But first, let us pray: 

My God, I adore and thank your loving and wise Providence, manifested on every page of Sacred Scripture. You have always been close to sinful and erring humanity, and have indicated the way and given hope. Amid the shadows of error and corruption, you kindled the light of your truth; amid universal corruption, you are the Just One; amid so much idolatry, humanity in every corner of the earth has cultivated a sincere worship of you.
Let my reading today increase my trust in your goodness, your mercy, and your unfailing faithfulness.

Today's chapters are 2 Samuel 13-15 and (for Lent) Psalm 40.

David's sins are reflected in his son's behavior, starting with his firstborn son (and heir's?) infatuation, rape and then rejection of his half-sister, Tamar. This was the catalyst of a series of events involving the second son, the handsome and ambitious Absalom, which lead to David himself being forced out of Jerusalem. Notice the way he refuses to force the hand of God by taking the Ark of the Covenant with him: Maybe he had heard the story of the sons of Eli from Samuel; more likely, he had enough of a relationship with God to leave the outcome in God's hands.

Psalm 40 is a perfect expression of David's trust in God in the face of betrayal by his own son.

Start reading 2 Samuel here and Psalm 40 here.

If you are looking for a solid but approachable companion to the Bible, I can wholeheartedly recommend A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament by John Bergsma and Brant Pitre. Although the authors are top-level Scripture scholars, they write for "real" readers. Notes include recent findings from archaeology and ancient manuscripts, and how each book of the Bible has been understood by the Church Fathers and used in Liturgy.

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