Finding Easter Eggs in the Easter Story

Easter eggs are little surprises that directors and writers

sometimes hide inside their movies as a bonus surprise for those willing to take a closer look.

Whether or not you are part of a family which included church attendance on Easter among their holiday traditions, it’s likely that you are at least somewhat familiar with the story of the man named Jesus who died and how he came to life again three days later announced by Angels and an empty tomb. As we approach Easter Sunday I wanted to encourage you to consider a second look at the Easter story. Here’s three Easter eggs you might have missed the first time around.

The Easter Story is Beautiful

Some stories are particularly beautiful and we are drawn to this beauty. When a book or movie strikes us as truly beautiful it often produces an almost painful longing in our hope that such beauty is real.

  • Some of the stories we love most are stories of justice at long last being dealt, rescuing the oppressed and downtrodden.
  • We also love stories of redemption where people become somehow not just better but more than they were; perhaps we love these stories because they give us hope that our own lives can rise above the bad choices and wasted moments to become somehow something great.
  • Stories of heroes saving the world, or even groups of heroes who together are more than they could be by themselves, touch our deep need for salvation and our deep desire to change the world.
  • We love stories where the hero rises from the ashes victorious after a seeming certain defeat.
  • We cry not only in sorrow but in joy at the beauty of a lover who sacrifices everything to save her beloved.
  • And finally we love stories which speak of more beautiful lands, fantastic places which become more home than home, where magic happens and good always wins.

Some people speak of these kinds of stories as being a sort of shadow of deeper universal truths. I agree with this, but what’s amazing about the Easter story is that it’s not just another one of these shadows.

It is the glorious light from which all these other stories get their inspiration. It is the absolute beauty which is merely reached for, hinted at, and approximated in every other beautiful story or song or piece of art you’ve ever been moved by. It not only speaks of all the themes we love–of justice, redemption, heroes, fellowship, resurrection, sacrifice, and a beautiful new home–but is the reality from which these themes come. It is because we are seeking the precise beauty of the Easter story that we find joy and longing in these stories which approximate it.

Well, you might disagree, but until you look, how can you be sure? The Easter Story deserves a second look for its beauty alone.

The Easter Story is True

We’ve already talked about one sense in which the Easter story is true. In the way it captures grand beautiful truths of the universe. This is the way in which many people view the Easter story. They’ve found this first Easter egg but stopped short of finding the second. Here I mean not only that it is true in that it contains larger truths, but that it is also true in the historical sense.

I know that the claims of the Easter story are outrageous and large and it might seem a bridge too far to claim that it is in fact historical.

In truth there are many reasons to give the factual nature of the Easter Story a second look. As outrageous as the claims are there are also big reasons to give them credence. I won’t go into them all here, but would point you to the resource links at the bottom of this article if you’d like to engage with some of the best arguments for the factual nature of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

I am persuaded by many convincing empirical and logical arguments of the history of the Easter story because I took another look.

But how can it be possible that the incredible claims of Easter are factual? Let me ask you a better question. What if it is true and you never spent the time to give the story a second look and see for yourself? This is truly an Easter egg of great value and to give up looking for it because it might not exist seems shortsighted, particularly when so many of your fellow human beings claim to have found precisely that valuable egg already.

The Easter Story is Powerful

You may have heard of C.S. Lewis as the author of the great children’s books about the land of Narnia. C.S. Lewis is the brilliant and prolific author of everything from fantasy and sci-fi books, to poetry, to some of the most important theological and cultural essays of the last two centuries.

Even if you’ve never heard of him, perhaps you’ve heard of his great friend and author of the Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien.

In 1931, Lewis and Tolkien and a third friend, Hugo Dyson, were having a discussion on the truth and power of the Easter story. Lewis at the time was not a believer in the factual truth of the Easter story but was convinced of the beauty and the power that a beautiful myth can have upon us. Tolkien and Dyson on the other hand believed in both the beauty and history of the Easter story. Lewis writes of these conversations.

Now what Dyson and Tolkien showed me was this: that if I met the idea of sacrifice in a Pagan story I didn’t mind it at all: again, that if I met the idea of a god sacrificing himself to himself … I liked it very much and was mysteriously moved by it: again, that the idea of the dying and reviving god (Balder, Adonis, Bacchus) similarly moved me provided I met it anywhere except in the Gospels. The reason was that in Pagan stories I was prepared to feel the myth as profound and suggestive of meanings beyond my grasp even tho’ I could not say in cold prose ‘what it meant’. Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened.

Lewis began to recognize that the true power of the Gospel was in the fact that it was both beautiful and true.

The third Easter egg worth exploring in the Easter story is the idea that it can profoundly change you. The Easter story tells us that while it is objectively true and while it is universally beautiful, it can also be powerful if we embrace the truth of it.

Merely to realize that the God of the universe loves you so much that he made himself a man, suffered as a man and conquered death to rescue you from the sin and selfishness to which you are enslaved can just by its recognition change a person profoundly. But the reality is even more astounding. When the God of the universe sacrifices Himself for the sake of His creation it unlocks a deeper magic of the universe (to use a phrase found in The Chronicles of Narnia), which truly and deeply changes those who embrace it.

Sometimes you’ll hear the Easter Story referred to as the Gospel by those who believe it. Gospel just means good news, and this is what it is. It is the best news because it is the truest beauty and the most beautiful truth and as Paul says, “The Gospel is the power of God for those who believe.”

If you’d like to take a second look at the Gospel, you could attend one of the many Easter services in a local church this weekend. Listen with ears ready to hear something of beauty and truth and power. Focus Church will be gathering this Sunday Night at 6:00 pm to celebrate Easter if you’d like to join us. Click the link for details.

Here are some other resources:

The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Evidence I & II Fully Updated in One Volume To Answer The Questions Challenging Christians in the 21st Century. (This is a two volume book of historical references and evidence for the historical reality of the Gospel.)

Seven Themes You Can’t Escape. (A book I wrote on the beautiful themes of the Gospel working their way into every story we love. If you order it this weekend and use the coupon code Beauty, you’ll get 50 percent off.)

The Hidden Life. (Another book I wrote, this one on the power of the Gospel. Similar deal as the one mentioned above. Use the coupon code Power and I’ll give you 50 percent off. If you order both just use either code and get 50 percent off both.)

Mere Christianity by Lewis, C. S. (2012) Hardcover. (I can’t give you a discount on this one because I didn’t write it. This is a very good book on the essence of Christianity, worth a look if you want a smart take on the Gospel.)

The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. (This is Lewis’ powerful story which uses a fictional setting to elucidate the power and beauty of the Gospel.)

How then should we respond:The Kavanaugh Hearings

I have a confession.  I don’t always know how to respond to big events in our culture.  I mean, I’m an evangelical pastor; we’re supposed to have our responses ready-made from the very pages of scripture, aren’t we?

You might want to remove my credentials when I tell you that I haven’t even known how to respond to the allegations made against Bret Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford.  I mean, from perusing the internet it is clear that everyone else knows exactly how to respond.  My friends don’t agree in their response but they are all very sure of what they see, how they see it and how they should respond.  The whole world seems to know instinctively how to respond and who to trust.

But, I don’t.

I listened to the hearings and when Christine Blasey Ford spoke I found her credible and felt sympathy for her.

Then I listened to Bret Kavanaugh speak and I found him credible and felt sympathy for him.

All the reports the next day told me I was wrong and that in fact only one of them was even the slightest bit credible; although, again, the sources all disagreed on exactly which was which along already preconceived opinions.  Few opinions seemed to have changed.

Then I had a discussion with my daughter and realized I might not be the only Christian who is more frustrated than enlightened about not only this event but many such polarizing events in our culture.  And so I began to think.  As Christians, as those whose allegiance is to Christ first what should our response in such events be?

As expected, Scripture doesn’t actually comment on Supreme Court Justices or the #metoo movement directly, but are there sign posts, markers to help guide our way?

I think there are, and so for the benefit of people like me I pose the following suggestions.  If you are not like me, meaning you have no interest in trying to respond in a Christ like manner, or that you already have complete confidence in your own response, then this is not for you.  I am not writing to persuade anyone of who’s wrong or right but only to give some sign posts to help guide the way for this and other similar moments which ar sure to come to us.

     1. Your only allegiance is to Christ.  It’s good to be part of community.  Loyalty is also a positive value.  It’s good to labor together with people of similar convictions, ideals and pursuits.  On the other hand,  the decades since I first voted in a presidential election, it appears to me that the tribalism of the parties and other communities has gotten worse. It’s not helped by the fact that our tribes are so big we end up defending complete strangers about whom we know nothing simply because they are part of our tribe.  As Christians we can certainly decide that one group or another may more closely align with our values as believers, but closely align is not the same as exactly align. Never should we confuse a political victory with a moral one, just because it happens to fall on a certain side of the political aisle.  We must always seek to rise above the prepackaged beliefs of the particular group to which we happen to belong in the interest of defending the values of Christ.  Women are expected to respond one way, white men another, minorities another, democrats, republicans, conservatives, liberals…all have prepackaged ideas of how we should respond and all too often it becomes easiest to simply follow the course of least resistance.  Both sides of the argument regarding Kavanaugh and Ford like to tell themselves that it’s all a big moral issue but if that were the case would it really split along such strict party lines?  if there are any heroes in this whole story perhaps they are Senators Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowsky who were the only two to break with their respective parties in the vote and each likely viewed with scorn by their respective parties for that reason.  One can hope they did so for reasons of conscience, but it’s easy to be cynical about that too.  Tribalism avoids having to actually spend time consulting our consciences, our scripture, or our Lord and assume someone else already did the hard work for us. If our allegiance to anything or anyone becomes more significant than our allegiance to Christ, we may find it too easy to justify almost anything for the sake of our tribe. The crowd with which we associate cannot be our final guide to what’s right.

     2. Defensiveness causes a failure of imagination.  So much of what I see as I watch things unfold in the media, social and serious, seems to be a failure of imagination.  My liberal friends tell me there is no reason a woman would ever lie about such things.  My conservative friends tell me there is no way a judge of such standing could be guilty without corroboration.  Now I know I have a pretty active imagination, but I can come up with dozens of scenarios for either possibility.  Interestingly both sides are screaming injustice, accusing the opposite side of caring more about their own agenda than about justice. Neither side is claiming that justice doesn’t matter.  In their defensiveness they’ve just become unwilling or possibly even unable to perceive the potential injustice on the other side.  My conservative friends, how much better would your conversations be if you could simply say, “If Bret Kavanaugh did what Christine Ford claims then he has potentially ruined her life and there has been a grave injustice which needs to be corrected.”  My liberal friends, how much better would your conversations be if you could simply say, “If Bret Kavanaugh did not do what Christine Ford claims than she has potentially ruined his life and there has been a grave injustice which needs to be corrected.”    Instead I hear defenders of Kavanaugh saying it doesn’t matter what he did and defenders of Ford saying it doesn’t matter if she’s telling the truth.   So as Christians what do we do about this failure of imaginations?   I’m not entirely sure, but mostly I would suggest we make sure that we don’t get trapped into defending and essentially bearing witness for people we don’t know simply because they are part of our tribe.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.–Micah 6:8.   

3.  Act justly:  It is good and right that we be concerned about justice in this.  However justice is so easily confused in our minds by our own partiality.  I am old enough that I was also paying attention during the Clinton Impeachment hearings and It’s hard not to be disconcerted watching the Democrats of today use arguments made by the Republicans then and vice versa.  Its not that the arguments on both sides don’t have their points; it’s that those points seem only to be seen by someone inclined toward them in the first place and completely not seen when it doesn’t suit our allegiance.  Some of the strongest laws in Scripture relate to giving false witness due to reasons of partiality.  While it’s not exactly the same thing, our tendency to aggressively side with complete strangers based not on evidence but on our allegiance to a tribe seems similar and is strongly warned against.  Consider::

Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.2“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, 3and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.

And later

“Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. 7Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.

And in the New Testament James says this

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

4. Love mercy: While we do justice, we are to love mercy.  We are to recognize that all of us need mercy, someone to advocate for us and be more gracious than we deserve.  The tension between mercy and justice is real in our effort to respond as followers of Christ at moments like this. All I want to suggest here though is that just as Justice can be peverted by partiality and false allegiance so too can mercy.  In the verses above, notice that neither the rich nor the poor should be judged based upon their richness or poverty.  There is a healthy normal desire to speak for the oppressed and powerless.  Jesus often does this and encourages us outright to do the same. This might incline us towards defending Ford and this is not a bad thing.  Those who believe Ford will rightly make the argument that it’s wrong to overlook her allegations because of her status as compared to the powerful and prosperous Judge Kavanaugh.  But what I want to gently suggest is that as Christians we need to be careful to recognize that in any argument among strangers we will be inclined to be sympathetic to those we most immediately relate to.  It’s probably true that as a white evangelical pastor, I find it easier to imagine a scenario where someone out of power would speak completely false claims in order to bring someone down in power.  I find it easier because I’ve experienced it in far less significant ways.  it’s not a theory to me that someone could lie about me for completely inscrutable reasons.  To feel personally the injustice and pain of such a thing is an experience I can easily relate to and imagine. This doesn’t make me wrong, but I should recognize my partiality here.  On the other hand this scenario I’ve laid out is almost impossible for my daughter to comprehend, and yet her ability to believe someone might assault a young girl, get away with it and then lie to protect themselves seems much more real to her.  My point is this, it’s easier for us to show mercy to someone in whose shoes we can immediately see ourselves.  My only suggestion is not to curtail these instincts towards mercy and advocacy, but to recognize our own inclinations and accept the inclinations and experiences of those who are inclined differently. As we listen to each other we can become people who love mercy more, with a greater reservoir of empathy.  Our confidence, in other words, may not be based on truth and raw reason as much as we’d like.  And that leads us to…

5. Walk Humbly with Your God: Humility.  I suspect this is a value in which no one is intuitively strong; but worse than that, while it used to be aspired to, it is now actually seen as a weakness in some corners, even among Christians.  So much of polarization seems to me to come from a sense of arrogance and supreme confidence in our own ideas and opinions.  So rarely do we see the willingness to consider we might be wrong.  Humility in the public eye often appears only as humiliation.  Only after someone falls beyond repair, when they have not only been wrong but been caught and completely shamed by the media do they then come forward in tones of something approaching humility.  That should not be our practice as Christians.  We should always remember that our allegiance is to the God of the universe who has sacrificed Himself because we were wrong, supremely wrong. Only He could make things right and He did so with great Humility, seeing our needs as more important than His own rights as God.  This should be our attitude as well.

It is not my intention in this blog to fan any flames.  I don’t expect anyone’s opinions about the Kavanaugh or Ford will be changed by this and as I’ve tried to honestly convey, I don’t even know for sure what your opinions ought to be.  I have my own conclusions, but based on such little actual knowledge as I personally feel I have, I think those conclusions are much less important for me to share as a pastor than what I’ve tried to do here, which is simply to help us continue to think about how we, those whose allegiance is to our Lord Jesus, ought to respond when the rest of the world seems so certain.

Any comments in keeping with this goal will be welcome, even (maybe especially) ones which disagree.  Any comments which declare an absolutel certainty of what’s right in this instance complete with excoriation and demonization of opposition will be stricken from the record.

The Journey Podcast: Psalms 17,19

This is the partial recording of the Chronological study for July 2, 2018.  Due to technical difficulty we are missing some of this recording.

Psalm 17

A prayer of David.

Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
    listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
    it does not rise from deceitful lips.
Let my vindication come from you;
    may your eyes see what is right.

Though you probe my heart,
    though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
    my mouth has not transgressed.
Though people tried to bribe me,
    I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
    through what your lips have commanded.
My steps have held to your paths;
    my feet have not stumbled.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
    you who save by your right hand
    those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
    from my mortal enemies who surround me.

10 They close up their callous hearts,
    and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
    with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,
    like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

13 Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
    with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
14 By your hand save me from such people, Lord,
    from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
    may their children gorge themselves on it,
    and may there be leftovers for their little ones.

15 As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
    when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

Psalm 19[g]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice[h] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression.

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

The Journey Podcast:Psalm 9 and 10

This is the recording of the Chronological study, the Journey from June 25, Psalm 9 and 10.

 

Psalm 9[a][b]

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

My enemies turn back;
    they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause,
    sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
    you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,
    you have uprooted their cities;
    even the memory of them has perished.

The Lord reigns forever;
    he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
    and judges the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion;
    proclaim among the nations what he has done.
12 For he who avenges blood remembers;
    he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

13 Lord, see how my enemies persecute me!
    Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may declare your praises
    in the gates of Daughter Zion,
    and there rejoice in your salvation.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
    their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice;
    the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.[c]
17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
    all the nations that forget God.
18 But God will never forget the needy;
    the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

19 Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph;
    let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Strike them with terror, Lord;
    let the nations know they are only mortal.

Psalm 10[a]

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
    your laws are rejected by[b] him;
    he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
    He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”

His mouth is full of lies and threats;
    trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
    like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
    he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
    they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
    he covers his face and never sees.”

12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
    Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
    Why does he say to himself,
    “He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
    call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
    that would not otherwise be found out.

16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
    the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror.

The Journey Podcast: Psalms 5,6 and 8

This is the recording of the Journey from June 11, 2018

Psalm 5[a]

For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
    you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.
But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me.
Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
    their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
    with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
    Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
    you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Psalm 6[a]

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith.[b] A psalm of David.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
    How long, Lord, how long?

Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
    Who praises you from the grave?

I am worn out from my groaning.

All night long I flood my bed with weeping
    and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
    they fail because of all my foes.

Away from me, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
    they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Psalm 8[a]

For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] A psalm of David.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[c]

You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
    and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their[g] feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

The Journey Podcast: Psalm 4

This is the recording from the Journey Chronological study on June 11, 2018

 

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

Answer me when I call to you,
    my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
    How long will you love delusions and seek false gods[b]?[c]
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

Tremble and[d] do not sin;
    when you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.

The Journey Podcast: 1 Kings 1 and 2

This the recording of the Chronological Study from May 28th

 

When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.”

Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.

Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses[a] ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.(His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)

Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah.

Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.

11 Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David knows nothing about it? 12 Now then, let me advise you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go in to King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, did you not swear to me your servant: “Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’14 While you are still there talking to the king, I will come in and add my word to what you have said.”

15 So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him. 16 Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king.

“What is it you want?” the king asked.

17 She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the Lordyour God: ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it. 19 He has sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep, and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant. 20 My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.”

22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 23 And the king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.

24 Nathan said, “Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne? 25 Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him and saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite. 27 Is this something my lord the king has done without letting his servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”

David Makes Solomon King

28 Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.

29 The king then took an oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 30 I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”

31 Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”

32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, 33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointhim king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’35 Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.”

36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so declare it. 37 As the Lord was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!”

38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon mount King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.

41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, “What’s the meaning of all the noise in the city?”

42 Even as he was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news.”

43 “Not at all!” Jonathan answered. “Our lord King David has made Solomon king.44 The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king’s mule, 45 and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That’s the noise you hear. 46 Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. 47 Also, the royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon’s name more famous than yours and his throne greater than yours!’ And the king bowed in worship on his bed 48 and said, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today.’”

49 At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. 50 But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Then Solomon was told, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’”

52 Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” 53 Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.”

David’s Charge to Solomon

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.

“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man,and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

“Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.

“But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom.

“And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will not put you to death by the sword.’ But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.”

10 Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. 11 He had reigned forty years over Israel—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.

Solomon’s Throne Established

13 Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. Bathsheba asked him, “Do you come peacefully?”

He answered, “Yes, peacefully.” 14 Then he added, “I have something to say to you.”

“You may say it,” she replied.

15 “As you know,” he said, “the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the Lord. 16 Now I have one request to make of you. Do not refuse me.”

“You may make it,” she said.

17 So he continued, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”

18 “Very well,” Bathsheba replied, “I will speak to the king for you.”

19 When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

20 “I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “Do not refuse me.”

The king replied, “Make it, my mother; I will not refuse you.”

21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah.”

22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him—after all, he is my older brother—yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!”

23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord: “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request! 24 And now, as surely as the Lord lives—he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised—Adonijah shall be put to death today!” 25 So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died.

26 To Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign Lord before my father David and shared all my father’s hardships.”27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood of the Lord, fulfilling the word the Lord had spoken at Shiloh about the house of Eli.

28 When the news reached Joab, who had conspired with Adonijah though not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord and was beside the altar. Then Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, “Go, strike him down!”

30 So Benaiah entered the tent of the Lord and said to Joab, “The king says, ‘Come out!’”

But he answered, “No, I will die here.”

Benaiah reported to the king, “This is how Joab answered me.”

31 Then the king commanded Benaiah, “Do as he says. Strike him down and bury him, and so clear me and my whole family of the guilt of the innocent blood that Joab shed. 32 The Lord will repay him for the blood he shed, because without my father David knowing it he attacked two men and killed them with the sword. Both of them—Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army—were better men and more upright than he. 33 May the guilt of their blood rest on the head of Joab and his descendants forever. But on David and his descendants, his house and his throne, may there be the Lord’s peace forever.”

34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck down Joab and killed him, and he was buried at his home out in the country. 35 The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab’s position and replaced Abiathar with Zadok the priest.

36 Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, but do not go anywhere else. 37 The day you leave and cross the Kidron Valley, you can be sure you will die; your blood will be on your own head.”

38 Shimei answered the king, “What you say is good. Your servant will do as my lord the king has said.” And Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time.

39 But three years later, two of Shimei’s slaves ran off to Achish son of Maakah, king of Gath, and Shimei was told, “Your slaves are in Gath.” 40 At this, he saddled his donkey and went to Achish at Gath in search of his slaves. So Shimei went away and brought the slaves back from Gath.

41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, 42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and warn you, ‘On the day you leave to go anywhere else, you can be sure you will die’? At that time you said to me, ‘What you say is good. I will obey.’ 43 Why then did you not keep your oath to the Lord and obey the command I gave you?”

44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the Lord will repay you for your wrongdoing. 45 But King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will remain secure before the Lordforever.”

46 Then the king gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down and he died.

The kingdom was now established in Solomon’s hands.

The Journey Podcast: 1 Chronicles 23

This is the recording from May 21 Chronological Study.

 

When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.

He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.”

David separated the Levites into divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi:Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

Gershonites

Belonging to the Gershonites:

Ladan and Shimei.

The sons of Ladan:

Jehiel the first, Zetham and Joel—three in all.

The sons of Shimei:

Shelomoth, Haziel and Haran—three in all.

These were the heads of the families of Ladan.

10 And the sons of Shimei:

Jahath, Ziza,[a] Jeush and Beriah.

These were the sons of Shimei—four in all.

11 Jahath was the first and Ziza the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; so they were counted as one family with one assignment.

Kohathites

12 The sons of Kohath:

Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel—four in all.

13 The sons of Amram:

Aaron and Moses.

Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name forever. 14 The sons of Moses the man of God were counted as part of the tribe of Levi.

15 The sons of Moses:

Gershom and Eliezer.

16 The descendants of Gershom:

Shubael was the first.

17 The descendants of Eliezer:

Rehabiah was the first.

Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.

18 The sons of Izhar:

Shelomith was the first.

19 The sons of Hebron:

Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth.

20 The sons of Uzziel:

Micah the first and Ishiah the second.

Merarites

21 The sons of Merari:

Mahli and Mushi.

The sons of Mahli:

Eleazar and Kish.

22 Eleazar died without having sons: he had only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married them.

23 The sons of Mushi:

Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth—three in all.

24 These were the descendants of Levi by their families—the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the Lord. 25 For David had said, “Since the Lord, the God of Israel, has granted rest to his people and has come to dwell in Jerusalem forever, 26 the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the articles used in its service.” 27 According to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from those twenty years old or more.

28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the Lord: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the special flour for the grain offerings, the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. 30 They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. They were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.

32 And so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the tent of meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the Lord.

The Journey Podcast: 2 Samuel 24 and 2 Chronicles 21

Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

So the king said to Joab and the army commanders[a] with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”

But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.

After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.

After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.

10 David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

11 Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gadthe prophet, David’s seer: 12 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”

13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three[b] years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

14 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

15 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relentedconcerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd,[c] have done wrong. These are but sheep.What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”

David Builds an Altar

18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.

21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”

22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah[d] gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”

24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels[e] of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.”

But Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?”

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah.

But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel.

Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

The Lord said to Gad, David’s seer, 10 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lordsays: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”

11 So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: 12 three years of famine, three months of being swept away[a] before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord—days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

13 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

14 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. 15 And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lordwas then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah[b] the Jebusite.

16 David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown.

17 David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd,[c] have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people.”

David Builds an Altar

18 Then the angel of the Lord ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 19 So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord.

20 While Araunah was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the angel; his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21 Then David approached, and when Araunah looked and saw him, he left the threshing floor and bowed down before David with his face to the ground.

22 David said to him, “Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me at the full price.”

23 Araunah said to David, “Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this.”

24 But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

25 So David paid Araunah six hundred shekels[d] of gold for the site. 26 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

27 Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there. 29 The tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.