Sunday, July 19, 2015: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Second Book of Samuel (7:1-14a)


Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”  But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.  Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.


> Important for development of Biblical theology.

> The passages hinge on the word “house.”

> This was the prophet Nathan’s first appearance. (court prophet)

> In chapter 7 the word “house” appears fifteen times!

> Temples were political statements which symbolized God’s protection.

> The ark is mobile – a temple is stationary and restricts God to that location.

> God is making a promise to an individual and not an entire nation as he had done in the past.

> God did not want to be pinned down to the temple.



Psalm 89:20-37


20 I have found David my servant; *

     with my holy oil have I anointed him.

21 My hand will hold him fast *

     and my arm will make him strong.

22 No enemy shall deceive him, *

     nor any wicked man bring him down.

23 I will crush his foes before him *

     and strike down those who hate him.

24 My faithfulness and love shall be with him, *

     and he shall be victorious through my Name.

25 I shall make his dominion extend *

     from the Great Sea to the River.

26 He will say to me, ‘You are my Father, *

     my God, and the rock of my salvation

27 I will make him my firstborn *

     and higher than the kings of the earth.

28 I will keep my love for him for ever, *

     and my covenant will stand firm for him.

29 I will establish his line for ever *

     and his throne as the days of heaven.”

30 “If his children forsake my law *

     and do not walk according to my judgments;

31 If they break my statutes *

     and do not keep my commandments;

32 I will punish their transgressions with a rod *

     and their iniquities with the lash;

33 But I will not take my love from him, *

     nor let my faithfulness prove false.

34 I will not break my covenant, *

     nor change what has gone out of my lips.

35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness: *

     ‘I will not lie to David.

36 His line shall endure for ever *

     and his throne as the sun before me;

37 It shall stand fast for evermore like the moon, *

     the abiding witness in the sky.’”


> From the Mediterranean to the Euphrates – the ideal expansion.

> Symbolic terms that the King is God’s first born son.

> These verses key into the first reading showing God’s unconditional commitment to David.



A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (2:11-22)


Remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.


> Verses 11-13:  Addressed to the majority of those present who were Gentiles and cut off from God.

> Now you too are one with the Jews.

> The next section discusses the union of the Jews and Gentiles via uniting with Christ.

> This may also refer to the the dividing wall in the temple.  (Jews only permitted past this wall.)

> It may also reflect on the post 70 AD situation where Babylonian armies destroyed the temple.



The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (6:30-34, 53-56)


The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them,  “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.


> These selected verses skip the feeding of the five thousand and the time when Jesus walked on water.

> The miracle of the five thousand only appears in Mark.

> Symbolizes the great crowds coming to Jesus.

> The “sheep without a shepherd” theme also appears in the Old Testament Book of Kings.

> It is also a common theme that the hero wants to stay in isolation, but God calls upon them to serve others.

> Gennesaret is a three mile wide plain.

> The last eight lines are a chiastic structure:  A-B; B-A.

> The Jewish cloak had four blue fringes at the bottom – Jesus shows his observance as a Jew.