10 September 2012

Reading the Bible in chronological order - discovery # 3

What are some things that come to mind immediately at the mention of David from the Bible?

The shepherd boy who took on Goliath.
A man after God's own heart.
Serving, fleeing from and honouring King Saul.
Psalms and music.
The friendship with Jonathan.
King David.
Countless battles.
Building a palace and putting in extensive plans for the temple.

I am just about at the end of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles and the Psalms in the chronological reading plan - the full sweep of David's life.  The narrative of 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles is an exciting part of the Bible.  It's certainly one of the high points in the Old Testament.  It seems as though God's promises to Abraham way back in Genesis 12 are reaching their fulfillment.  And the Psalms are a glorious, personal reflection on life in all its highs and lows. 

But what happens when you interweave the events of David's life with his personal reflections upon those events?  Something quite wonderful.  To read those Psalms when David is crying out to God when he fears for his life, when he seems to have no support, when he knows he has mucked up, when he is hiding a cave, when he is about to go into a fierce battle - or to read those Psalms when David is giving joyful thanks to God for His faithfulness shown in David's life in personal or national victory and for the pure goodness of knowing, loving and serving God - to read those Psalms when David is overwhelmed and amazed that he should be king - to read all these Psalms alongside the actual action does something amazing.  It gives humanity to the events and context to the emotions.  And both become all the more powerful for it. 

Now I haven't done the reading to know this for sure, but I am guessing that we don't know the exact placement for all of the Psalms.  There are some that can be placed exactly, either from the small print or from the content.  But I'm not sure that we have the information to place all of them precisely.  As I said, that may be wrong...I haven't done the reading...so don't quote me on this point.  So I can't be sure of the 100% accuracy of the placement of the Psalms against events in the reading plan I am using.  However I know the plan won't have been constructed together lightly, and it has read very well to me. 

And as I have read through this section of readings I've come to the conclusion that this might be a great way to get into the Psalms with children.  They all love the action of the life of David but his psalms are a bit harder for children to engage with because some of the emotions expressed will be foreign to them (thankfully), the poetic form and language is unfamiliar and psalms do fall more at the abstract end of the spectrum. 

To that end, if you are interested in reading through the life of David alongside the Psalms, or having a go at it with your children, I have copied below just that section of the reading plan.  It's a list of 50 or so readings, which could be broken down further if you go chapter by chapter and psalm by psalm.  Don't be overwhelmed by the volume.  What is posted below represents an amazing adventure in Bible reading.

1 Sam 13
1 Sam 48
1 Sam 912
1 Sam 1314
1 Sam 1517
1 Sam 1820, Ps 11, Ps 59
1 Sam 2124
Ps 7, Ps 27, Ps 31, Ps 34, Ps 52
Ps 56, Ps 120, Ps 140142
1 Sam 2527
Ps 17, Ps 35, Ps 54, Ps 63
1 Sam 2831, Ps 18
Ps 121, Ps 123125, Ps 128130
2 Sam 14
Ps 6, Ps 810, Ps 14, Ps 16, Ps 19, ps 21
1 Chr 12
Ps 4345, Ps 49, Ps 8485, Ps 87
1 Chr 35
Ps 73, Ps 7778
1 Chr 6
Ps 81, Ps 88, Ps 9293
1 Chr 710
Ps 102104
2 Sam 5:110, 1 Chr 1112
Ps 133
Ps 106107
2 Sam 5:116:23, 1 Chr 1316
Ps 12, Ps 15, Ps 2224, Ps 47, Ps 68
Ps 89, Ps 96, Ps 100, Ps 101, Ps 105, Ps 132
2 Sam 7, 1 Chr 17
Ps 25, Ps 29, Ps 33, Ps 36, Ps 39
2 Sam 89, 1 Chr 18
Ps 50, Ps 53, Ps 60, Ps 75
2 Sam 10, 1 Chr 19, Ps 20
Ps 6567, Ps 6970
2 Sam 1112, 1 Chr 20
Ps 32, Ps 51, Ps 86, Ps 122
2 Sam 1315
Ps 34, Ps 1213, Ps 28, Ps 55
2 Sam 1618
Ps 26, Ps 40, Ps 58, Ps 6162, Ps 64
2 Sam 1921
Ps 5, Ps 38, Ps 4142
2 Sam 2223, Ps 57
Ps 95, Ps 9799
2 Sam 24, 1 Chr 2122, Ps 30
Ps 108110
1 Chr 2325
Ps 131, Ps 138139, Ps 143145
1 Chr 2629, Ps 127
Ps 111118
1 Kgs 12, Ps 37, Ps 71, Ps 94
Ps 119:188
1 Kgs 34, 2 Chr 1, Ps 72
Ps 119:89176


Karen said...

Thanks for this Meredith, much appreciated as always. My husband and I have been reading 1 Samuel together lately too (we are almost at the end of it now) and it has been an exciting read. Some of the readings we've done have linked to one or two of the relevant Psalms, but nothing as comprehensive as your list. Thanks again :)

Meredith said...

Thanks Karen. I have just about finished reading through 1Samuel with a group of women and wish now we had done it this way. But at least I know for future reference. And I am looking forward to having a go at this with our boys. What will you read next?