Today's first reading continues the story of the consequences of David's abuse of power in marrying Bathsheba. God promises that David will withstand threats to his power for the rest of his life. The most dramatic came at the hands of his own son, Absalom, who claimed the throne and even forced David to flee Jerusalem. Interestingly, David refuses to take the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem, faithful that it is now God's holy city, whether he is king or not.
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]Reading the Bible in Its Entirety
The second selection tells of the eventual defeat of Absalom and his army. Despite David's insistence that his rebellious son's life should be spared, the would-be king is killed by David's troops after he becomes stuck in a tree trying to flee the battlefield. Upon hearing the news, David was disconsolate, weeping for his wayward son.
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If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read 2 Samuel 16-20 today.