The Temple

Don’t Even Look at the Ark

2 Samuel 6:3, “…Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab were guiding the new cart.” New English Translation

Ahio guided the oxen and Uzzah was walking beside the cart. He knew he was not to touch the cloth-covered ark.

Did Uzzah stare at it? Did he use the oxen stumbling as an excuse to satisfy his curiosity? He could have steadied the cart without touching the ark.

This is why Jesus told us not to even look at something or someone that is forbidden, Matthew 5:28.

Holy Attire

It was the Sunday before Valentine’s Day. I have four Valentine’s Day pins. I put three of them on my black fedora hat band. I couldn’t decide whether to wear it or not.

1 Chronicles 16:29, “…Worship the Lord in holy attire.” NET

I left the hat at home. I pinned the fourth pin with a cord attached to it on my coat. You pull the cord and a bear pops out of the heart. I showed the pin to Gideon before church. He loved pulling the cord and being surprised by the bear.

He gave me a magnet that he made with his mommy Rachel. It was a heart made out of his thumbprints.

A Drummer Was Their Leader

1 Chronicles 16:5, “…Asaph was to sound the cymbals.” NET

“Leading the group of musicians was Asaph (v. 5), a man who wrote many Psalms. …”

NEt Note on 1 Chronicles 16:4-36


Live in the House of the Lord

Psalms 27:4, “I have asked the Lord for one thing – this is what I desire! I want to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, so I can gaze at the splendor of the Lord and contemplate in his temple.” NET

Our satellite church meets in a Civic Center. Another church in town meets at the middle school. The temple in Israel is gone; they pray at the western wall.

Living in the house of the Lord is no longer possible. But, churches and temples are where people gather to feel God’s presence because where two or three are gathered, Jesus is there, Matthew 18:20!

Build a House for God

2 Samuel 7:5, 11, “…The Lord has said: Do you intend to build a house for me to live in? 11) …The Lord declares to you that he himself will build a dynastic house for you.” NET

David wanted to build a house for God. Instead, God built his house. Jesus was called a “son of David.”

1 Chronicles 18:6, “…The Lord protected David wherever he campaigned.” NET

Model of the temple

God’s Mercy

Psalms 51:1, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love. Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts.” NET

“Only God’s mercy opens our eyes to our own sin (vv. 1-3). Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of sin from this past week. If you are not aware of any sin, ask the Spirit to reveal blind spots or hard-heartedness.”

NET Notes on Psalms 51:1-17


Things I Pondered

  1. Did Michal, Saul’s daughter, refer to David’s other wives as “slave girls,” 2 Samuel 6:22?
  2. Do I sing loudly and joyfully, 1 Chronicles 15:16?
  3. The night is for predatory animals, Psalms 104:21-23.
  4. Only God can save us in a war, 2 Samuel 10:12; Isaiah 59:1.
  5. A wise and discerning person restrains his words and stays calm, Proverbs 17:27.
  6. Looking to the Lord for help frees me from the enemy’s net, Psalms 25:15.
  7. I will be satisfied with the good things of your holy place, Psalms 65:4.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

En Gedi, Mount Gilboa, Hezekiah’s Tunnel

How is 2023 going? Are you keeping your head down to avoid potshots? Or are you in plain sight fighting for your life with everyone watching?

Perhaps, like me, you are going through a tunnel. You thought you would have been through it by now.

We just read about hiding in caves, battling on a mountain, and walking through a tunnel.

En Gedi

1 Samuel 23:29, “Then David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En Gedi.” New English Translation

The strongholds were caves up above the waterfall. The terrain was difficult. Only the hardiest among us climbed up to the spring. David and I walked back to the welcoming center and ate ice cream. (I had already twisted my left ankle twice!)

En Gedi is in the middle of the Judean Wilderness. I’m sure David became especially thirsty there.

Psalms 63:1, “O God, you are my God, I long for you. My soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” NET

Mount Gilboa

1 Samuel 28:8, “…Use your ritual pit to conjure up for me the one I tell you.” NET

Using a medium was a pit – a trap – knowing the future destroys today. He didn’t enjoy the day and night before the battle with his sons and men. They could have eaten around the fire recalling past victories and exploits. That would have built up their strength and courage.

Instead, he didn’t eat. He collapsed on the ground drained of energy, 1 Samuel 28:20. He sat on a bed, (v. 23), for hours while she slaughtered a calf, waited for the blood to drain, mixed up bread, waited for it to rise, she roasted the meat, baked the bread, and then they ate.

He sat on a bed worrying about the future. He was trapped.

“As you reflect on Saul’s disobedience, consider the sources of your guidance and counsel. Are those sources aligned with God and His Word? Or do they represent worldly perspectives?”

New English Translation note on 1 Samuel 28:1-7


1 Samuel 31:7, “When the men of Israel who were in the valley and across the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled.” NET

You could see for miles on top of Mount Gilboa. And people could see you if they knew what color you were wearing. David watched me climb to the top and saw right away when I started back down after twisting my ankle. He walked back to meet me because he knew something was wrong.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

2 Samuel 5:8, “David said on that day, ‘Whoever attacks the Jebusites must approach the “lame” and the “blind” who are David’s enemies by going through the water tunnel.'” NET

There are two tunnels in the “City of David.” David’s tunnel has running water and you need a cave light to traverse it. It was much longer. Three brave souls went through it.

Hezekiah’s tunnel was well-lit with blue accent lights at the Gihon Spring. There were dry steps and a handrail to assist you as you walk through. The rest of us went through it.

We went to Solomon’s pool and waited for the men in David’s tunnel.

Two tunnels for two purposes. David went through the first tunnel to conquer the city. It was wet, (the water was up to the waist in some places), dark, (they could only see a few feet in front of them), and long. At the end of the tunnel was a battle to take the city. (That may be like the tunnel you are in. Keep going.)

Entrance to Warren’s shaft in Hezekiah’s tunnel.

Hezekiah’s tunnel was dug out to keep a source of fresh water during a siege. It was easier because the goal was water.

The reward for the long, hard tunnel was a city! Hard tunnel = great reward.

Other Things I Noted

  1. David asked the Lord twice before he attacked the Philistines, 1 Samuel 23:2-4.
  2. Abigail was described as wise and then beautiful, 1 Samuel 25:3 and Proverbs 11:2.
  3. The Lord rewards each man for his integrity and loyalty, 1 Samuel 26:23.
  4. Look to God for protection and he will accomplish awesome, faithful deeds, Psalms 17:7.
  5. David left 200 men with the equipment when he went to fight Nabal, too, 1 Samuel 25:13 and 1 Samuel 30:10.
  6. Those who have no desire to bless anyone experience no blessings, Psalms 109:17.
  7. Ziklag burned but David moved to Hebron and was crowned king a little later, 1 Samuel 30:1-31 and 2 Samuel 2:3-4.
  8. God sent some soldiers to David every day, 1 Chronicles 12:22.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

Do I Fear God?

In a meeting with John Bevere in 1994, Jim Bakker said, “John, this prison wasn’t God’s judgment on my life. It was his mercy. John, if I would have kept living the way I was living, I would have ended up in hell forever and ever. I am so grateful to God. …I loved Jesus. I didn’t fear God.”

Those words haunted me as I read this week. Looking back, I recognize times when I didn’t fear God. I wasn’t alone.

The Sons of Eli and Samuel

1 Samuel 8:3, “But his sons did not follow his ways. Instead, they made money dishonestly, accepted bribes, and perverted justice.” New English Translation

Eli’s sons disregarded the holy things and gave in to their lust. Samuel’s sons became greedy and dishonest. They didn’t fear God.

Like them, our battle is with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, see 1 John 2:15-17.

“…ask God to help you become a strong, honest, competent, and godly leader like Samuel…”

New English Translation note on 1 Samuel 7:13-17



1 Samuel 14:10, “But if they say, ‘Come up against us,’ we will go up. For in that case, the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel!” NET

Jonathan asked for a sign, just like Gideon. His father Saul didn’t know he went. Gideon’s father didn’t know Gideon tore down the idol of Baal, Judges 6:25-32.

“Jonathan, Saul’s son, bravely decides to attack the Philistines and has great faith in the Lord’s protection and provision (v.6). …Tired, outnumbered, and without proper weapons, he faces incredible odds, yet his faith in God’s strength and power makes him a victor.”

NET note on 1 Samuel 14:24-26



1 Samuel 14:35, “Then Saul built an altar for the Lord; it was the first time he had built an altar for the Lord.” NET

In 1 Samuel 13:6-14, Saul offered sacrifices on an altar someone else built. The altar and the sacrifices were prepared for Samuel. This time, Saul honored God by building the altar and providing the sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:23, “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and presumption is like the evil of idolatry. …” NET

Saul lost his fear of God. (Dear God, keep me from rebellion and presumption.)

Why I Choose to Fear God

Psalms 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.” NET

  • He leads me, v. 2-3.
  • He strengthens me, v. 3.
  • He is with me, v. 4.
  • He feeds me, v. 4.
  • He refreshes me, v. 5.
  • He pursues me, v. 6.

Benefits of Fearing God


1 Samuel 20:3, “…there is about one step between me and death! …” NET

“Put yourself in David’s situation. A king has relentlessly sought to kill you. Although you’ve experienced God’s protection and favor, anxiety creeps into your heart. What would you do? In this moment in David’s history, he sought the help of a friend…”

NET notes on 1 Samuel 20:1-11


Anxious? Call a friend. More importantly, be the friend others call. Trust your best friend – Jesus!


Psalms 50:15, “Pray to me when you are in trouble. I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” NET

Psalms 34:7, 9, “The angel of the Lord camps around the Lord’s loyal followers and delivers them. 9) Fear the Lord, you chosen people of his, for those who fear him lack nothing.” NET

To live a long happy life, don’t speak evil words or use deceptive speech, turn from evil, do what’s right, strive for peace, and promote peace, Psalms 34:12-14. Remember his teachings, keep his commandments, they provide a long, full life and well-being.” Proverbs 3:1-2.

Loyal Love

Psalms 36:5, 7, 10, “O Lord, your loyal love reaches to the sky, … 5) How precious is your loyal love, O God! …10) “Extend your loyal love to your faithful followers, …” NET

“David mentioned God’s mercy or loyal love (Hebrew, chesed) three times (vv. 5, 7, 10). Reflect on how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have each shown chesed to you.”

NET note on Psalms 36


I also pondered:

  1. Am I following empty things, 1 Samuel 12:21?
  2. What am I mourning that I should forget, 1 Samuel 16:1?
  3. Was David ruddy like his great-grandmother Ruth, 1 Samuel 16:12; Ruth 4:21-22?
  4. Did Eliab believe David killed a lion and a bear, see 1 Samuel 17:34-37? Is disbelief why he thought David was proud and deceitful, 1 Samuel 17:28?
  5. Did Jonathan give David the robe that designated him as heir apparent, 1 Samuel 18:4?
  6. If I had accomplished everything David had, would I still remain humble, 1 Samuel 18:23, 30?

A sculpture of a lyre at the entrance of the City of David

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

How to Live

Jesus Taught Us to Be

  1. Grateful that we’re invited to the wedding banquet, Matthew 22:9.
  2. Looking for His return, Mark 13:24-27.
  3. Enduring, Matthew 24:13.
  4. Peaceful, not alarmed, Matthew 24:6.
  5. Faithfully working, Matthew 24:46.
  6. Calm, not distressed, John 14:1.
  7. Speaking plainly, John 16:29-30.

We finished reading the teachings of Jesus. We will return to the first four books of the New Testament on Palm Sunday.

We started reading about the first kings of Israel.

We Learn from Other’s Mistakes


“…[1 Samuel covers] the selection, reign, and rejection of King Saul and the God-ordained rise of David under him as his replacement…1 Samuel calls us to slow down and focus on David as a common man with uncommon faith and integrity whom the Lord chose to replace a failed king.”

New English Translation
Introduction to 1 Samuel


Saul lived and died as King. But after he disobeyed God, his life was miserable.

God didn’t “strike him with lightning” but He let Saul know that Jonathan would not reign.

His regret turned to bitterness and jealousy consumed him. He spent the last fifteen years of his life hunting David and trying to kill him.

(I may be a common woman but I can live my life with uncommon faith and integrity.)


1 Samuel 2:25-26, “…But Eli’s sons would not listen to their father. Indeed, the Lord had decided to kill them. 26) However, the boy Samuel was growing up and finding favor both with the Lord and with people.” New English Translation

Even though Eli’s sons were doomed, God allowed them to live while Samuel was growing up. They may have thought they could do as they pleased without consequences. They were wrong.

The people told Eli of his son’s behavior, 2:22. A man of God came to Eli and warned him, 2:27-36. Then Samuel told him the future, 3:3-18.

1 Samuel 2:30, “…I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed.” NET

People of Beth Shemesh

1 Samuel 6:19, “But the Lord struck down some of the people of Beth Shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord; he struck down 50,070 of the men. …” NET

In the first battle, 4000 men died, 4:2. In the second, 30,000 died, 4:10. But when the people of Beth Shemesh looked into the ark, 50,070 men died. Even the High Priest was not allowed to do that!

They fought in hills like these.

How are we to live? Grateful, expecting, enduring, peacefully, faithfully, calmly, speaking plainly, obediently, full of faith, with integrity, honoring God, and reverently.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.