Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Chronicles 3:1-9
"These were the sons of David born to him in Hebron: The firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel; the second, Daniel the son of Abigail of Carmel; the third, Absalom the son of Maacah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah. These six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months" (1Ch 3:1-4).
There were six sons of David born in Hebron: the same as list in 2Sa 3:2-5, with one exception -- "Daniel". Daniel is called "Chileab" in the KJV mg and in 2Sa 3:3: despite a considerably different appearance in English, this is due to a very slight corruption of the same name in Hebrew.
"David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there..." (1Ch 3:4,5)...
The three lists of the 13 sons of David born in Jerusalem have some slight discrepancies, which are outlined below:
Shimea (textual corruption)
Elishama (textual corruption)
Died in infancy?*
Died in infancy?*
Beeliada (Baal, in good sense of "Lord", substituted for "El")
* Sons #s 7 and 8 may have died in infancy, and thus are not listed in the two 1Ch listings.
Reading 2 - Ezekiel 16:49
"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy" (Eze 16:49).
"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:28,29).
The sins of Sodom are plainly written in the scriptural record: they include sexual sins and perversions, it is true. But also -- as may be seen in Ezekiel -- they included pride and patriotism; unimaginable luxuries; leisure time for frivolities; and "disobedience to parents" (cp 2Ti 3:2).
Finally, "they did not help the poor and needy": There was malnutrition and starvation in a land of plenty -- where many possessed the means to alleviate the sufferings.
If any of this sounds a bit familiar to western ears, then surely it is no accident!
Reading 3 - Luk 12:16-21
"The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God" (Luk 12:16-21).
This man, in terms of the base standards of the world, had made a success of life. He became rich because of the productivity of his labor, and the fruitfulness of the ground he owned. But did he ever stop to think of why his land yielded its fruits in such abundance? Did he ever reflect upon the fact that "the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God" (Heb 6:7)? Job did, and concluded: "If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gotten much... this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above" (Job 31:25-28).
But in contrast to Job, the rich man, having more food than was sufficient for him, did deny God: trusting in his own labor, he seemingly gave little thought to the One who so greatly blessed the land upon which he worked. Thus, he was a failure.
Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a successful peasant farmer who was not satisfied with his lot. He wanted more of everything. One day he received a novel offer. For 1,000 rubles, he could buy all the land he could walk around in a day. The only catch in the deal was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown. Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace. By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground. Well into the afternoon he realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point. He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky, he began to run, knowing that if he did not make it back by sundown the opportunity to become an even bigger landholder would be lost. As the sun began to sink below the horizon he came within sight of the finish line. Gasping for breath, his heart pounding, he called upon every bit of strength left in his body and staggered across the line just before the sun disappeared. He immediately collapsed, blood streaming from his mouth. In a few minutes he was dead. Afterwards, his servants dug a grave. It was not much over six feet long and three feet wide. The title of Tolstoy's story was: "How Much Land Does a Man Need?"