Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

2 Samuel 14-15

2 Samuel 14

Absalom’s Return to Jerusalem

1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s mind was on Absalom. 2 Joab sent to Tekoa and brought a wise woman from there. He said to her, “Please act like a mourner and put on mourning clothes. Do not anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman who has mourned a long time for the dead. 3 Go in to the king and speak this to him,” and Joab put the words in her mouth.

4 When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, showed respect, and said, “Help, O king!”

5 The king said to her, “What troubles you?”
She answered, “Truly I am a widow, and my husband is dead. 6 Your servant had two sons, and they both fought together in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other and killed him. 7 The whole family has risen against your servant, and they say, ‘Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he killed, and so destroy the heir also.’ Thus they would extinguish the only ember that is left and would leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.”

8 The king said to the woman, “Go to your house, and I will give a command concerning you.”

9 The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord, O king, may the iniquity be on me and on my father’s house and may the king and his throne be guiltless.”

10 The king said, “Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he will not bother you any more.”

11 Then she said, “Please let the king remember the Lord your God, that the avenger of blood kill no more, lest they destroy my son.”

He said, “As the Lord lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the earth.”

12 Then the woman said, “Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.”
He said, “Speak.”

13 The woman said, “Why then have you devised such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring his banished one back home. 14 For we must die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again, nor does God take away life, but devises means, that he who is banished not be an outcast from him. 15 Now therefore seeing that I have come to speak this word to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid. Your servant said, ‘I will now speak to the king, and it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant.’

16 For the king will hear, to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God. 17 Then your servant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king bring rest, for like an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad. May the Lord your God be with you.’”

18 Then the king answered the woman, “Please do not hide anything from me that I ask you.”
The woman said, “Let my lord the king now speak.”

19 The king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?”
The woman answered, “As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken, for your servant Joab urged me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your servant. 20 Your servant Joab has done this thing to change the face of the matter. My lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are on the earth.”

21 The king said to Joab, “Now, I have done this thing. Go therefore, and bring the young man Absalom back.”

22 Joab fell on his face, to the ground, showed respect, and blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord, king, in that the king has performed the request of his servant.”

23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 The king said, “Let him return to his own house, but let him not see my face.” So Absalom returned to his own house and did not see the king’s face.

25 Now in all Israel there was no one to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him. 26 When he cut the hair of his head (now it was at every year’s end that he cut it, because it was heavy on him), he weighed the hair of his head at five pounds. 27 Three sons were born to Absalom and one daughter, whose name was Tamar. She was a woman with a beautiful face.

Absalom Reconciled to David

28 Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and he did not see the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, so he could send him to the king, but he would not come to him. Then he sent for him again, a second time, but he would not come. 30 Therefore he said to his servants, “Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.

31 Then Joab arose and came to Absalom to his house and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?”

32 Absalom answered Joab, “I sent to you, saying, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say: Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still. Now therefore let me see the king’s face and if there is iniquity in me, let him kill me.’ ”

33 So Joab came to the king, and told him and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king and bowed with his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom.

2 Samuel 15

Absalom’s Conspiracy

1 After this, Absalom prepared a chariot and horses for himself and 50 men to run in front of him.

2 Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. When any man had a suit which should come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him and said, “What city are you from?”
He said, “Your servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.”

3 Absalom said to him, “Your claims are right and just, but there is no official authorized by the king to hear you.”

4 Absalom said moreover, “Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice!” 5 It was so, that when any man came near to bow down to him, he stretched out his hand and took hold of him and kissed him. 6 Absalom did this sort of thing to all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

7 At the end of 40 years, Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have made to the Lord, in Hebron. 8 For your servant made a vow while I stayed at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If the Lord shall indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’ ”

9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.”
So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron!’ ” 11 Two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem, who were invited and went in innocence, and they did not know anything.

12 Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city, from Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy was strong, for the people who were with Absalom increased continually.

David Flees Jerusalem

13 A messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.”

14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Get up! Let’s flee, or else none of us will escape from Absalom. Hurry to depart, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down destruction on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

15 The king’s servants said to the king, “Your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king chooses.”

16 The king went out and all his household after him. The king left ten women, who were concubines, to keep the house. 17 The king went out and all the people after him, and they stayed in Beth Merhak.

18 All his servants passed on beside him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites. Six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.

19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you also going with us? Return and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile. Return to your own place. 20 You came but yesterday, should I today make you wander around with us, since I go where I may? Return and take back your brothers. Grace and truth be with you.”

21 Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in what place my lord the king is, whether in death or in life, your servant will be there also.”

22 David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.” Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones who were with him. 23 All the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over. The king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness. 24 Zadok also came and all the Levites with him, bearing the Ark of the covenant of God, and they set down the Ark of God, and Abiathar went up, until all the people finished passing out of the city.

25 The king said to Zadok, “Carry the Ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back, and show me both that and his dwelling place, 26 but if he says, ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am. Let him do to me as seems good to him.” 27 The king said also to Zadok the priest, “Aren’t you a seer? Return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 I will stay at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 Zadok. therefore, and Abiathar carried the Ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they stayed there.

David Weeps at Mount Olivet

30 David went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives and wept as he went up, and he had his head covered and went barefoot. All the people who were with him each covered his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

31 Someone told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.”
David said, “Lord, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”

32 When David had come to the top, where God was worshiped, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his tunic torn and earth on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you pass on with me, then you will be a burden to me, 34 but if you return to the city and tell Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king. As I have been your father’s servant in time past, so I will now be your servant. Then will you defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel.’

35 Don’t you have Zadok and Abiathar the priests there with you? Therefore whatever you hear out of the king’s house, tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 They have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son. Send to me everything that you shall hear by them.”

37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

John 18:1-24

Jesus’ Betrayal and Arrest

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 Judas then, having taken a detachment of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were happening to him, went out and said to them, “Who are you looking for?”

5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am he.”
Judas also, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When, therefore, he said to them, “I am he,” they went backward and fell to the ground.

7 Again, therefore, he asked them, “Who are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If it is me you are looking for, let these men go their way,” 9 that the word might be fulfilled which he spoke, “Of those whom you have given me, I have lost none.”

10 Simon Peter, therefore, having a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus, therefore, said to Peter, “Put the sword into its sheath. The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it?”

12 So the detachment, the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him, 13 and led him to Annas first, for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should perish for the people.

Peter’s First Denial

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the woman who kept the gate, and brought in Peter.

17 Then the maid who kept the gate said to Peter, “Are you also one of this man’s disciples?”
He said, “I am not.”

18 Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals, for it was cold. They were warming themselves. Peter was with them, standing and warming himself.

Jesus Before the High Priest

19 The high priest therefore asked Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where the Jews always meet. I said nothing in secret. 21  Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them. They know the things which I said.”

22 When he had said this, one of the officers standing by slapped Jesus with his hand, saying, “Do you answer the high priest like that?”

23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, testify of the evil, but if well, why do you strike me?”

24 Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest.

Psalm 119:97-112

97 How I love your law!
It is my meditation all day.
98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
for your commandments are always with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
because I have kept your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil way,
that I might observe your word.
102 I have not turned away from your ordinances,
for you have taught me.
103 How sweet to my taste are your promises,
more than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts, I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet,
and a light for my path.
106 I have sworn, and have confirmed it,
that I will obey your righteous ordinances.

107 I am greatly afflicted.
Revive me, O Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept, I beg you, the willing offerings of my mouth.
O Lord, teach me your ordinances.
109 My soul is continually in my hand,
yet I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
yet I have not gone astray from your precepts.
111 I have taken your testimonies as a heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I have set my heart to perform your statutes forever,
even to the end.

Proverbs 16:8-9

8 Better is a little with righteousness,
than great revenues with injustice.
9 A man’s heart plans his course,
but the Lord directs his steps.

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