Daughters of Saul and Sons of Moses

Scripture Focus: Psalm 145.1-4
1 I will exalt you, my God the King; 
I will praise your name for ever and ever. 
2 Every day I will praise you 
and extol your name for ever and ever. 
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; 
his greatness no one can fathom. 
4 One generation commends your works to another; 
they tell of your mighty acts.

1 Chronicles 15.29
29 As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.

Luke 19.39-40
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Reflection: Daughters of Saul and Sons of Moses
By John Tillman

Yesterday, Palm Sunday, we celebrated Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem and the week leading to the crucifixion and resurrection. (Matthew 21.1–11; Mark 11.1–11; Luke 19.28–44; John 12.12–19)

Like David’s procession of the Ark of the Covenant entering Jerusalem, Jesus’ processional was met by a joyous crowd. In both cases, there were those who wanted to steal the joy of the moment.

Michal, daughter of Saul and wife of David, critiqued the celebration. (1 Chronicles 15.29) She claimed to be concerned about propriety and modesty, but David’s response implied that her moralizing concealed a concern about power. (2 Samuel 6.20-23) The daughter of Saul despised this lowly king.

Likewise, religious leaders objected to crowds singing about Jesus “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:25,26) They publicly voiced concerns about blasphemy but privately they were concerned about power. They didn’t want to upset Rome. (John 11.48) The sons of Moses despised this lowly teacher.

Psalm 105
is the Psalm listed in Chronicles as one David (or Asaph at David’s direction) sang on the occasion of the Ark’s entry. (1 Chronicles 16.7-11) However, despite Psalm 145 not having a date or event attached, one could certainly imagine its celebratory tone going well with the procession David led or the procession of Jesus the Son of David.

Those traveling up to Jerusalem would sing psalms on their ascent, preparing for and celebrating being in the presence of God. We can pray and sing these psalms with the same sense of anticipation. Jesus comes to us as he came to Jerusalem, humble and lowly. We can welcome him with shouts, cries, and joyous abandon that some will not understand.

Welcome him this week and every week as the only rightful king of our hearts. We must depose our affection for other Saul-like kings. We must abandon vestiges of religion which grasp at power rather than righteousness.

Do not let daughters of Saul or sons of Moses steal your joy in the lowly king, the humble teacher. Let us exalt him with pure praise and abandon. Let us ensure the next generation joins in with us.

“I will exalt you, my God the King; 
I will praise your name for ever and ever. 
Every day I will praise you 
and extol your name for ever and ever. 
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; 
his greatness no one can fathom. 
One generation commends your works to another; 
they tell of your mighty acts.”

Divine Hours Prayer: A Reading
…They cried out: “Blessed is he who is coming as King in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens!” Some Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Master, reprove your disciples,” but he answered, “I tell you, if these keep silence, the stones will cry out.” — Luke 19.37-40


Today’s Readings
Hosea 12  Listen – 1:51)
Psalm 145  (Listen -2:19)

Read more about A Way Back for Strivers
If we wrestle with you God, you will bless…If we will return to you, God, you will heal

Read more On Psalm 145: Praying as Music
If music is a universal language, prayer can be similarly described.

Don’t Play Favorites

Scripture Focus: James 2:5-6a
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor.

Reflection: Don’t Play Favorites
By Jon Polk

A man walks into a church for worship wearing an expensive, tailored Armani suit and the greeter at the door shows him to a seat near the front of the sanctuary. An obviously homeless man arrives at the same church wearing clothes and worn-out sandals from a thrift store, and he is promptly escorted away from the sanctuary and asked to watch the service from the overflow room. 

Yes, the example seems extreme, but James, having been the leader of the early church in Jerusalem, does not sound as if he is speaking hypothetically in the opening verses of chapter two. 

We express preferences and show partiality every day in our lives. We cheer on our favorite sports teams, listen to music by the artists we enjoy, have dinner with friends and cast our votes for our preferred political candidates.  

While most of this favoritism is harmless, James is quick to call out our hypocrisy in showing favoritism unjustly while Jesus has expressly directed us to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matt 22:39

One of the most egregious ways James says we manifest the sin of partiality is the way in which we treat the poor and those in need. His words to the rich here in chapter two (2:6-7) and later also in chapter five (5:1-6) are quite scathing in their rebuke. The church should be a hallowed ground where all people are found equal before God, regardless of their financial profile. 

James cites a paradox when seen through the eyes of the world: the poor are a model of humble courage and deep faith and the rich are examples of arrogance and shallow faith.

We make judgments with our own eyes as to the character and circumstances of someone in poverty. Jim Wallis writes, “Most Americans believe that if you work hard and full-time, you should not be poor. But the truth is that many working families are, and many low-income breadwinners must hold down multiple jobs just to survive.” 

There are over 2,000 verses in the Bible that refer to poverty and our God-given responsibility to seek justice for the poor. Theologians use the phrase “God’s preferential option for the poor” to refer to the trend in Scripture of commands and teachings from God, Jesus, and the prophets towards care for the needs of the poor and powerless in society. 

Looks like God may have turned our notion of favoritism upside-down.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
O God of hosts, show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. — Psalm 80.7

– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
1 Chronicles 15 (Listen -4:38)
James 2  (Listen -3:32)

Thank You!
Thank you to our donors who support our readers by making it possible to continue The Park Forum devotionals. This year, The Park Forum audiences opened 200,000 emails with free, and ad-free, devotional content. Follow this link to join our donors with a one-time or a monthly gift.

Read more about Waiting at the Beautiful Gate
Jesus has left his church work to do in this world. They are waiting for us at the Beautiful Gate. We are their miracle.

Read more about Whole Life Generosity
Christian generosity is not passively giving a portion of income as if we were being taxed. If we treat Christian generosity in this manner, we rob it of any spiritual power.