This week's Discipline readings had a total of 42 chapter. It was a lot of reading.
I'm enjoying the reading. I'm part of this class because I wanted to read the Bible and explore what it means with a group of people from my church, so I'm not fussing about the length of the reading. I'm glad we had two weeks to get it done -- I was able to work steadily on it for the past two weeks so that I didn't feel rushed.
What was a challenge about this week's set of chapters was some of the content. It was the stories of Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon and the beginning of the split between the kingdoms. Not that I ever tried to count the bodies, but there is much killing of both humans and animals in these chapters. They are bloody.
With that in mind, I was surprised to by the last days' set of chapters -- the beginning of Rehoboam's (Solomon's son) reign. He goes to Shechem (1 Kings 12) to be chosen as King. While there, the people ask him to make their yoke -- forced labor and taxation -- lighter. He takes 3 days to think about it before giving his answer.
What surprises me about this passage is the response of the older advisers. They tell him, "If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants for ever." All of the disregard for human life and politics of the other chapters, in this one, he receives the advice to be a servant leader.
He doesn't choose to follow this wisdom. I wonder what would have happened if he had.