Week 12

15 - 21 June:
Psalms 58 - 63, 1 Kings, Philemon, 2 Corinthians, Proverbs 14

15 June
1 Kings 1 - 3Philemon
16 June
1 Kings 4 - 62 Cor 1 - 2
17 June
1 Kings 7 - 82 Cor 3 - 4
18 June
1 Kings 9 - 122 Cor 5 - 6
19 June
1 Kings 13 - 162 Cor 7 - 8
20 June
Ps 621 Kings 17 - 20.21 2 Cor 9.1 - 11.6
21 June
1 Kings 20.22 - 22.532 Cor 11.7 - 13.13


Psalm 58 starts from the lack of justice on earth, but ends in the hope that God will ultimately judge everyone, and in him will justice be found.
Psalm 59 is a prayer for deliverance from enemies, and appeals to the Lord in trust.
Psalm 60 is a corporate prayer for help following disaster caused by the Lord's judgement.
Psalm 61 is an individual prayer for help, in which petitions are balanced with assertions of confidence in God and praise of him.
Psalm 62 is a declaration of trust in God, a psalm of commitment.
Psalm 63 was used by the early church in morning worship, telling of how the psalmist found God in the sanctuary.

1 Kings

Like 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings are a more recent subdivision of what was originally a single book. The narrative of Kings takes from the hey-day of the united monarchy, under Solomon, to the loss of the northern kingdom, and then the loss of the southern kingdom.
Kings is the final part of what is known as the Deuteronomistic History, which includes Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges and Samuel also. This took its final form in the years following the defeat of Judah by the Babylonians, in which many of the ruling class was exiled in Babylon. The temple was a ruin, the land was depopulated, and there was serious destruction of social, political and physical institutions. We will hear much more of this when we read Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Again like Samuel, isn't really history as we would expect it to be written today. It contains legends, miracle stories, folktales and fiction, as well as a narrative of historical events. It draws moral conclusions from these, shifting from a human perspective to the divine and back again. We therefore need to read it as preaching rather than as history. Its focus is on transforming the lives of the readers, which includes us, by examining the consequences of obeying or disobeying God.
Kings engages with the question of what it means for Israel and her relationship with Yahweh for this terrible event to have happened. The narrative explains how this relationship was stretched further and further, until finally it reached breaking point.
1 Kings takes the story on from Solomon succeeding his father David, to be king of both the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel. After his death, power struggles led to the separation of the northern and southern monarchies, and both are described from the perspective of how well they did (not) keep to Yahweh's law.
I Kings also introduces us to the prophet Elijah, a powerful advocate for Yahweh, and capable of challenging kings and the prophets of Baal.


This is a short personal note from Paul to a friend. The story is that a slave, Onesimus, had run away from his owner, a Christian called Philemon, and sought refuge with Paul and his companions. This letter asks Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a free man, forgiving him any offence, with Paul standing guarantor for any losses to Philemon.

2 Corinthians

By the time Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, he had been involved with them for some years. There is evidence in 1 Corinthians that he had already written to them at that point, although that letter is lost to us. In 2 Corinthians (2.3), we read of an angry letter he sent them after 1 Corinthians, and before our current 2 Corinthians, which is also lost to us. Indeed, our 2 Corinthians may well be an amalgam of more than one letter.
2 Corinthians, whether written at different times or not, gives us a picture of a church in trouble. It gives us a vivid picture of Paul, the pastoral leader, and it applies to us all, whatever our role in our church today - for we all have pastoral responsibility for one another.

Proverbs 14

This continues the opposition of wisdom and folly.

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