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Old Testament: 2 Samuel 13:1-39
Since David had with Bathsheba sinned, his ranks and family were thinned.
2 Samuel 13:1-22 A Lamb Taken
Remember this prophecy to David after committing adultery with Bathsheba? It’s in 2 Sam. 12:10-12, Nathan gave Yahweh’s words to David, “‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ . . . ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household . . . ‘Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” Well, here we go . . .
One of David’s sons, Absalom had a really sizzling sister named Tamar. One of David’s other sons, a half-brother of Absalom’s, Amnon, had the hots for hot Tamar. He really “wanted” her, if you take my meaning. Amnon would do about anything to “get her.” But Tamar was being a good Jewess and was saving herself for marriage. Did I mention that Amnon really wanted her? Turns out Amnon had a really jerky friend named Jonadab. (We really need to be careful of how we pick our friends. Some can really get us into trouble.) Jo tells Amnon that he can trick Tamar to come into his room by feigning sickness and asking his father to have her bring some of her famous knishes to him with some matzo ball soup.
Tamar made the food in front of Amnon but when she was done he sent everyone out of the room and asked Tamar to bring the food to him in his bedroom. When he got her in there he told her he “wanted” her really bad. She warned him that Jews don’t do such things and he was being a fool (v. 13). But he was stronger than she and he raped her (v. 14).
After the “incident,” instead of loving her more, he actually “hated” her with a hatred that was greater than the love he had had for her! (v. 15). He kicked her out of his house. She tried to reason with him saying that kicking her out was worse than raping her. He had his servant throw her out and lock the door behind her.
She left, tearing her garment as a sign of grief and putting ashes on her head. She cried loud enough for everyone to hear her.
Her other brother, Absalom asked if Amnon had had his way with her. He told her to hide the whole thing and not to let it bother her. So Tamar stayed in her brother Absalom’s house.
When King David heard about the episode, he was incensed. But what could David do? According to Deut. 22:28-29, the two should have been married but Tamar couldn’t legally marry Amnon since they were half-sister and brother (Lev. 18:9). On top of all that, David had to keep his mouth shut. He knew he had committed adultery and murder himself. The law had not been applied him.
Amnon and Absalom were not on speaking terms after the matter. Absalom loathed his brother for violating his sister (v. 22).
2 Samuel 13:23- 39 A Sheep Shorn
Two years later Absalom invited all his brothers to Baal-hazor in a plot to get revenge on Amnon. He asked David to come for a sheep-shearing event but David said it would cost Absalom too much to have everyone come. Absalom said, “OK, but then why don’t you send Amnon in your place.” David asked why. Absalom just brought more pressure to bear on David without answering his question. David caved and allowed Amnon to go along with all the rest of his sons. Absalom was probably glad that David couldn’t make it because all his guards would be there and would throw off his plans.
Here was the plan: Absalom told his servants to watch for when Amnon had plenty to drink and then they were to dispatch him. And they did.
All the other brothers fled not knowing if one of them could be next. David heard a false report that all his sons had been killed but Jonadab figured out what had happened. He told David that it was revenge on his friend, Amnon, that Absalom had been plotting since the Tamar affair.
Sure enough, only Amnon had been slain. All the king’s sons appeared coming down from the mountain and came to David. They all wept. A lot.
Absalom had absconded to Geshur. He went to his grandfather’s place who was the king of Geshur and he stayed there for three years. David made peace regarding Amnon’s death but he mourned for Absalom every day.
New Testament: John 17:1-26
John 17:1-26 The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord prayed in the garden so everyone would receive a pardon.
You might have thought the Lord’s Prayer was found in Matthew 6:9-15. The head of the doctoral program at a prominent Christian seminary used to ask where The Lord’s Prayer was found in the Bible. They would answer Matthew 6. But he told them that technically is the Disciple’s Prayer. Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray. The Lord’s Prayer is found here in John 17. If you told me Matthew 6, I’d give you credit. Technically, Jesus, Himself, is praying in John 17.
He went into the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus acknowledged that His work was basically done on the earth (v. 4) and that He had come so everyone could have eternal life (v. 2). He asked the Father to now glorify Him (v. 5).
Do you know what Jesus does these days? Mainly, He prays. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” and look at Romans 8:34, ” . . . Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” Jesus prays for us. Here is a glimpse into one of His prayers.
He prays that we will have unity (v. 11) in the same way that He and the Father are one. That’s pretty unified.
He also prays that we will be safe and, in fact, He guards us (v. 12). He didn’t lose any of the disciples. He guarded them all except for Judas who wasn’t saved. (Watch how he guards the disciples in the next chapter.)
Jesus tells the Father that the world will hate the disciples and He asked that they will be safe from the devil (v. 15). He asks that the Father separate (sanctify) them from the world through the Word (v. 16-19).
He not only prays for his current disciples but for all the disciples that will follow. He prays that they also will be unified with the Father and Son. Their unity will show that Jesus was sent by the Father (v. 20-23).
Jesus finally prays that all the disciples will make it to Heaven and personally see Jesus’ glory given to Him by the Father. He prays that all the disciples throughout time will know His love that comes from the Father.
Psalm 119:81-96 A Wisdom Psalm By Anonymous
It is only from the Word that we revive, that is way that we can be alive.
Psalm 119:81-96 Lamedhed Liability
Psalm 119 is a wisdom psalm about the wonders of the Word. It uses an acrostic as a teaching method so it could be more easily memorized. Since there are 22 letter in Hebrew, there are 22 stanzas in this poem, each corresponding to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse starts with the corresponding letter of the acrostic.
Today we look at the Kaph stanza. Kaph is like a “K” in English. (If it doesn’t have a dot in the middle of it, it should like “ch” in the word church.)
We’ll also look at the Lamedh stanza. Lamedh is like an “L” in English.
The arrogant are bugging the psalmist again (vv. 81-88, esp. v. 85). I hate the arrogant. They’re so . . . arrogant! If the arrogant try to trip you up, they could end up tripping themselves (cf. Ps. 7:15; 57:6; 26:27; Eccles. 10:8).
The psalmist is still waiting for God’s Word (v. 81, cf. v. 74). He still wants God to comfort him (v. 82). That means he’s still in pain. He’s still shriveling up like wineskins shrinks in smoke (v. 83). That’s why you shouldn’t leave your wineskin where it’s smokey. It’s why you should get into the fresh air of God’s Word. Also, get out of your bunker and into the sun! It’s good for you and you will be able to take in some Vitamin D. It’s true.
When the psalmist was persecuted and abused, he went to God’s Word (vv. 86-87). That is where he found God’s love (hesed) and was revivified (v. 88, cf. Ps. 71:20-21).
I’ve found that about the only thing that gets me out of a deep funk is to trust God’s Word. It’s because it’s trustworthy! It is “settled in Heaven” (v. 89). The psalmist uses “word” for Scripture in verse 89, “law” in verse 92, “precepts” in verse 93, and “testimonies” in verse 96. Oh, yeah, and “commandment” in verse 96. They all mean the same thing, the Holy Bible, Word of God.
Dig this syllogism:
The Bible which
is the Word of God
I used to have that on a piece of cardboard to show people that if they believe that the Word of God which proceeds from God’s lips cannot err, then neither can the Bible which is the Word of God. So we can trust the Bible the same as if God were speaking to us personally . . . which He is . . . when we read the Word.
In seminary circles, we always figured we could explain inerrancy by saying that the original copies, which we don’t have, are perfect. Inerrancy is the doctrine that the Word of God is perfect. The problem is that there are some imperfections in the Scripture (see A Mistake In The Bible?). They amount to less than 1%. In fact, I had a professor who said the copies of the Bible we have are more pure than Ivory Soap which is 99.44% pure. But the original copies as written, we believe, are 100% pure. Where are those originals now? I believe they are in Heaven, in God’s mind. They are settled in Heaven and completely pure.
Nothing is as pure as God’s Word (v. 96). You can trust it wholeheartedly. And it is your way out of any problem or depression.
Proverbs 16:6-7 A Funny Thing
When are ways to the Lord are pleasing, then tensions with our enemies are easing.
Now Solomon is getting in on that hesed thing (v. 6a). Though he wrote in Old Testament times, Solomon understood the substitutionary atonement thing. It is because of God’s love for us and His holiness that Christ had to die for us so we could fellowship with God forever. Jesus was filled with grace and truth (cf. John 1:14). He was God representing a perfect sacrifice for our sin to God (cf. 1 Pet. 1:19). He was also man being able to represent man to God (cf. Rom. 5:15). Christ had to be God and man to be the perfect sacrifice to make up for our sins (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21).
By humbling oneself before the Lord and trusting Christ (v. 6b), a person can be saved through “the foolishness of the cross” (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18).
God controls even rulers and kings. The old ASV Bible says that the king’s heart is like a “watercourse” that God can steer whichever way He wants (cf. Prov. 21:1). And when a person tries to please God with all their whole heart (cf. Jer. 29:13), God can make even his opponents do funny things. Like they may just leave you alone, even if they really don’t like you! That would be a funny thing, wouldn’t it?
Choose Life: Scripture: John 17:3 NASB “The Good Life”
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
We’re all on probation in this life. We just have to answer one question right to move on successfully to eternity. The question is, “What do you do with Jesus Christ?” If you answer, “Trust Him for eternal life,”and you actually trust Him, you will live even though your body kicks out (cf. Jn. 11: 25 – 26). When you trust Christ for eternal life, you will actually have a personal relationship with Him. You will “know” Him according to this verse.
Eternal life begins the same moment that you trust Him (John 5:24).
How did you do on the one question quiz on life? Did you answer that you trusted Christ?
If you did, you will find that you have chosen life (Deut. 30:19)!
Many people are looking for the “good life.” I used to think that once I got married, I’d be able to live the “good life.” Then I used to think I’d have it made if I just could finish seminary. Then I thought it would be when I finally got my first church. Then I thought it would be when I first started a church. Finally, I gave up thinking some day that I’d get to live the “good life.” I realized that I had all I needed for the “good life” already. I had Christ.
Have you made the realization yet that if you’ve trusted Christ that you have everything you need to live the “good life”?
“This is eternal life, that you know . . . the only true God and Jesus Christ” who is God.
Are you living “the good life”?
The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: A Ram For A Lamb