Today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 13:1-39; John 17:1-26; Psalm 119:81-96; Proverbs 16:6-7
The effects of David’s many wives and children begin to be manifested today. None of the problems that we will read about in the coming days had to happen. If David has just learned to control his lust and if he has obeyed God and had only one wife, all the trouble would have been avoided.
Amnon, David’s son, lusts after his half-sister, Tamar. He calls it love, but as we will see it is really lust. She was available for marriage (2 Samuel 2:3) but was off-limits to Amnon because she was related to him.
Amnon knows that his feelings are wrong. We see this when he refused to call Tamar his own sister, which she was. He instead justifies his feelings by referring to her as his brother Absalom’s sister (2 Samuel 13:4). Instead of rejecting sinful thoughts that come into our head (whether it be lust or some other sin), we tend to find ways to justify them.
Its interesting how Amnon obeys the evil advice of his cousin, Jonadab (2 Samuel 13:5-6). If only we would obey God’s advice so easily.
David seems to be a weak father. Perhaps he had too many wives and children to manage. Or maybe he felt guilty about having so many wives and children that he indulged them. But he clearly should have said “no” to Amnon’s childish request (2 Samuel 13:7). One of the reasons David’s children will cause so many problems is due to his lack of paternal leadership. Children who are not disciplined grow up to be troubled teens and adults.
Amnon rapes Tamar and then turns on her (2 Samuel 13:15). Sexual desires often mislead us. Once they are fulfilled and our mind is cleared, our true feelings return. Amnon never loved Tamar. She was just a way for him to release sexual tension that he had allowed to build up in his mind over time.
David hears about this and although he becomes angry he does nothing (2 Samuel 13:21). David knew better than anyone how uncontrolled sexual feelings can lead to problems. He was in a prime position to discuss this with his son. But he chose not to. Fathers need to discuss these issues with their sons, especially in our sex-crazed society, so they grow up knowing that they don’t need to be controlled by their hormones.
Two years later Absalom gets revenge by killing Amnon (2 Samuel 13:29). David seems to know what is going to happen but again does nothing to stop it (2 Samuel 13:26). If David had punished Amnon to begin with it is likely that Absalom would not have taken revenge. Here we see that weak leadership and a lack of justice and consequences can only lead to more trouble.
John 17 is a prayer from Jesus, who is about to go to the cross. Notice that He prays for God to be glorified through what He (Jesus) is about to go through. The cross was defeat and humiliation in the eyes of the world. But for God it will be a display of His power over death and His love for all human beings.
Jesus claims that He has authority over everyone and that He gives eternal life (John 17:2). This is clearly another statement by Jesus that He and God are one in the same. Otherwise, these are the ridiculous statements of a madman.
Notice that Jesus already brought God glory by doing the work He was sent to do (John 17:4). Whenever we do what God asks us to do, we are worshiping and glorifying Him.
For those of us who have been born-again, when we stand before Jesus to be judged He will declare us righteous – perfect – as if we never sinned. This is exactly how He judges His disciples in John 17:6. The disciples were often afraid, often whiny, often clueless, often selfish – yet Jesus says they have kept God’s word. We don’t become perfect when we believe in Jesus. But we are viewed as without sin. Theologically this is called “imputed righteousness”. We don’t have a righteousness of our own. But Christ’s righteousness is assigned (i.e. imputed) to us.
Jesus freely offered His life as a sacrifice for those who will believe (John 17:19). This sets Him apart from every other man (or woman) who claims to have been sent by God. None of these other pretenders ever willingly laid down their life. The religions they created were meant to be nothing more than self-aggrandizing.
Psalm 119:81 is very true. I have been experiencing this first hand over the past week or so. Things have been quite hectic and confusing for me lately. But when I do my Bible reading and blogging everyday I find comfort and hope in God’s word.
It is by God’s commands that we have life (Psalm 119:93). This is no referring to physical life but a life filled with joy and peace. God doesn’t tell us what to do and not to do for selfish reasons. He gives us instructions so that we can experience life the way He meant it to be.
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