2 Samuel 13:1-39
1 Corinthians 3:5-23
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Focus Verses: 2 Samuel 13:20-22
Her brother Absalom said to her, "Has that Amnon, your brother, been
with you? Be quiet now, my sister; he is your brother. Don't take this
thing to heart." And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house, a
desolate woman. 21 When King David heard all this, he was furious. 22 Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.
portions of the Bible are deeply disturbing. Today's reading exposes
David's family for the dysfunctional mess it was—a mess that rivals any
horror story you could point to in the news today. In this one
horrific chapter, we see the house of David engaged in incest,
premeditated sexual assault, misogyny, denial, aiding and abetting,
injustice, vengeance, and murder. Yikes. So much for reading the
Bible for inspiration and heroes to emulate!
nothing new. The unfolding drama of God's plan to redeem and save
humankind is a long, tragic, and messy story. Sin isn't just a
problem for humanity; it's an addiction.
wonder the story of our salvation culminates with Jesus dying at the
hands of those he came to save. It's why the cross, an instrument of
death and violence, has become ironically the symbol of salvation and
love. The cross is not just a reminder of Jesus' love and sacrifice,
it's a reminder of the violence, death, hate, and sin he came to save
Response and Action:
first step toward salvation is to recognize the sinfulness of the
human heart and the need to be saved. I need to recognize the sin in my
life. I need the forgiveness, deliverance, and power of God to turn
away from sin. I cannot be saved from sin if I refuse to recognize it
and fail to turn away from it. I need to embrace the hope, the life,
the direction, the grace, and the transformation only Christ can give
O God, have mercy on me, a
sinner. Help me to turn away from what is wrong and do what is right.
Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and
to love my neighbor as myself. Lead me away from temptation and
deliver me from evil. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, I
ask you to lead, teach, transform, shape and strengthen me, that I
might delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of
your name. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Romans 6:22-23
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves
to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is
eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Never Beyond Hope: How God Touches and Uses Imperfect People
by J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom