~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Samuel 13:1-39 ~ John 17:1-26
Psalm 119:81-96 ~ Proverbs 16:6-7
Old Testament - Second Samuel chapter 13 is a sad chapter to read in so many ways! Amnon is David's first born son, so he is heir to the throne at this point. Absalom is David's third born son - but at this point he may have been second in line to the throne because David's 2nd born son, Kileab, was only mentioned once and may have died young. You'll note that there are unfortunately are some parallels in David's sin with Bathsheba and Uriah with his 2 sons' behavior in this chapter. David sinned sexually with Bathsheba - Amnon sinned sexually against Tamar in a horrible way. David sinned by ordering the murder of Uriah. Absalom sinned by ordering the murder of Amnon. Unfortunately we see a pattern of "like father, like sons..." in this chapter. I don't think this always has to be the case in our human condition - I do believe we can be redeemed and transformed and not act in sinful ways like our parents may have acted. But, I also do believe we need Jesus to save us from ourselves - in this regard of breaking the cycle/pattern of sin and in all regards. Below is an illustration by Gerard Hoet from the year 1728 titled "Absalom's Servants kill his brother Amnon at a Feast":
Bible.org's commentary on our Second Samuel readings today titled "Tragedy in the Royal Family" is at this link.
New Testament - John 17 is such an amazing chapter... this is Jesus praying! So powerful. I honestly am at a loss for words on this chapter. I could probably try to write something about each and every verse. But, maybe what makes the most sense is for you to re-read this chapter again. Do you see Jesus praying for you in this chapter?
Bible.org's commentary on today's John readings are extensive! They've divided this chapter up into 3 commentaries, which shows the depth of what's going on in this chapter. I recommend you take a few minutes to check out each of these commentaries. The first commentary titled "The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus: Part I" is at this link, "Part II" is at this link, and "Part III" is at this link.
Psalms - I am continuing to love our readings of Psalm 119! This is an incredible Psalm... I somehow am re-reminded of how amazing this Psalm is every 6 months that we read it in the One Year Bible. I could write something on each verse. For example, I love the imagery in verse 81 today - "I faint with longing for your salvation; but I have put my hope in your word." I faint! I long! I hope! And Verse 83 - "I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, exhausted with waiting. But I cling to your principles and obey them." I am shriveled! I am exhausted! I wait! I cling! I obey! I love this Psalm... Verse 95 is powerful: "Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind on your decrees." How can you quietly keep your mind on God's decrees? Will you make this a habit to quietly keep your mind on God's decrees? Would this be a good habit?
Proverbs - Proverbs 16 verse 7 is interesting today - "When the ways of people please the LORD, he makes even their enemies live at peace with them." Do you believe this to be true? I do... And I think I've seen this in action in my own life very recently. Sometimes I think we can get so worried about our perceived enemies or whatever else - when really all we should be focusing on is our relationship with God. And this other stuff will work itself out. It's secondary. Our relationship with God is primary. Is this true in your life today?
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Has God ever given you peace with your "enemies"? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!