~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Samuel 14:1-15:22 ~ John 18:1-24
Psalm 119:97-112 ~ Proverbs 16:8-9
Old Testament - Well.. this is a tough couple of chapters to read today! On one hand we see David showing much grace to Absalom and meanwhile Absalom is plotting to rebel against his father and then does so! At first glance it makes me wonder what on earth was David thinking? Why did he bring Absalom back to Jerusalem? But, I believe David was doing the right thing. Absalom was his son. David was trying to restore that relationship. I think about this with people in my life who have maybe "stung" me in some way. On the one hand I want to write them off - believing that they will sting me again. And maybe they will... but, I don't think writing people off is healthy ultimately for me and I don't think it is the right thing to do. I think showing grace, forgiveness and compassion is the right thing to do. I think David did this - and then he wisely got out of town when he realized Absalom was up to no good! So, he didn't completely let Absalom walk all over him. He still used wisdom. I don't know... this is a tough couple of chapters. What do you think? Did David do the right thing by bringing Absalom back to Jerusalem? Do you see any parallels in your life where someone has stung you - and then perhaps stung you again? Was it still maybe the right thing to do to show them grace and forgiveness? And maybe even to do so again? Below is twentieth century Russian painter Marc Chagall's "David and Absalom" from today's readings in 2 Samuel 14:33 - "So Joab came to the king, and told him; and when he called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom."
Bible.org's commentary on today's Second Samuel readings titled "Absalom" is at this link.
New Testament - Sad to see this parallel... David was betrayed by Absalom in today's readings and Jesus was betrayed by Judas... David kissed Absalom, his betrayer. Judas kissed Jesus to betray Him. Seems that betrayal has been a part of our human condition for maybe all time? Well, since the Fall to be sure, which is pretty much all time for us humans... (you'll recall just after the Fall Cain murdered Abel - yet another betrayal... ) Do betrayals continue today? Why do you think this is? What can free us from betraying each other? Or should I ask Whom can free us from betraying each other? Below is the nineteenth century "The Judas Kiss" by French artist Gustave Dore:
Psalms - Psalm 119 verse 105 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible! "Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path." Do you believe God's Word, the Bible, is a lamp for your feet? A light for your path? To help put this in perspective - without God's Word, the Bible, is it possible that we would have no lamp for our feet? No light for our paths? That we'd essentially be groping in the darkness without God's Word, the Bible?
Verse 111 wow... "Your decrees are my treasure; they are truly my heart's delight." What is your treasure? Where is your treasure? Is God's Word, the Bible, truly your heart's delight?
Proverbs - Proverbs 16 verse 9 is one of those seemingly simple Proverbs, that I think has a lot more depth to it than first glance: "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." Do you think this is true? We make our plans - but God determines our steps. Do you see this to be true in your own life? Have you made plans before, but then seen your steps somehow be guided in perhaps a different direction - perhaps a more godly direction? And then do you realize that it was God determining your steps? I have experienced this in my life - thankfully. I have made some interesting (i.e. bad) plans in my life in the past - and probably am still making some bad plans even today. But, I am trying to pray regularly to God to "lead me." I want God to determine my steps - and truly, I want God to determine my plans as well. But, if God's plan is not immediately clear for my life, I do believe he gives wisdom to discern direction - and then ultimately I believe God will determine our steps. Thank goodness!
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!