Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 04/15/2003

April 15

Read II Samuel 13 -- 14

In Today's Reading:

Rape, incest, and murder occur among David's children; Absalom flees to Geshur in Syria (Aram); Absalom's return

Absalom's sister Tamar was the beautiful daughter of King David by Maacah . . . of Geshur. David's oldest son Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite, was about 20 years of age when he pretended to be sick and asked his father David to send his half-sister Tamar to prepare him a meal (II Samuel 3:2-3; I Chronicles 3:1-2).

When she approached him so he could eat, he grabbed her and said to her, Come lie with me, my sister! . . .she replied. Don't humiliate me — such a thing should never be done in Israel!Don't commit this outrage! . . he overpowered her and lay with her.Afterwards, Amnon hated Tamar with intense hatred. . . . He said to her, Get up! Get out! (II Samuel 13:11-15) After his brief moment of lustful gratification, he forced her out of his home and locked the doors. So Tamar lived as a desolate womanin the house of her brother Absalom (13:20).

When David learned of Amnon's deception and wicked sin against his daughter, he was furious.Absalom didn't say anything to Amnon . . . because hehated Amnon for having disgraced his sister Tamar (13:21-22). Amnon was David's firstborn son and heir to the throne. David took no legal action, even though the law of God demanded the death sentence for rape (Leviticus 20:17).

Two full years later . . . Absalom invited all the king's sons to a great feast. Now Absalom commanded his young men. . . . When I order you, Strike Amnon! then kill him. . . . So Absalom's young men did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded (II Samuel 13:23-29). We should note that, with Amnon's death, he no longer stood in the way of Absalom becoming the next king. Absalom fled for safety to Geshur in Syria where he lived with his grandfather for three years (13:37-38).

A parent can experience no greater suffering than to see his own sin repeated in his children's lives. We cannot undo past sins, failures, and wasted time, but Christians are assured that, if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ the righteous One (I John 2:1).

Christ Revealed:

Through David's restoration of Absalom (II Samuel 14:33). If an earthly father's compassion reconciles him to his estranged son, how much more will our loving heavenly Father reconcile us to Himself when we confess our sins? In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us (II Corinthians 5:19).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Howard Berman (CA) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (MD) · Country: Zaire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (38 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: French and Lingala · Limited religious freedom · 42% Roman Catholic; 28% Protestant; 12% magical practices, ancestor worship, and witchcraft; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will teach you His ways and transform your life by His word (Isaiah 2:3).

Optional Reading: Acts 16

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:17

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