2 SAMUEL 14:1-15:22 | JOHN 18:1-24 | PSALM 119:97-112 | PROVERBS 16:8-9
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Every child is precious to its parents. And a child’s wrongdoing, no matter how grievous cannot be forever held against him by the parent. We see this truth play itself out in the story of David and Absalom, the son who murders his half-brother Amnon and flees to another land for fear of his father’s wrath.
But time passes, and David’s grief and longing for his fugitive son remains. This leads to Joab, David’s advisor, to devise a plan to allow Absalom to return from exile. David agrees to this, and in time there is an understanding to allow Absalom to return, and yet, he is not received by his father for a true reconciliation. This greatly irks Absalom, and one is only left to imagine the storm of emotions that he must have harbored in his heart toward his father and his people.
But since Absalom cannot win the favor and love of his father, he begins to make every attempt to win the love and trust of the people. By ingratiating himself with the common folk who come to petition the king on various and sundry matters, Absalom begins to be seen in a new light. So much so, that he soon builds up a following of a band of men, and it isn’t long before he makes his ulterior intentions known: he wishes to be king.
Absalom believes that his good looks and charm are grounds enough to usurp the king and appoint himself as one. What this means is that soon David is made to flee for his life. The king fears that his own son will displace him from the throne and perhaps even kill him. What a sad day it is in the land of Israel!
Turning now to our reading in the gospel of John, we learn of Jesus’ arrest. It is here that Peter draws his sword to slice off the ear of a Roman guard. But Jesus will have none of this and tells Peter to put away his sword, and although John doesn’t mention it, the other three gospels do record the restoration of the man’s ear. The charges drawn up against Jesus are flimsy: blasphemy at best. But the ball has been set to roll, and roll it must…
Turning now to our reading of the psalms, we are still working our way through the longest psalm 119. Here is the entire section titled Nun. May it be that like David, the psalmist, we also strive to make these words real in our lives:
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
107 I have suffered much;
preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.
108 Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.
Finally, one verse from the book of Proverbs reproduced here in the KJV which is the one that I am most familiar with:
9A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.