2 SAMUEL 13:1-39 | JOHN 17:1-26 | PSALM 119:81-96 | PROVERBS 16:6-7
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We find in today’s passage a most distressing story of Amnon, Tamar, and Absalom, siblings all of them who shared a father, king David. The whole business of Amnon being enamored of Tamar, and his shenanigans to get her attention and then abuse this privilege as the king’s son in raping his own half-sister is a most shameful act indeed. Why this wasn’t brought to the attention of their father immediately is a little puzzling, and yet, Absalom safeguards his sister and has a plan to seek revenge.
That revenge comes two years later when he has Amnon killed in cold blood. Having done this, Absalom flees to a neighboring king and seeks refuge there. What a state of affairs these are when good intentions turn into something else altogether, when privileges are abused, sensibilities violated, and atrocities are committed one graver than the other—all within the family circle. Things to ponder, indeed.
Turning to our reading in the book of John, we find Jesus preparing for what is soon going to be the beginning of the end. In his half-mortal body, Jesus prays for God’s protection to those being left behind, i.e., you and me.
Jesus says: 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
“None has been lost…” therein lies the affirmation that Jesus’ work on the cross is for everyone, not for a few chosen ones.
And Jesus goes on to reiterate this point when he says this: 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Turning now to our reading in the psalms, we continue with Psalm 119. Some verses that speak to me are:
89 Your word, LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
And finally, two verses from the book of Proverbs that may serve as food for thought:
6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.
7 When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.