I hope we are still friends after this……
2 Samuel 13: 1-39
Ok, hold on, breathe, don’t call the #metoo movement just yet. 1st and foremost you have to remember when you are reading these stories that the purpose is to record the history of Israel as they interacted with a human king. God is not the author of any of these atrocities. He does not ordain them, and he does not support them. What he is showing is that everything he said is true of the Israelites, is true. He told them to follow the Law or bad things would happen. Remember when we read Deuteronomy and we had to get square with the fact that God had to put rules in place to protect women because in a human’s natural state women will be abused? Physically guys are stronger. Get over it ladies, it’s just fact. Their strength when used in deference to God is an asset to us. They can protect us from what God says will happen to us if people don’t live by God’s standards. However, when they reject God, they will use their strength to abuse us. This was not ordained by God, at all!! You cannot read through Deuteronomy without seeing how God protects women and creates a space for them to live out their special role. In this story we see God told us the truth. When you don’t follow him, you fall more and more into someone who just does what is right in his own eyes. As Ariana Grande says, “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.” David did it with Bathsheba and that was bad enough. Now Amnon does it with Tamar with even more violence. Sidenote: This is the problem with taking multiple wives, there are too many half siblings running around.
The most heartbreaking part of the story is how the sin is dealt with. They tell her to be silent. If I’m honest this gets my #metoo all revved up. I would have liked to see king David have Amnon put to death because he broke the Levitical law. I would like to see Tamar championed as someone who used her position to get the men around her to do the right thing. But all this my friends, misses the point. We cannot save the situation. The social injustice is not a one-time thing that needs to be corrected. If that was the case, they would have all learned from David’s indiscretion. But they didn’t and we didn’t either. If we had then the #metoo movement would not be necessary. The point is, there is something broken inside of all of us. And that brokenness really likes to sin. We cannot save ourselves through social justice. You put out one fire and 25 more will pop up. The problem is inside. We need a savior. This story is not meant to be an example of how rape is dealt with! It is an example of how terrible sin is. It shows us that God has told us the truth about ourselves. It shows us that everything he told us would happen, will happen. And sister, if someone told you to be quiet, it was not God. God is in the business of outing sin……ask David.
John 17: 1-26
Did you know that Jesus prayed for you? Yes! He did! And in the moment that he prayed for us, the future believers, what was it that he asked of the Father for us? Unity. That’s right. That we as the body of Christ are unified. He prayed that as individual believers we would be one with the Father just like Jesus was one with the Father. And he also asked that collectively we who believe in Jesus would be so unified that the world would have no doubt that Jesus was sent by God. In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that going for you?” Are you unified with God? Or do you have a “church life” and a “real life.” How are you with church? Do you champion your Pastor and church staff? Or do you talk smack about them and complain that the coffee is too hot? This will not do for believers. How will the world know that Jesus is real if we believers look just like the world and you complain about the institution that is church? “But Sarah the church hurt me, and the coffee is too hot.” Oh really? So, you are expecting the church to be perfect and never make a mistake? Really? So that means you have never made a mistake? Interesting, and here I was thinking only Jesus was perfect. Get your tail to church and start letting Jesus transform you into someone who is one with the Father and put you into a group who is trying to be unified. It was Jesus’ prayer for us!!!!!!!
Psalm 119: 81-96
“Your eternal word, O lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.” The word of God is something that will never change. We don’t have to be afraid of it and we can grab it and love it.
Proverbs 16: 6-7
You are going to get hurt. That is something we all have in common. What is different for us who have a relationship with God is we know how to handle it. We know that there is only one perfect being and that is Jesus. We know that we will get hurt and that we will hurt people. The answer is unfailing love and faithfulness. On God’s side he shows us unfailing love and faithfulness by sending his son to atone for our sin and for accepting us back into fellowship every time we ask for forgiveness. On our side we learn to just keep loving and keep showing up and suddenly we don’t have a record of hurt anymore. We have loved our way through it.