WEEK 40, Day 7, Sunday, 9 October 2022


Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 9 October 2022:

2 Samuel 13:3 — But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. And Jonadab was a very crafty man.

Real friends will encourage you to obey God, not to find creative ways to sin.

2 Samuel 13:15 – Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up! Go!”

Lust is not love, though we often use the word ‘love’ to describe lust. Even our Bible translation uses the word ‘love’ for ‘ahab’ which in Hebrew can mean a good or bad affection. Love is selfless. Lust is selfish. Love grows more love. Lust always ends in hate. Often, people will pretend to love to satisfy their lust. But when their lust is satisfied, hate is revealed.

2 Samuel 13:21 — When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry.

He was angry, but he didn’t do anything. Amnon raped his sister Tamar, and David did nothing – wow! Amnon’s crime deserved death; David does not appear to even address the matter but rather seems to act as if it never happened. Could this be because David himself was guilty of sexual sin that was deserving of death? Was he concerned about the risk of Amnon’s crime further exposing his hypocrisy? Or was he merely attempting to do damage control, wrongfully protecting his son Amnon from the consequences of his crime? Whatever the reason, David is perverting justice, failing to protect the victims of this sin, and setting the stage for increased pain and destruction. In his guilt and self-centeredness, David has failed to address the reality of sin within his family, and it has and will cost them dearly. Too often, for many reasons, we fail to address the sins of those we care about. Usually this decision to ignore sin is motivated by pain avoidance, the desire to avoid the consequences of the confrontation. We cannot lovingly ignore the sin of a brother or sister, being a party to their destruction. Of course the Bible is VERY clear that confronting sin must be done “in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1) “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20) “And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-24)

  • Galatians 6:1 — Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:15 — Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 — Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
  • 1 Timothy 5:20 — As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 — All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
  • Titus 1:9 — He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6 — Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:14 — And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
  • Colossians 3:16 — Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

2 Samuel 13:30 — While they were on the way, news came to David, “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.”

Things are not usually as good or as bad as first reported. Stories are often inflated due to emotional excitement or minimized to avoid accountability. Don’t be quick to judge a situation until the dust settles.

Psalm 116:15 — Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Part of God’s plan for us all is physical death, unless we happen to be alive when Jesus returns. However, our deaths are victorious in Christ, holy and precious to God. When we die, He receives us into heaven, into eternal life where we forever experience the unspeakable joy of being in His presence, in total unity with Him, the complete fulfilment of our being – “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” (Psalm 63:3) To be clear, God didn’t create us and save us simply to die; on the contrary, He created us to glorify Him on earth, serve Him on earth, enjoy Him on earth, and share Him with others on earth – eternal life began the moment you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and God’s plan is that you experience that reality today and share it with others (see John 17). Our purpose in Christ starts on earth, but it continues into eternity – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith….” (Philippians 1:21-25) Joyfully labor in love today while you await your ultimate desire of being with Him in Heaven.

Consider some of the verses below concerning our eternal life in Christ:

  • Matthew 26:29 — I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
  • Luke 20:37-38 — But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”
  • Luke 23:43 — And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
  • John 3:16-18 — For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
  • John 3:36 — Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
  • John 5:24 — Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
  • John 11:25-26 — Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
  • John 14:1-6 — “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
  • John 16:22 — So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
  • Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 8:35-39 — Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 14:8 — For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 — But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
  • Philippians 1:21-23 — For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
  • Philippians 3:20-21 — But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20 — But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 — So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 — Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 — So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:7 — And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
  • Psalm 23:1-6 — A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
  • Revelation 2:11 — He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
  • Revelation 14:13 — And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
  • Revelation 20:4 — Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
  • Revelation 20:6 — Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
  • Psalm 17:15 — As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
  • Job 19:25-27 — For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!
  • Hebrews 13:14 — For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
  • Psalm 63:3 — Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

Proverbs 9:1-2 — Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.

Wisdom is characterized by structure and order. Wisdom is organized, prepared, and purposeful. The product of wisdom is evident to anyone who cares to see.

Proverbs 9:3-6, 14-18 — She [Wisdom] has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” … She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

Both wisdom and folly are inviting. The voices of wisdom and folly constantly compete for your attention. Every person must decide to which they will respond and to whose voice they will follow. To whom will you listen? Both wisdom and folly are calling, but wise is the person who calls upon the Name of the Lord, the Author of all Wisdom. Four times in Psalm 116 (and many other times throughout Psalms), the psalmist proclaims, “I will… call on the name of the LORD.” Be wise and do the same.

Proverbs 9:6 — Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.

Wisdom involves leaving your old ways. Following Jesus requires a radical life change, a departure from the path everyone else is taking.

Proverbs 9:8, 9 – Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

God calls us to avoid needless arguments.

Wise people are open and receptive to instruction. Wise people get wiser every day, and foolish people get more foolish every day because they refuse to listen and learn.

Proverbs 9:10 — The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Wisdom that is not founded on God, the Creator of Wisdom, is no wisdom at all.

Proverbs 9:12 — If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

All of your choices have consequences in your life. The first decision, the foundational decision you must make is what are you going to do with Jesus.

We will bear the consequences of our actions, whether good or bad. We reap what we sow.

Proverbs 9:13, 14 – The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town.

Folly is characterized by presumptuous pride and arrogance. Foolish people are loud and proud, live by their passions, and consider themselves better than everyone else, always pursuing places of honor. They are lustful, and undisciplined, blind to the fact that they know nothing. Let your few soft words be the word of God.

Proverbs 9:17 — Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

What we do in secret reveals who we really are, and the truth of who we really are will determine our destiny.

Proverbs 9:18 — But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

The foolish can rarely see their own foolishness.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 9 October 2022: Praise that Lord, rejoice and live courageously because you have victory over death and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

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