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River in Zion

Ezekial 47:1-12 tells us about a river running from under the door of Temple. It's measured at four intervals: angle deep, knee deep, waist deep and finally "…It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through." (Ezekiel 47:5 NLT)  My morning devotion in  Living in Freedom Everyday describes it this way…

"Angel deep is when we can enjoy refreshing in God's Prescence but we are still in full command. We can splash and play, then choose to walk out of the river with no lasting effects in our lives. 

In knee deep water, the current of God's Presence can be felt, but we maintain control. We have a good view of those who've ventured out to deeper waters and we see that "in His Presence is fullness of joy" (Ps. 16:11) but we still find security on the riverbank.

In waist-deep water, the stream of His Presence is strong.  We've walked into deeper water, fighting the current and struggling to keep contact with the bottom, or the world. Often the fear of what others think or the fear of losing control will tempt us to go back to the riverbank. It's at this place that we make a crucial decision: Who will be in control: God or me?

The middle of the river is where we can experience all of the river. We stop fighting for control, and instead, we pick our feet up and float, allowing His current to carry us. We go where He goes and it is good."

Let's be "Te-total-ers" and jump in!  

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Parenting 401 according to the Prodigal’s Father

nightlightning

The parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-24 gives us difficult but effective counsel on parenting, “To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

 

Notice the phrase, “But no one gave him anything.”  As a parent, this is one of the most difficult things we have to do: allow our children to suffer the consequences of their own actions.  We don’t want to see them suffer. Sometimes out of our own pride we sabotage what the Lord is doing in their lives by rescuing them before they come to their senses.  

 

A few years ago, I did a little research on this parable and found that for a Jewish young man to ask for their inheritance was like saying to their father, “I wish you were dead!”  It would have been extremely humiliating for the father in the sight of all the family and in the eyes of the citizens of the land. However, this father allowed the plan to unfold, swallowed his pride and subjected both himself and his son to public ridicule.  He could have privately tried to reason with his son, offering him a portion to “sow his wild oats”  but he did not.  Neither did he chase after his son, nor did he facilitate his son’s bad behavior by extricating him from the consequences of his decisions and choices.  

Maybe the father knew Psalm 139:7-12.  And maybe he prayed these scriptures over his son every day and waited for his return…”My son can never escape from your Spirit!  He can never get away from your presence!  If he goes up to heaven, you are there; if he goes down to the grave, you are there.  If he rides the wings of the morning, if he dwells by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide him, and your strength will support me.  If he could ask the darkness to hide him and the light around him to become night—but even in darkness he cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day.  Darkness and light are the same to you.”   

Take heart praying mother! Even in darkness, our kids can't hide from His Presence.  Proclaim that in your prayer closet.

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Restoring Tamar Devo 5: Deception

Darkened Wood Door

2 Samuel 13:8-10 "When Tamar arrived at Amnon’s house, she went to the place where he was lying down so he could watch her mix some dough. Then she baked his favorite dish for him. But when she set the serving tray before him, he refused to eat. 'Everyone get out of here,' Amnon told his servants. So they all left. Then he said to Tamar, 'Now bring the food into my bedroom and feed it to me here.' So Tamar took his favorite dish to him."

Resources say that it would have been normal for the king’s daughter to have been trained in the domestics.  Some sources indicate that there is a hint that Tamar may have been trained in medicinal remedies.

“The cakes were a kind of pancake, fitted to tempt the appetite of a sickly person. The picture is a very interesting one: the palace parcelled out into separate dwellings; the king kindly visiting all; the girls on friendly terms with their brothers, yet not allowed to go to their rooms without special permission; and finally Tamar's skill in cookery – an accomplishment by no means despised in an Oriental menage, or thought unworthy of a king's daughter.” (1) 

An interesting article by Rlaine Neunfeldt states, “In relation to the food prepared by Tamar, the arisen suspect is that this was not simply food but was a special one used as healing ritual or recovering from some disease.” (2)

Amnon’s feigned illness highlights the diabolical deception that partial truth brings.  First, in verses one and four, Amnon asserts his ‘love’ for his sister.  This word ‘love,’ according to Strong’s, encompasses all types of love: a human love that includes family, friend, lover, or even a human love for God. It also implicates human appetites for objects such as food, drink, sleep, even wisdom. It’s meaning is varied and wide.(3)  Secondly, in verses one through ten Amnon maintains his ‘sickness.’ The word, ‘sick’ also carries a broad meaning, “to be or become sick, be or become diseased, be or become grieved, be or become sorry…to be weak”(4)

Oh my! This illuminates the truth that partial truth is not truth at all. If fact, it’s more deadly than absence of truth!  I get a knot in my gut as I think of how demonic partial truth can be. It can be traced all the way back to the beginning of mankind. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2: 16-17 KJV) 

In the very next chapter, chapter three of Genesis, ‘the serpent’ tells a partial truth. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (KJV Genesis 3:1-5)

The serpent influences Eve by restating the first part of God’s instructions with a subtle questioning of God’s intent. The Message Bible gives us insight to their conversation, “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” He baited Eve with the temptation to believe that God had indeed withheld something from her.  She answered as if to clarify what God had said, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden.  It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’”   

There’s no record of God saying not to touch it.  I know this is no laughing matter but I have to smile a bit at Eve’s addendum.  Maybe this is the root to our female propensity to supplement and insert our own notations!  However, this could have set Eve up for the fall of the ages.  Presumably, Eve had to hold the fruit to eat it.  When she took hold, she didn’t die!  If death did not come from touching it, it’s conceivable to deduce that death would not come from eating it! Of course, we know, that God meant spiritual death, which was worse than physical death.

My gracious ladies! Are you as convicted as I about unwarranted chatter!  It reminds me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:37, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” NIV

What impressions come to your mind when you evaluate your everyday conversations?

 

Several year ago, the Lord dealt with me about this issue of partial truth.  It is something that comes so naturally to us as women. I am a woman and I'm glad to be a woman. I greatly admire the female gender. I love that I am called to minister to women.  And since I am a woman, I can say with confidence that I have observed this trend not only in myself but in other women, as well. I am convinced we have this tendency without the conscientiousness of it. 

If you are married, then you understand the husband and wife relationship is where faith and character will be tried the fiercest. My hubby takes the brunt of my ‘upset-ness!’ I would find myself hurt or upset over something. Instead of addressing the real issue, I would blame something minor for my anger. I would share partial truth. Perhaps I was too embarrassed to admit why I was really upset and my pride prevented me, or perhaps there were wounds were so deep that the pain was avoided. Perhaps, I didn’t even know why I was upset.  However, as I began to notice my responses, I began to see that I wasn’t being truthful.  Subsequently, I began to ask myself, “Why am I so upset?” And many times, as I went through the issues of my heart, I would detect it. “That’s it!”  When ‘it’ was discovered, I could then find the grace to address my anger or hurt feelings and move toward peace of mind once again. 

This approach, however, will put you at a more vulnerable position and you’ll need a little dose of courage to put it to practice. But, it’s such a healthier place than hiding behind a false front. I must concede that I have not completely conquered this tendency but I am much more able to express the ‘whys’ behind my emotions.  

I am convinced this tendency is experienced in our all our relationships: in our friendships, our working relationships, even in the relationships with our children. This ‘partial truth’ scheme hinders us from fully addressing our own issues.

What is your emotional language aptitude?  To help express emotions, search online for ‘emotional language.’  It’s amazing how many words that can more adequately express your emotions other than ‘upset’, ‘angry,’ or ‘happy.’  I found a great little chart at http://www.sba.pdx.edu/faculty/mblake/448/FeelingsList.pdf  Once you identify what your emotion is, please write it here… 


Next, if your emotion is negative, search for a scripture that would be its antidote.  

What is the scripture? 



Once you find the scripture, read it aloud. Personalize the scripture by inserting your name.  Rx:Take as needed.

I do want to clarify. We are to strive to be truthful about ourselves!  Please do not misunderstand this point and use it as an opportunity to lash out at someone else by demanding the truth from them or by projecting upon them your perceptions of their true feelings!  Let God deal with them. This is about you getting whole.  “You” is the only person you can control.

This partial truth scheme can also be used to excuse oneself from responsibility.  For example, it seems that people will use a headache as the reason for excusing themselves from a particular duty or event when in fact, the headache is just an excuse, not the real reason. I have wondered if using such an ailment as a crutch could actually induce sickness and would hinder one from getting free from the ailment.  If you need to rest, just say so.  

Have you ever not wanted to participate in something but blamed your absence on something else?                    What was the real reason you didn’t participate?


_________________________________

 

But when she set the serving tray before him, he refused to eat. “Everyone get out of here,” Amnon told his servants. So they all left. Then he said to Tamar, “Now bring the food into my bedroom and feed it to me here.” So Tamar took his favorite dish to him.

Tamar’s willingness to offer help and comfort to her brother makes the violent betrayal even more bitter.  We are made, by God, with a desire to be needed, to be wanted, to be touched and to be loved. Tamar’s abuser manipulated all those natural tendencies by requesting her help.  I can only imagine Tamar’s delight when she heard her eldest brother requested her presence and her cooking; that the prince, next in line to the throne, saw something in her of great value and virtue. 

In all of us is the God-placed desire to be noticed and to be loved for who we are, especially within the confines of the family.  The abuser takes that need and so twists it that the abused, many times, will grow to hate her innate need for love.  She will view it as an enemy to be destroyed.  She will begin to live her live as if to stifle what is normal.  And many times, she will endeavor to live dead.



Ressources for devo 5

1- Pulpit Commentary   http://pulpit.biblecommenter.com/2_samuel/13.htm

2-  Sexual violence and power The case of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13:1-22 by Rlaine Neunfeldt    http://www.isedet.edu.ar/journal/violence.pdf

3- Online Strong’s  http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H157&t=KJV 

4- online Strong’s    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H157&t=KJV 

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Restoring Tamar Devo 4: Embrace Forgiveness

 

child's hand

2 Samuel 13:5-7  “Well,” Jonadab said, “I’ll tell you what to do. Go back to bed and pretend you are ill. When your father comes to see you, ask him to let Tamar come and prepare some food for you. Tell him you’ll feel better if she prepares it as you watch and feeds you with her own hands.”  So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. And when the king came to see him, Amnon asked him, “Please let my sister Tamar come and cook my favorite dish as I watch. Then I can eat it from her own hands.”  So David agreed and sent Tamar to Amnon’s house to prepare some food for him.

It was just two chapters earlier that a plan, similar in many ways, was devised. 

It was the springtime; the time that Kings went to war. That year, however, David stayed home and sent his chief commanding officer, Joab, in his place. One evening while on his rooftop, he saw a very beautiful woman taking a bath in her nearby dwelling courtyard, which was customary.(1) 

“We are told that it is regarded in the East as improper for one neighbour to look over the battlement of his house into the inner court of the next dwelling.”(2) Interested by what he saw and possibly embarrassed at how he saw it, David inquired about her. He found her name to be Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah the Hittite, was one of David’s mighty men away on the nations’s battle campaign. 

David sent for Bathsheba, slept with her and sent her home. In a few weeks, she sent him word of her pregnancy.  David, in an effort to cover his sin, sent a message to Joab to send Uriah home to the palace and with feigned benevolence for Uriah, gave him a gift, probably wine, and told him to go home to his wife, hoping he’d sleep with her.  If she became pregnant, Uriah would think the baby his.  Instead, Uriah slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard. His remarkable integrity had to be staggering to David, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.”  

In order to compensate for Uriah’s astonishing actions, David’s scheme plunged to a despicable depth. 

“So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. The letter instructed Joab, ‘Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.’ So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting. And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.”

David sent for Bathsheba as soon as her time of mourning was over and made her his wife.

In a few months, after the baby was born, Nathan, the prophet confronted David, “From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. ‘This is what the LORD says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.’” 2 Samuel 12:10-12.

 David confessed his sin to Nathan with genuine sincerity, “I have sinned against the LORD.”  Nathan replied, “Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the LORD by doing this, your child will die.” The child died shortly afterwards.  However, David would live to see more heart-rending consequences in the lives of his children.

1) Please name any destructive attitudes you have detected that may have been in your family for years. 

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Surely Amnon and Jonadab had heard the story of David’s aberrant but adulterous and murderous act. Although, the scripture makes it clear that David truly repented, one has to question if he adequately communicated his deep regret for those unthinkable, contemptible deeds. 

Let’s explore David’s confession regarding his adultery with BathSheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah.

 In Psalm 51, David laments “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins,and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness…” 

David’s confession and God’s forgiveness of his horrid sin has given great hope and joy to millions since it was first penned in circa 900 B.C. Yet, one must ask, “Did David continue to struggle with embracing his own forgiveness when thoughts of condemnation came?”  And if he did, could this have caused his family to be more vulnerable to consequences of their father’s sin?  Could Nathan’s prophecy have been a predicted because of David’s own fear of his children following in his steps?  

We will see as this story unfolds, that it seems King David was reluctant to discipline his sons.  Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary concurs, “he was too indulgent to his children. Thus David might trace the sins of his children to his own misconduct, which must have made the anguish of the chastisement worse.”(3)

Could he have been so ashamed and guilt-ridden that he could not bring himself to correct his sons?                 
Have you ever been reluctant to confront behavior patterns in others or you own children because of your past failures? 

How would you have responded to Amnon, had he protested, “Who are you to condemn me?” 

Could David’s own attitude of shame and regret have so tainted David’s memory that indulgence in his children had been foreseen by the prophet?  Could that be a partial meaning to this scripture in exodus 34:7, “I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected–even children in the third and fourth generations."   Could it be that families hide past sin in order to “keep up the family name?”  

Have you ever shared with your friends and/or family your deep regret over past actions?                                    
Sometimes, our past choices bring such painful and shameful memories, it’s easier to never mention them.   Can you think of reasons to share or reasons not to share these bitter recollections ?     Please list them here…

If there is true repentance for sin, our expressions of it will never be easily shared. It should be hard to say.  And It should only be shared to rejoice in and as an example of God’s complete forgiveness through Christ.

(2) What role, if any, does pride and/or shame play in our attempt to cover our past? 

I love this scripture in Isaiah 61:7, “Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.”  In many Bible headings, this chapter is named, Good News of Salvation.  This was the infamous chapter that Jesus quoted in Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for he blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  Through Jesus, we are promised that we shall receive double honor in place of shame. My goodness,  fellow daughters, how great a salvation!


Dear Ladies, the New Testament Gospel of Jesus Christ leaves no reason to accommodate fear, shame, nor pride.  When we understand the vastness of what Christ had done for us, we are free from the past.  We dilute the sacrifice of Jesus when we do not fully embrace our forgiveness.  There are consequences of sin.  There are attitudes that are passed down from parents to children. However, I am convinced the more we embrace our forgiveness, the less the consequences.  

In Matthew 5:25, Jesus presents a striking scenario that my husband expounded upon in a sermon years ago. I have never forgotten it.  It can show us how to deal with accusations of our own past sin, whether it be from our own minds or from others, “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.” KJV  

When we experience tormenting thoughts of shame and regret for our sin, we can reply with these words, “I agree that what I did was contemptible, despicable and disgraceful but because of what Jesus has done for me, my guilt has been taken away.  My sin is gone. I am new.”

Put this into practice by articulating a response to the struggles in your own mind of weakness and past failures.  If possible, go to a private place and agree with your adversary, however, claim the blood of Jesus that makes you new.  Walk out of that jail!   Refuse to live like your still in prison!

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Matthew Henry’s Commentator provides a thought-provoking observation, “Godly parents have often been afflicted with wicked children; grace does not run in the blood, but corruption does. We do not find that David's children imitated him in his devotion; but his false steps they trod in, and in those did much worse, and repented not. Parents know not how fatal the consequences may be if in any instance they give their children bad examples.” (4)

Behaviors, attitudes, mind sets are passed from one generation to the next.  The way we think determines the way we act.  Many times, painful memories, if not dealt with properly, will provide a breeding ground for destructive attitudes that can effect the behaviors of our descendants.

How can you reduce or remove the probability of the consequences of your own sin being experienced by your children and grandchildren?

When you notice a reoccurring wrong thought or attitude, find a scripture to transform the way you think. Use an appropriate SCRIPTure for a  preSCRIPTion to change those thought patterns!  

Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:” KJV Rick Renner in his book, Sparkling Gems, gives beautiful insight to the word redeemed. “…it pictures a buyer or redeemer who has gone to the slave market to purchase a slave for the solitary purpose of bringing him out of that place of slavery so he can be set free.  Therefore, this particular word for “redeem” conveys the though of permanent removal from captivity…Paul is telling us plainly that Jesus’ sacrificial death didn’t only pay the penalty for our sin: His death removed us from living under the curse henceforth!”(5)

You’ve all probably heard the story of the bear who had been help captive in an eight by ten cage for years.  One day someone had such compassion on the beautiful animal that they purchased the bear for a great price.  They took the caged bear, out into it’s wild, natural habitat, unlocked the cage door, flung it open, and made sure to clear the way for the bear!  But the bear refused to come out.  His mind had become imprisoned, which is far worse.

5) Even though Christ has set you free, are there areas where your mind is still imprisoned?                     Will you be so courageous as to name them here?

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 “So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. And when the king came to see him, Amnon asked him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and cook my favorite dish as I watch. Then I can eat it from her own hands.’  So David agreed and sent Tamar to Amnon’s house to prepare some food for him.”

In weakness of character and with feelings of entitlement, Amnon followed Jonadab’s wicked plan verbatim. He knew that Tamar was guarded and protected and even though, he was her half-brother, she would have been strictly forbidden to be alone with him.  In Amnon’s malicious mind, his only hope was deception.

Inside the palace, each of David’s wives had their own quarters.  There, they lived, along with their daughters, separated from the King’s other families. These polygamist arrangements left the eldest full-brother the garrison of his younger siblings.  Although he would have had his own separate champers, Absalom was the archetypal big brother. 

Tamar was noted for her remarkable beauty, the only daughter of King David ever mentioned in scripture. Her virginity was a precious attribute that was celebrated and protected in preparation for an influential and kingly marriage. Even her robes spoke of her virtuousness and royalty. She was a precious jewel. She was also vulnerable.


Resources for devo 4…

(1) Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, “and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; in a bath in her garden, or in an apartment in her house, the window being open:” http://gill.biblecommenter.com/2_samuel/11.htm

(2) Pulpit Commentary, http://pulpit.biblecommenter.com/2_samuel/13.htm

(3 )Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary  http://biblecommenter.com/2_samuel/13-7.htm

(4) Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary http://biblecommenter.com/2_samuel/13-1.htm

(5) Sparkling Gems, page 121-1227

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Devo 3: Kisses from an Enemy or Wounds from a Friend

2 Samuel 13:3-4 But Amnon had a very crafty friend—his cousin Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimea.  One day Jonadab said to Amnon, “What’s the trouble? Why should the son of a king look so dejected morning after morning?” So Amnon told him, “I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”

Devo #3: Kisses from an Enemy or Wounds from a Friend

Oh, Amnon! if only you had been more discerning in the selection of your confidant and in the content of his counsel.  

Jonadab was ‘crafty.’ The King James Version uses the word subtil, “But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab… and Jonadab was a very subtil man.”  This word is only used two other times in scripture, both uses are negative in nature.  Let’s take a look and see who shares Jonadab’s company.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1 KJV)
And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart
.(Proverbs 7:10 KJV)  Needless to say, Jonadab shared some abominable company.

Synonyms for subtle, as we would spell it today, include crafty, devious, fraudulent, insidious, guileful, and scheming.(1) 

Ladies, there is absolutely no substitute for godly friends. Their influence upon us cannot be overemphasized. The book of Proverbs has much to say about friends that gives enlightening descriptions and alerts us to the outcome of the friends we choose.

  • Proverbs 10:31-32 “The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.”
  • Proverbs 12:26, “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.”
  • Proverbs 16:28, “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.”
  • Proverbs 17:17, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
  • Proverbs 17:18, “It's poor judgment to guarantee another person's debt or put up security for a friend.”
  • Proverbs 19:6, “Many seek favors from a ruler; everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!”
  • Proverbs 18:19, “An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.”
  • Proverbs 18:24, “There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”
  • Proverbs 19:4, “Wealth makes many "friends"; poverty drives them all away.”
  • Proverbs 22:11, “Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.”
  • Proverbs 25:19, “Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.”
  • Proverbs 26:18-19, “Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, ‘I was only joking.’"
  • Proverbs 27:6, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”
  • Proverbs 27:9, “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”
  • Proverbs 27:10, “Never abandon a friend–either yours or your father's. When disaster strikes, you won't have to ask your brother for assistance. It's better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.”
  • Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

Out of all the factors that determine friendship, integrity should top the list. This doesn’t mean we cannot befriend those who struggle with issues of truthfulness, loyalty, and discretion. Certainly not! Where would we be if someone had not mirrored to us a more honorable way!  We must, however, be acutely and extremely aware of those who have our ear, those from whom we receive counsel, those who influence our thinking and behavior.  Proverbs 13:20 asserts, “Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.” The Message (3)

1) Think of one your closest friends. 
           What factors or characteristics determined your friendship?

2) What do you think Proverbs 27:6 means: “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”      

3) Can you think of a time that you personally experienced this scripture?    

4) Was ‘the wound’ done in humility and graciousness?    

5) How did ‘the delivery’ affect your acceptance of it?

6) If you were the friend who delivered ‘the wound,’  did you do so with wisdom, kindness and discretion?             

7) Please read Galatians 6:1, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”  How do you carry out your friendship duty according to this scripture?

According to Proverbs 18:8, gossip is a dainty morsel eaten with great relish     It is the downfall of many precious friendships: leaving hearts feeling betrayed, broken, disillusioned, stranded and lonely.   
Contrast these scriptures…

Proverbs 16:28, “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
      Proverbs 17:17, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

Gossip is subtle but deadly.  Loyalty, however, is intrinsic to true friendship and should be overt in expression.  The time to be loyal to a friend who is being attacked is when the gossip or criticism is happening.  Don’t stay silent then later go to your friend and share the hurtful accusations. This only serves to relieve your conscience! No! May it never be!  Speak up and defend the one who is not there to defend themselves. Proverbs 31:8 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” Further, after you have defended your friend, resist the temptation to later heap the refuse on her. If possible, protect her from having to deal with with the painful words against her.  

An anonomus poem gives insight into the nature of gossip, “My Name Is Gossip. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobody's friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments and ruin marriages. I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion. I spawn suspicion and generate grief. I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses. I AM CALLED GOSSIP.”(4)

8) In your opinion, (a)what qualifies as gossip and (b)when is it be beneficial to share the gossip with the victim of the attack?

9) Deferring gossip or criticism to defend a friend doesn’t necessarily have to be hostile and confrontational.  It could be as simple as saying, “If she hurt you, I don’t think she intended to; Let’s go and talk to her; I’m sorry you are hurt but I can’t help, please go to her.  Can you think of other constructive ways to discourage gossip?               Practice by writing them here.

Please read these verses from Luke 12:3 and Matthew 12:36 respectively, “Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!”  “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” The word careless in Matthew 12:36 means idle, lazy, thoughtless, unprofitable, injurious.

10) With this scripture in mind, how does this affect your views on gossip?

_________________________________

The b part of our key verse sets the stage for a horrific and unimaginable plot, “…One day Jonadab said to Amnon, “What’s the trouble? Why should the son of a king look so dejected morning after morning?” So Amnon told him, “I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”  

Jonadab was the prince’s cousin. He enjoyed the prestige of the role. He couldn’t possibly see any advantage of jeopardizing such a lucrative relationship by questioning the emotions of Prince Amnon.  Ladies, it makes a knot form in my gut when I read how easily the plot forms and begins to roll off the schemer’s tongue; and with absolutely no thought of the destruction of an innocent, trusting, sapling Palm. 

With the gift of friendship, comes the responsibility of accountability.  I don’t know about you, dear sisters, but I pray for the Lord to give me courage, wisdom and compassion to graciously lend wise counsel to my friends, not just erroneous soothing affirmations when I observe destructive trends. 

 Oh God, give us brave, loving and discerning hearts to not only comfort, but confront!


 

Devo 3 resources…

1)  synonyms for subtle: http://thesaurus.com/browse/subtle?s=t

2)  http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?criteria=friend&page=2&sf=5&t=NLT

3) You version  https://www.youversion.com/bible/97/pro.13.20.msg

4) http://www.1timothy4-13.com/files/chr_vik/mynameisgossip.html

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Restoring Tamar Devotion 2: Protected or Imprisoned?

2 Samuel 13:2-4  “Amnon became so obsessed with Tamar that he became ill. She was a virgin, and Amnon thought he could never have her.” 

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As we discussed earlier, Amnon’s name implies someone who is faithful to support, confirm, uphold, and nourish.  Dr Dan B. Allendar quotes in his book on sexual abuse, Wounded Heart, “damage will be in direct proportion to the degree that it disrupts the protection and nurturance of the parental bond.” (1)

Even though Amnon did not directly fill the parental role in Tamar’s life, his first-born status in the family did denote him as a faithful defender. His name, synonymous with the attributes of a guardian, fostered feelings of safety. 

To the decree that trust is violated is the degree to which betrayal embeds its malignancy of shame, contempt, hopelessness, abandonment and mistrust. This will affect the ability to receive and express authentic love.

1) Think of your most painful betrayal.  How has that betrayal affected your ability to trust and love others?

Jesus made an interesting decision in John 2:24, “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.” (NIV) The King James Version says it like this, “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he  knew all [men]”

Simply put, these words, entrust and commit, refer to the kind of faith one should have only in God. Jesus knew people intimately. He perceived and understood that mankind is multi-dimensional; that inside all of us is the potential for the hallowed and profane, the celestial and monstrous; benevolence and callousness; gentleness and cruelty.  

We are faced with the reality that the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is less fiction than we’d like to think. 

Jesus knew that He could not entrust his soul completely to anyone except His Heavenly Father. This understanding did not keep him from embracing his friends and companions; from enjoying them and from encouraging them; from believing that the divine will win out, that His followers could become all that He commissioned them to be. 

He didn’t entrust himself to them but He never gave up hope for them.  

There’s only one place for absolute trust. 

2) Please translate John 2:24 in your own words.   

 Thayer’s Lexicon clarifies the use of the word commit, “used especially of the faith by which a man embraces Jesus, i.e. a conviction, full of joyful trust, that Jesus is the Messiah–divinely appointed author of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God, conjoined with obedience to Christ…to have a faith directed  unto, believing or in faith to give one’s self up to Jesus”(2)

3) How have you been affected by allocating to others this complete eternal-soul-type-of-trust of which only the Triune God is worthy?

Explore all the times, the word trust was used in the Bible. If you have a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, scan all the times the word  ‘trust’ was used. If you do not have access to a concordance, go to the online Strong's Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon (http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?criteria=trust&page=2&t=KJV).  Be sure to search using the King James Version. 

4) What did you find?

Read this verse aloud, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3: 5 & 6    

5) Where is God’s will found?

When I scanned the hundreds of verses where the word ‘trust’ is used, I was surprised to find that nearly all directs us to trust God!  There were very few references where trusting others is mentioned. The only positive reference that I noticed was Proverbs 31:11, “Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.”  So cool.  What did you find?

While it is never wise to entrust our souls to anyone but God, if we are going to truly live the kind of abundant life that God intends for us, we will be required to love again. To love is to risk. I am in no way, inferring that the abused should seek to submit to a relationship with her abuser. I am asserting that she must learn to love outward again else she will live her life in desolation, in an on-going reaction to her abuse. If you seek to love, you will be disappointed and hurt.  It will happen. Suffering wrong is intrinsic in love.

6) Please read I Corinthians 13:4, “Love suffers long [and] is kind..” NKJV
What wrong have you suffered in love?

In his book, Wounded Heart, Allender articulates the tyrannical reward of the pledge to never be hurt again, “…a commitment never to be hurt again by the abuser (or anyone else like him) creates a hard, inflexible exterior and, in turn, leads to loneliness that the hardness was developed to avoid.”(3)

To better prepare for disappointment and hurt, both in ourselves and in others, we need to better understand the triune man.   

Created in the image of God, we also, are three-fold.  We are spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body.  1 Thessalonians 5:23 delineates, “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”  

Our spirit, our innermost part, is the part of us that is most like God.  It’s the part that communes with God and reflects His nature. It’s the part of us that desires fellowship with Him. Our soul is the abiding place of the mind with it’s desires and aversions; the seat of the emotions and will. The body is the shell that houses the spirit and soul. The body will carry out the orders of that part of us which is in control, whether it be our soul or our spirit.  

Watchman Nee taught in the introduction of the first volume of his three volume series, The Spiritual Man, this concept… “Of these three elements the spirit is the noblest for it joins with God. The body is the lowest for it contacts with matter. The soul lying between them joins the two together and also takes their character to be its own. The soul makes it possible for the spirit and the body to communicate and to cooperate. The work of the soul is to keep these two in their proper order so that they may not lose their right relationship—namely, that the lowest, the body, may be subjected to the spirit, and that the highest, the spirit, may govern the body through the soul. Man’s prime factor is definitely the soul. It looks to the spirit to give what the latter has received from the Holy Spirit in order that the soul, after it has been perfected, may transmit what it has obtained to the body; then the body too may share in the perfection of the Holy Spirit and so become a spiritual body.”(4)

In Genesis’ garden, the three parts, were in perfect balance, until Adam and Eve chose to no longer depend upon God. Their spirit died. The soul assumed the role of protector and guide, governed by emotions, self-will and wrong perceptions. Eve’s concepts of thought began to be formed by the five-senses, by experience, and unfortunately, by fear, resulting in a self-centered, self-righteous, and self-aware being. For the first time, humankind covered their own nakedness while exposing another.  Blame was born.

When we receive Christ, He brings our spirit to life.  However, Romans 12:2 implies that the mind must start the process of renewal once we are saved, “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Our thoughts, concepts and perceptions must be transformed to reflect the truth of God’s Word: that we are loved, that we are forgiven, that we can do all things through Christ Jesus our Lord, that we are more than conquerors; that before God even formed the world, He chose us to be a part of His own family through Jesus, His Son.  

If we ignore this mental transformation, we will find ourselves frustrated  and stalled in our Christian walk, not enjoying the abundant life Jesus promised. 

When we are deeply wounded, we begin to build layers of protection.  Sadly, the layers of protection become our prison.

7) Think of one of your most painful memories.  How has that experience hardened you?     Ask Father God to start the process of dissolving the prison bars that keep everyone out.  Record your prayer of confession here….

 

 

Devo 2 resources…

1 (page 53, Allendar is quoting Diane E. H. Russell, The Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls and Women, New York: Basic Books, 1986 pages 148-149)

2 Thayers: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4100&t=KJV

3  Dr. Dan B. Allender, Wounded Heart, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1990, 1995, revised edition 2008, pages 56-57

4  http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/spiritsoulbody.htm or/also…
  The Spiritual Man, CFP, Vol. 1, Part 1 INTRODUCTION ON SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY, Ch. 1, by Watchman Nee

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Restoring Tamar: A Prayerful Study of 2 Samuel 13

Today begins the new devotion and study of 2 Samuel 13.  It is the story of Tamar, King David's daughter who was raped by her half brother, Amnon.  

date-palm-draa-valley                                        

This devotion is about what could have been had Tamar known that her God was bigger than her tragedy, that she yet could have lived out her destiny.  It’s also about us; about how wounds inflicted upon our souls can mark us and cause us to think untrue thoughts about ourselves that bring distortion and destruction to our lives .

While we never hear from Tamar again, we do know that God honored her with the thirteenth chapter of 2nd Samuel. Tamar was important to Him! God insisted her story be told.   It has been told and retold for three thousand years.

Come on with me, let's take this journey together….

 

2 Samuel 13: The Rape of Tamar

Introduction

2 Samuel 13:20

“Her brother Absalom saw her and asked, “Is it true that Amnon has been with you? Well, my sister, keep quiet for now, since he’s your brother. Don’t you worry about it.” So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in her brother Absalom’s house.”

Desolate, desolate, desolate, desolate, desolate, desolate, desolate,. 

The word rolls so easily off the tongue; three syllables, repeated… until there’s indistinguishable obscurity.   It is astonishing at the amount of pain that can be represented with such a small word. Even more astounding is the superficial response of Tamar’s brother, Absalom, when he learned of her rape…”Well, my sister, keep quiet for now, since he’s your brother.  Don’t you worry about it.”

Desolation lived out in years of silence, darkness, yearning yet hatred of yearning, lostness… a princess unadorned.  Largely, destiny is intrinsic in one’s name. The Hebrew meaning of Tamar is date palm tree. According to the online Strong's Concordance, the etymology of the word is from an unused root meaning to be erect.  Rather than stately, upright, erect and fruitful, Tamar lived out her life bowed, contorted, disfigured, withered, barren and emotionally crippled.  

It didn’t have to be so. 

Oh, how I love the Word of God!  Our Father God was not apprehensive about presenting the shocking contractions in the lives of His people; about insisting the scribes of His Book divulge the weaknesses, failures, and gross sin; the missed opportunities, faithlessness, and despair of the people whom God called His. The flippant response of Tamar’s brother, Absalom to her calamity contained no remedy, no resemblance of Jehohvah Rapha.  She seemed to have no one to confront her in her brokenness with a truth greater than the reality of her rape: that all was not lost… that God is good, that He is kind, that with Him nothing is impossible; that God can bring not only recompense but beauty from the ashes; that nothing is beyond His redemption.

This devotion is about what could have been had Tamar known that her God was bigger than her tragedy, that she yet could have lived out her destiny.  It’s also us; about how wounds afflicted upon our souls can mark us and cause us to think untrue thoughts about ourselves that bring distortion and destruction to our lives .

While we never hear from Tamar again, we do know that God honored her with the thirteenth chapter of 2nd Samuel. Tamar was important to Him! God insisted her story be told.   It has been told and retold for three thousand years.

Date Palms are historically important because they are a source of food that has supplied nutrition to millions of people over thousands of years. The true Date Palm is the species that makes the date fruit that is so commonly eaten. Another characteristic of this genus is that the leaves are induplicate which means their leaves form an upward V-shape that allows them to hold water. The fruit or pulp layer of the Date Palm is much thicker than this layer in other species… It is sweet and quite rich in sugar.  It is because of this thick fruit layer that the Phoenix dactylifera is the only species grown for consumption of the fruit as a food crop. They can grow up to 60 feet tall and tolerate heat and drought conditions and therefore do well in hot, desert areas. 

Tamar was called, literally, to be fruitful; to be the source of sweet nourishment to her kingdom.  She was called to be regal, grand, gracious and vigorious.  Her name predicted her to be a life-giving stately ornament that would adorn palaces; to be stalwart and stedfast and strong, to be tenacious, tough and vigorous.  

But a devastating storm struck and so damaged the tree that it began to die.


______________________________________


Devotion 1:  2 Samuel 1:1

“Now David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her.” 

Tamar was young, beautiful, and privileged; the daughter of the renowned king of Israel, King David, the most celebrated leader of historical Israel. At the time of this story, she would have been approximately fifteen years of age and according to the custom of that day, she would have been awaiting a prearranged marriage to a diplomatic influential prince. King David was the first leader of Israel to use marriage for political alliance. Tamar’s mother, Maacah was the daughter of a neighboring king, King Talmai, of Geshur.  Maacah was also Absalom’s mother. Amnon was Tamar’s half-brother by another of David’s wives, Ahinoam. This scenario played out in contemptuous rivalry, dysfunction and death.

 First Chronicles chapter 3:1-9 gives a concise list of David’s sons….

“These are the sons of David who were born in Hebron: The oldest was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel. The second was Daniel, whose mother was Abigail from Carmel. The third was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. The fourth was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith. The fifth was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital. The sixth was Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, David’s wife. These six sons were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven and a half years. Then David reigned another thirty-three years in Jerusalem. The sons born to David in Jerusalem included Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon. Their mother was Bathsheba, the daughter of Ammiel.  David also had nine other sons: Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet. These were the sons of David, not including his sons born to his concubines. Their sister was named Tamar.”

It is appears that Tamar, not including any children born to concubines, was King David’s only daughter.  The foremost desire of any little girl is to be her father’s princess. Tamar was that. Please pray for insight as you answer these questions.

  1. Describe your relationship with your father, absentee father, or step-father? 
  2. If there were one word to describe that relationship, what would it be?
  3. If you could change one thing about that relationship, what would you change?
  4. In what ways have you transfered onto your Heavenly Father, the attributes of your earthly father?
  5. For an idea of what your Heavenly Father is really like, read Ephesians chapter one.  If possible, use a contemporary version, like The Message. How does your concept of God compare to this passage?

As we mentioned in the introduction, Tamar’s name means date palm tree.  Naming a child in the Hebrew culture was grandiose. The name given would define the child’s character, describe qualities and traits, and could represent current events or prophecy future destinies.

6. Take a moment to look up the meaning of your name. What does it mean?     

7. In what ways can you see that you have conformed to your name?

8. If your name means something less than you’d like, look at different ways to interpret the meaning. For example, if your names means “to be brought low,” concentrate on the ways that service or humility represents greatness in God’s sight.  Also, search for scriptures that relate to your name’s meaning.
Read Genesis 32: 27-28. Because of Jacob’s persistence, his name was changed from “supplanter” to “God prevails.”

Before we proceed and to better understand the personalities of the principle characters in our story, let’s take a look at the meanings of the names of Tamar’s brothers Absalom and and her half brother Amnon, and her father, David.

Absalam was David’s third son but assumes the second position in the family line probably because David’s second son, Daniel or Chileab, as he is  also called, died at a early age. He is not referred to again after the First Chronicles 3 reference.  

Absalom’s name translates as "my father is peace" (Strong’s) The Pulpit Commentary states,“But David was a man whose conduct was generally governed by his feelings. He was a creature of warm and often generous impulse, but his character lacked the steadiness of thoughtful and consistent purpose.”

As we read further in the story, it becomes evident that although David was Israel’s greatest leader, he was a rather permissive father.  Absalom knew this about his dad and strategically exploited the trait.

9. Are there ways in which you have been guilty of manipulating or even exploiting the characteristics of those closest to you; a parent, a spouse, a child, a sibling, a friend, a co-worker? 

Look up the definition of ‘manipulate.’
These definitions seems especially illuminating: to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner: to manipulate people's feelings; to adapt or change to suit one's purpose or advantage.

10. What does this bring to light in your heart?  Are there areas in which you have been manipulative?   What are they?    Illumination brings annihilation. Use this opportunity to confess this inclination….

11. For you to consider: how is ‘gossip’ used to manipulate?

Absalom was a handsome guy.  2 Samuel 14:25-26 elaborates,“Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot. He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds! He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful.” It seems Absalom named his daughter in honor of his sister.

Amnon simply put means "faithful." A more comprehensive meaning includes: to support, confirm, uphold, nourish, or to be carried by a nurse. Gesenius’s Lexicon expands the meaning: to support with the arm, to carry as a child, as one who guards or brings up, to be firm, unshaken, such as one may safely lean on, to trust, to be secure.

As we will observe in this unfolding drama, Amnon selfishly internalized the meaning of his name to justify his own whims instead of seeing himself as a faithful support and nourisher of those he was called to protect.

Can you think of a time when you leaned too heavily into what you perceived to be your own personal right?  Has that tendency become a needs-based expectancy rather than a goodwill service to others?  For example, my name, Sandra, means “helper of mankind.”  I get to choose to either view that mission from the lens of selfishness or through the lens of benevolence; as my own right to be helped or as a call to help others.

David, “A man after God’s own heart,” as God Himself announced him in First Samuel 13:14.  David means “beloved.”  Even in the midst of David’s flaws, he seemed to always know that God loved him. That was David’s strength.



 

References for Devotion 1 ….

 

-All devotion heading scriptures taken from Biblos.com  (http://nlt.scripturetext.com/2_samuel/13.htm)

 

-http://www.junglemusic.net/articles/datepalms.html 1-31-13

 

-Tamar means:  http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H8558&t=KJV

 

-Absolam means:  http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H53&t=KJV

 

-Amnon means: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H539&t=KJV  

 

-David means:  http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1732&t=KJV  

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/manipulate  

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The Hannah Promise

I am so excited and grateful that The Hannah Promise is here!  

 

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reCreate today at Church of the Highlands! Darlene Zchech, Holly Wagner, wonderful sista’s and Jesus! Don’t get much better than that!

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The Power of Your Words

Tuesday, June 21

Oh my!  Here we are six months later!   I know that God’s Word has sunk deep into your heart and is transforming your mind and seasoning your speech.  As you speak God’s Word, the daylight is being formed by what you “prophecy,” Just as we began in Proverbs 31:1 with, “The words of …the prophecy that his mother taught him”, we are closing with your prophecy that will be repeated, and repeated by those whom you influence.  I’ve heard it said that the words we speak never die and never stop.  The sound waves keep going and going out into space.

Look over the past six months.  

How have your words, speech and actions changed?

The theme of the whole book of Proverbs is the fear of the Lord.  

List five major insights you have received about “the fear of the Lord.”

In one sentence, record what Proverbs 31 means to you. 

Please email me, log onto the facebook group or the blog (I plan to update and improve the blog, hopefully!) and let me know what you have received through this study.   I love you and I have the utmost confidence in your ability to hear Him and change your world.

 

Sandra

sandra.saylor@yahoo.com

https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_228189507196980&ap=1


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