Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 114

The scriptures read are 2 Samuel 13-15. Psalm 94 and Acts 9.

2 Samuel 13. The nastiness erupts in David's family. Ammon longs for his half-sister Tamar and a friend helps him cook up a pretext to get his sister alone. He rapes her and David neglects to discipline his firstborn son. So Absalom avenges his sister--2 years later. Not sure who is worse: the rapist or the patient, calculating murderer.

2 Samuel 14. Joab, David's right hand man, resorts to a bit of theater to get David to allow Absalom to return to Israel. But David will not see Absalom. Absalom keeps asking Joab to arrange a face-to-face. When Joab refuses to do so, Absalom has his field burned. That gets Joab's attention and he arranges a reconciliation with David. But doesn't anybody notice how ruthless and unscrupulous Absalom is?

2 Samuel 15. Absalom is one clever politician...or a sociopath. As if there's a big difference. He undermines his father's popularity and then gathers a large group of supporters, announces his kingship and marches on Jerusalem. David and his men escape on foot. But he leaves spies behind.

Psalm 94. An appeal for God to execute justice upon evildoers. God is also the sheltering rock and haven of the righteous and oppressed. He gives "tranquility in times of misfortune....When I am filled with cares, your assurance soothes my soul."

Acts 9. Saul, on a witch hunt for followers of the Way of Jesus, encounters the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. He is struck blind but healed by a Christian, who reluctantly followed instructions he got in a vision to go to this enemy of Christ. He restores Saul's sight and Saul starts preaching that Jesus is the Son of God, totally confusing Jews and Christians alike. He has to escape assassins in Damascus and goes to Jerusalem. The Christians there distrust him until Barnabas vouches for him.

Peter tours the churches, healing and raising the dead. But Peter still doesn't anticipate the Spirit's next move.

(Personal note: There may be a break of a few days in my blog. I'm having surgery in the morning. Hope to be back online in a few days.)

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