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S.O.A.P August 13, 2017

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August 13, 2017

Read: 2 Samuel 13:20-39

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- 2 Samuel 13:37-39- And David mourned many days for his son Amnon. Absalom fled to his grandfather, Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. He stayed there in Geshur for three years. And King David, now reconciled to Amnon’s death, longed to be reunited with his son Absalom.

Observations- Some grief is clean and easily understood; that is, it's not complicated by so many other emotions swirling in the mix. While grief is never an easy process, David's must have been quite complicated by the way he let his daughter, Tamar, down, he never disciplined Amnon properly, and Absalom's revenge breaks his heart, for it means he had no idea how much his father loved him. The tragedy deepened in the house of David.

Application- Anger, disappointment, grief, lousy decisions that dishonored God swirled around in David's breaking apart life. Do you notice that God doesn't even seem to be in the background as this story  of the rape of Tamar and the revenge of Absalom unfolds? No one is consulting God about the next right moves at this point, and that always leads to a deepening tragedy. When we get stuck in a deep hole of our own making, the first rule is to stop digging...and seek God. 

Prayer- Lord, this is a tragedy that is magnified, because no one seems to be invested in turning quickly to You for You to set things right. When life comes at me fast, help me always turn quickly to You. When my life is falling apart, remind me to fall on my knees and freely cry out to You for the help I need as I need it. Thank You for Your grace and direction in this life. I need it. Amen.

"Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die." (Psalm 143:7),

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P August 12, 2017

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August 12, 2017

Read: 2 Samuel 13:1-19

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- 2 Samuel 13:19- But now Tamar tore her robe and put ashes on her head. And then, with her face in her hands, she went away crying.

Observations- The story of God's people and their sin is sometimes awful to hear of in God's Word. The obsession of Amnon to want what is wrong for him to have in the first place and then rape his half-sister, Tamar, is hard to bear. What has gone wrong in David's family?! We see the downward spiral of sin and the consequences of David's own sense of entitlement being borne out in the next generation. While David, even through his extensive sin, remained a strong king and leader of the nation, he didn't lead his family well through the after affects of his disobedience.

Application- I hope this passage of Scripture breaks your heart. I think that's what the Author and the author intended to happen for those who would hear these words. David's sin didn't just affect his relationship with God- it affected every relationship he had. The tragedy of sin is in our lives is this: "Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay." Even when we are forgiven by God, we aren't necessarily free of the consequences.

Prayer- (by Michelangelo- 1475-1564) I wish I'd want what I don't want, Lord, at all. Between this heart and Your fire an icy screen, invisible, damps it down, so these routine words falsify what I do; the pages lie. Tongue says it loves You, but the heart's reply is chilling: there's no love there. Nor can I know which way to let grace enter, immerse it so hard-hearted pride is hell-bent for a fall. You be the one, Lord! Rend it! ramming through closure that saw Your beauty dim and dwindle, once light of the world's one sun, now cold as stone. Send now the promised light that's one day due to come to Your comely bride on earth! Oh then I'll kindle the fire within, doubt-free, feeling You alone. Amen. 

"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard." (Romans 3:23),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - Happy birthday to me! On this day at around 8pm in 1979 I said "Yes!" to being a follower of Jesus. I've had plenty of stops and starts, bumps and victories. I pray I'm walking more closely with Jesus than I did 5 years ago and not as closely now as I will be 5 years from now.

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