Wednesday Night Recap

Friends,

Wednesday we concluded our series on David and Bathsheba with a discussion of the consequences of David’s sin.

1) Why was Absalom upset with his father?

David refused to discipline Ammon.

Carroll said David was a weak father. He should have punished his son.

Chris wondered if Ammon’s sin didn’t remind David of his sin with Bathsheba. Perhaps David was finding it difficult to forgive himself and, therefore, he couldn’t punish Ammon.

Absalom, frustrated by his fathers seeming indifference, decided to act. Absalom murdered his brother.

2) Were Absalom’s actions justified?

Absalom’s desire for justice was justified but his actions were not. With the murder of Ammon he began a series of events that would lead to his own destruction.

Robyn pointed out that Absalom’s actions were predicted by the prophet Nathan. And these events were the consequences of David’s sin.

3) What do these events have to do with David’s sin?

Most of class was devoted to a discussion of the cause of suffering. We talked about instances in scripture where God punishes people for their sin. We also agreed that sometimes bad things happen to innocent people. A perfect example of that is what happened to Tamar.

We make a mistake when we devote too much time to trying to determine why someone is suffering.

The Holy Spirit is able to convict and change behavior when necessary. Our time is better spent loving those who find themselves in difficult circumstances. Sometimes loving means ‘tough love’ but our goal should always be to help our brothers and sisters see God’s grace in the midst of their circumstance.

As Judy reminded us you never go wrong telling folks that you love them.

Next week we begin our Advent series. Our text will be Isaiah 9:6-7. Consider the following questions:

1) What do these verses tell us about the coming Christ?

2) Why would this Christ threaten the status quo?

See you Wednesday.

John

 

One response to “Wednesday Night Recap”

  1. Jack Miles says:

    Another provocative look at scripture, John. Thank you for lifting God’s word to my mind and planting it in my heart.

    I was intriqued by our discussion regarding sin/actions and punishment/consequences. I hope to start a dialogue with fellow classmates.

    Numbers 20:8-13:

    Clarke’s Commentary, 1854, Vol.1, Applegate & Co. p.419 says, “What was the offense for which Moses was excluded from the promised land?”
    Perturbation (a violation) of spirit.
    Want of attention to the presence of God.
    Spoke unadvisedly with his lips (see vs. 10 – “Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?”
    No credit to God; Moses took all the credit for himself.
    Did not believe God and did not honor God.
    Aaron appears to have been “‘consenting’ in these particulars, therefore he is also ‘excluded’ from the promised land.”

    Note the words “offense”, “consenting” and “excluded”. Adam Clarke chooses not to use the words “sin” or “punishment” in his assessment of this passage. It seems to me that Clarke is expressing “action/consequence” as opposed to a more serious level of “sin/punishment”. But perhaps I parse words.

    John Wesley’s Commentary says, “This made their (Moses and Aaron) “sin” scandalous to the Israelites, who of themselves were too prone to infidelity, to prevent the contagion (harmful or corrupting communicaion); God leaves a monument of his displeasure upon them and inflicts a “punishment” as publick as their “sin”.
    Here Wesley obviously raises Moses’s and Aaron’s actions at the rock to the level of “sin” and “punishment”.

    Regarding Moses’s and Aaron’s actions, Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, “(they)did not sanctify God, that is, they did not give to him alone that glory of his miracle which was due unto his name. Such a state of “sinful” independence, such a rebellion of the soul against its Saviour, the voice of “God “condemns” in every page of the Bible.”
    Again as with Wesley, Henry sees the act as “sinful” and God’s response as “condemnation” or I would say comes closer to “punishment”.

    Finally, Robert Jamison, A.J.Fausset and David Brown in their commentary regarding God’s response to Moses and Aaron state, “…which led to so severe a “chastisement”. Their choice of word also rises to the level of “punishment” to me.

    Taken in total, I find the commentaries I explored to say that God did indeed “punish” Moses for striking the rock and Aaron for consenting to support Moses’s action.

    So, what does it says to me and my daily relationship with God’s will for my life. Their are levels of damage to my relationship with God based on my behavior — selfishness vs. selflessness. If I keep my eyes on my Savior, I will keep my closest relationship with my God and will not be confronted with His chastisemtn, condemnation, punishment or exclusion.

    Under any set of circumstances I do not believe I can lose my salvation.