Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bitter Harvest

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Tuesday, May 28, 2013:  II Samuel 13:1-39

21 But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 And Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon neither good nor bad. For Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.  II Samuel 13:21-22 (NKJV)

The principle of sowing and reaping is throughout Scripture.  We love to think of this in positive terms.  When we do good or give, it will always comes back to us multiplied.  Luke 6:38 says it this way:  "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”  Galatians 6:7 states it simply: "for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." 

This is a principle that cuts both ways.  If you we sow good we will be blessed, but the other is also true.  If we sow bad seeds, we will reap a bitter harvest.  "For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." (Gal. 6:8)

This principle is so clearly seen in two chapters from the life of David.  In II Samuel 11, David sows seeds that come up for him in II Samuel 13.

In II Samuel 11, we read about David's sin of adultery with Bathsheba.  To compound the situation, David seeks to cover up his failure with a slick strategy to deceive Uriah, Bathsheba's husband.  When this deception fails, David engineers Uriah's death in battle.  He sows three seeds:  sexual misconduct, deception, and murder.

In II Samuel 13, David's harvest begins to come in.  It is one of the ugliest stories in Scripture.  One of David's sons, Amnon, falls head-over-heels in love with his half-sister Tamar.  Amnon ends up raping Tamar.  No sooner has he done the foul deed than his love for Tamar turns into hatred.  Tamar's full brother, Absalom, learns of this sordid event, and bides his time.  Two years later, he murders Amnon in revenge for violating his sister, Tamar.  In all of this, David seems to be something of a passive observer.  Half the time, he can't figure out what has happened.  Once he is told that all his sons are dead; then he is told they are alive.  All he can do is become "very angry" (II Sam. 13:21).

It is amazingly true how much the seeds and the deeds of II Samuel 11 are repeated in II Samuel 13.  David seems powerless to stop the cycle of sin that has been let loose in his family.  It is clear that David knows he has lost his MORAL AUTHORITY.  I am sure that when he heard of Amnon's sin, he remembered his own battles with lust and how he failed. 

What you sow you will reap.  But, in Christ, there is good news.  There is a law higher than the law of sin and death.  It is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:2).  There is forgiveness and restoration in Christ.  Even though we have sown such bad seeds in the past, there can be forgiveness in Jesus.  No doubt, there are many times that God demands that we walk through the penalties that rightfully come our way.  But, grace and mercy ultimately triumph over judgment (James 2:13).

Even though David suffered through a bitter harvest, yet the grace of God was not finally removed from his life.  Because of that, we can say with him, "I will bless the Lord at all times" (Ps. 34:1).

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