28 May 2017 Bible Reading
In our reading from John 17, today, you may take note that Jesus lifted up His eyes when He prayed. This is a posture that we don’t usually associate with prayer. A long time ago, someone taught us to bow our head and close our eyes. Let’s not confuse the customs and traditions of prayer with the essential elements of prayer — open your mind and practice to what the Bible says, not just what humans have told you.
2 Samuel 13:1-39
13 After this, Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 Amnon was so troubled that he became sick because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very subtle man. 4 He said to him, “Why, son of the king, are you so sad from day to day? Won’t you tell me?”
Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”
5 Jonadab said to him, “Lay down on your bed, and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.’”
6 So Amnon lay down and faked being sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”
7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was lying down. She took dough, and kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 She took the pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have all men leave me.” Then every man went out from him. 10 Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, that I may eat from your hand.” Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11 When she had brought them near to him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister!”
12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me! For no such thing ought to be done in Israel. Don’t you do this folly. 13 As for me, where would I carry my shame? And as for you, you will be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.”
14 However he would not listen to her voice; but being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her. 15 Then Amnon hated her with exceedingly great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone!”
16 She said to him, “Not so, because this great wrong in sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me!”
But he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his servant who ministered to him, and said, “Now put this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.”
18 She had a garment of various colors on her; for the king’s daughters who were virgins dressed in such robes. Then his servant brought her out and bolted the door after her. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her garment of various colors that was on her; and she laid her hand on her head, and went her way, crying aloud as she went. 20 Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.”
So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 But when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar. 23 After two full years, Absalom had sheep shearers in Baal Hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Absalom came to the king, and said, “See now, your servant has sheep shearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant.”
25 The king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you.” He pressed him; however he would not go, but blessed him.
26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.”
The king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”
27 But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28 Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “Mark now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine; and when I tell you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I commanded you? Be courageous, and be valiant!”
29 The servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man got up on his mule, and fled. 30 While they were on the way, the news came to David, saying, “Absalom has slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left!”
31 Then the king arose, and tore his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered, “Don’t let my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead; for by the appointment of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore don’t let my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead; for only Amnon is dead.” 34 But Absalom fled. The young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, many people were coming by way of the hillside behind him. 35 Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons are coming! It is as your servant said.” 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice, and wept. The king also and all his servants wept bitterly. 37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.
17 Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you; 2 even as you gave him authority over all flesh, he will give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ. 4 I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do. 5 Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed. 6 I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word. 7 Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are from you, 8 for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I don’t pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves. 14 I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 20 Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. 22 The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; 23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 Righteous Father, the world hasn’t known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
81 My soul faints for your salvation.
I hope in your word.
82 My eyes fail for your word.
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke.
I don’t forget your statutes.
84 How many are the days of your servant?
When will you execute judgment on those who persecute me?
85 The proud have dug pits for me,
contrary to your law.
86 All of your commandments are faithful.
They persecute me wrongfully.
87 They had almost wiped me from the earth,
but I didn’t forsake your precepts.
88 Preserve my life according to your loving kindness,
so I will obey the statutes of your mouth.
89 Yahweh, your word is settled in heaven forever.
90 Your faithfulness is to all generations.
You have established the earth, and it remains.
91 Your laws remain to this day,
for all things serve you.
92 Unless your law had been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for with them, you have revived me.
94 I am yours.
Save me, for I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked have waited for me, to destroy me.
I will consider your statutes.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commands are boundless.
6 By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for.
By the fear of Yahweh men depart from evil.
7 When a man’s ways please Yahweh,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.