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Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Consequences

 I think I am once again going to use both the OT and Gospel readings this week and look at Consequences. The OT reading continues with the consequences of David's sexual abuse of Bathsheba, while the Gospel reading has the consequences of Jesus feeding the multitude, which has this eventual result: On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” .... From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

In 2 Samuel over the last few weeks, we have watched David’s crimes unfold. Last week, we encountered the consequences—rebuke from a prophet and a curse on his family to last for generations. “The sword shall never depart from your house” (2 Samuel 12:10) meant that his family would begin tearing itself apart from that point forward. This week, we see that curse beginning to come to fruition in the rebellion, usurpation of the throne, and then the death of Absalom. David would eventually die as a feeble, shivering, and broken man. Ultimately, after Solomon was able to consolidate power during his reign, Israel itself would be divided into two nations in the coming generation. David’s crime spree we saw two weeks ago wasn’t the only cause of the dissolution of the unified nation. But last week's reading and this week's story indicate it as a significant contributor.

5 The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders. 6 David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7 There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men. 8 The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword. 9 Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.

15 And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.

31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My lord the king, hear the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today by delivering you from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.” 33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[a] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

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