Friday, 8 August 2014

TFTD - 03 August 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

03 August 2014

2 Samuel 20; 21
Jeremiah 24
Romans 12

"LIVE IN HARMONY WITH ONE ANOTHER"

Today we read that oft quoted and beautiful chapter 12 of Romans: it is such a contrast to the disharmony we also read today in 2 Samuel and the frictions between individuals in the final years of David’s reign. It demonstrates once again that the New Testament provides guidance for individuals and offers principles to personally live by for all those who decide to walk in the footsteps of Christ.

There is no such thing, nor ever has been, as a ‘Christian’ nation.  Oh yes, nations have seen themselves as such, but what does God see?  We read today Paul’s words, “repay no one evil for evil” [Romans 12:17] which is the very opposite to what we have read today in Samuel and, come to think of it, to relationships between most nations throughout history.  The United Nations have attempted the impossible in its 65+ year history.

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be conceited.  Repay no one evil for evil” [Romans 12:16-17] As we read such advice there can be a temptation to look at others and think how they fail to do this.  This is unproductive, we must look within our own hearts. Many situations surrounding the life of David illustrate the opposite, but not in David himself.  We must not confuse this with his zeal to serve the Lord.  Those who became enemies of the Lord became David’s enemies.  In his relationship with individuals he often displayed mercy and forgiveness.  He appointed Amasa, who had been captain of Absalom’s army, as captain of his army, but Amasa came to an unworthy end at the hands of Joab, but we will read soon of Joab’s traumatic end.

The lesson we perceive as we read the Old Testament is that, as Jesus said, “all who take the sword perish by the sword” [Matthew 26:52].  We can trace so many occasions when God sets up evil people to deal with each other.  With those who love the Lord, the opposite occurs.  In Romans we read, “if possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all … never avenge yourselves …” [Romans 12:18]
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- DC


Thought for the Day

03 August 2014

"Only where there is the love of the Truth can there be the promise of life. How great and how perilous is that which is committed to our trust! There is no room for trifling with the truth, or trying to be different, or allowing feelings to lead us; in handling the Truth there is no place for sentimentalism, or self-assertion, or love of novelty; there is only room for reverence and intellectual humility."

- L.G. Sargent
The Love of the Truth (1951)