October 31, 2010

Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Week Five Lesson

What a difficult week this was as we watched David tumble straight into a pit of sin and disobedience. I don’t know about you, but the first few readings were very difficult for me. How hard to watch such a good and godly man fall so far so fast. But as we will see in our lesson, it was not something that happened over night.

Below please find the lesson for Week Five and the first half of the homework for Week Six.

There is so much rich material in Week Six, that I am splitting the homework into two weeks. So we will meet here again next week for the second half of the homework. Hope that works with your schedules!!

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This Week’s Memory Verse: …acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. 1 Chronicles 28:9

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for revealing powerful Truths, sometimes very hard Truths, each and every week. Be with me this week as I end my study. Father, give me an abundance of Your wisdom and knowledge, give me discernment to find the treasures hidden in these last chapters. I started this study wondering what You meant when You said David was “a man after Your own heart.”

Week after week, You have given me glimpses and windows into David’s heart. I have seen David at his best and at his worst. Help me to learn from both. When I step out of line due to sin and disobedience, humble my heart and ready me to receive Your discipline. Give me the strength to endure the consequences.

Father, breathe fresh wind and fresh fire into my dry and parched heart. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit. Empower me to live out what I have learned. Give me insight so I can do all that You call me to do. I desire for my life to be one long, obedient response to Your call. Let Your love and Your Word shape my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sadly, this week begins the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy spoken in Second Samuel Chapter 12. The Lord had already taken the life of David’s son for his sin with Bathsheba. But God also promised the He would bring calamity t0 David and his household (2 Samuel 12:10-11).

To fully grasp the truths in this chapter, let’s review the members of David’s family. We learned earlier that David disobeyed God’s law by taking many wives. One of his wives gave birth to a son named Amnon, the heir to the throne. One of his other wives gave birth to a son, Absalom, and a daughter, Tamar.

1. Read 2 Samuel Chapter 13:1-22.

a. Share what you learn about each of these children.

o Amnon

o Tamar

o Absalom

b. Who is Jonadab? How is he related to Amnon?

c. How did Amnon’s behavior mirror David’s actions with Bathsheba?

What a tragic and devastating event. Amnon’s lust destroyed this beautiful young virgin’s life in a single moment. Tamar pled with him to stop, but Scripture says “he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.” Such relationships were forbidden in Israel and Amnon knew it!

2. How do Absalom’s words to Tamar in verse 20 make you feel? How do you think they made Tamar feel?

3. Read the last few words of verse 20. What word does the author use to describe how Amnon left Tamar?

This comes from the Hebrew word “shamem.” It means to deflower, to devastate, to ravage. “Deflower,” means to destroy the innocence, integrity, and beauty of a woman. Amnon stole something from Tamar that she would never recoup. Absalom’s response did nothing to help move Tamar to a place of healing. In fact, his words hurt and heaped more shame and grief upon her.

Now we turn to another disappointing day in David’s life. He learned that his son, the heir to his throne, raped his daughter. Scripture tells us in verse 21 that he was “furious.” But what did he do about it? Absolutely nothing. There is no record that he took any disciplinary or punitive action against Amnon. Sadly, David’s abdication of his responsibilities will eventually lead to greater trouble for David in the next chapter. David may have been effective and powerful as a king, but not so much as a father.

4. Why do you think David did not discipline Amnon?

Two years have passed, and the consequences of David’s sin continue.

5. What do you think has been going on in Absalom’s heart during this time? Who was he watching and what was he wanting?

6. Read 2 Samuel 13:23-38. Describe Absalom’s plan.

7. Share the parallels between Absalom’s actions against his brother and David’s actions against Uriah (find 3 to 4 similarities)?

The time of sheep-shearing was a festive occasion and a time for family celebrations. Absalom planned a party and invited his father to come. David refused. Absalom requested Amnon’s presence instead.

8. What happened at this family “celebration?”

David had now lost both of his oldest living sons. And once again, we find him failing to hold his son accountable for what he did. For years there seemed to be no communication between the two. Yet, Scripture tells us in verse 39 David longed to go to Absalom. Joab, David’s loyal servant, had enough of this and finally intervened to reconcile the two.

9. Read 2 Samuel 14:1-33. Why do you think Joab concocted such an elaborate scheme?

10. David finally agreed for Absalom to come home on one condition. State his condition? (verse 24)

Sadly, too much time had passed for there to be reconciliation and restoration. Oh, that David would have stepped up to the plate years before and disciplined his sons. When Amnon raped Tamar, David did nothing. When Absalom killed Amnon, David did nothing. When Absalom finally came back home, David did nothing. He never held his children accountable. He never disciplined them with truth and in love. It seemed that at this meeting, their hearts were cold. They reunited…did what they were “supposed” to do…but did not reconcile.

11. Do you have someone in your life who has hurt you or whom you have hurt? Have you resisted reconciliation? If so, why? Or have you experienced painful consequences because of the lack of reconciliation? If yes, what are they?

12. Has God used this story to speak to you? If He has, will you take steps today to begin reconciliation? Your first step is to pray for God to open a door…to create an opportunity for a first step. Your next step is when God opens that door, walk through it in obedience…a phone call, a note, an apology, a listening ear, a tender heart. Whatever it looks like you can be assured of God’s promise that blessings will follow your obedience.


Second Samuel Chapter 15 in the NIV begins, “In the course of time…”

13. 2 Samuel 15:1-12.

a. What do Absalom’s actions reveal about his heart?

b. Absalom asked his father’s permission to go to Hebron. What was his ultimate plan? (verses 10-11).

c. Was his conspiracy successful? (verse 12)

Absalom spent years seething with bitterness and revenge. He waited two years for David to punish Amnon. He spent three years hiding from his father after killing Amnon. Once back in Jerusalem, he spent two years waiting for his father to acknowledge him and another four years plotting revenge. Friends, he allowed unforgiveness and hatred to steal eleven years of his life.

14. Read Luke 6:37. If you struggle with any kind of bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness, please let this Truth soak deep into your heart.

Nathan’s prophecy in 2 Samuel 12:10-12 came true. There was now division in David’s house.

15. Read verses 13-14. Does it surprise you that David, the one who defeated Goliath and conquered the Philistines, the one hand picked by God to be Israel’s king, so easily ran away from his throne?

As you read the next verses, remember the Mount of Olives is where Jesus went to pray on the night of His betrayal (Matthew 26:30, 39) and where Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9,12)

16. Read 2 Samuel 15:30-31. How does the author describe David?

Not only had Absalom rebelled, but then David learned that one of his most trusted advisors, Ahithophel, had joined Absalom’s cause.

David’s actions signified deep sorrow and despair. The covering of the head in David’s time was a sign of sorrow, and being barefoot was a sign of mourning and shame.

It was on the Mount of Olives that David humbled himself before God and prayed.

17. Read Psalm 3. This is the prayer David prayed on the Mount of Olives.

a. Examine the words of this prayer and share the state of David’s heart and mind.

b. What verbs stand out to you as you read David’s psalm?

Friends, we have many more issues to discuss to finish out the lesson, so please remember to return here next week for the second half of Week Six’s homework questions. See you then!

God bless you and know I will be praying for you.

Comments

  1. ising4him says:

    Wendy,

    One thing that God has shown me through this study is that no matter how far I drift away from the Lord, I'm never so far that I can't turn around to find the Lord waiting for me to turn things around. I may have to suffer consequences, but at least I know I can be at peace and have the joy of the Lord in my life. There's more, but I'll end with this for now.

    Dale

  2. Terri Bhat says:

    This Bible study has really increased my understanding…I am going to be sad next week when it ends, though I DO have your Proverbs study waiting for me after that.

    I think David left Jerusalem to save it, not out of fear for himself.

    It is so heartbreaking when our children take on our sins and mistakes. I am having trouble with my older son right now (and sense more is on the way!) He has suffered the consequences of shoplifting (!), but he still treats it like a joke, which worries me.

    Poor David! I think if he had put God into the center of his family life like he did with his battles and civic duties, he might have been spared the loss of three children. That is the lesson I have learned from this story, and sadly, the life lesson I am facing now.

    Terri

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wendy I finished up my questions yesterday and I just sat and wept. How hard it was to see such a God pleasing man go so far into devastation. It did help me not be so hard on myself and where I had failed my kids. But I also asked God to please break any curse on my children or grandchildren that came about because of my sins or my husbands. I know he is a good God and always ready to restore our lives when we have failed him. I hope God is revealing great truths to all of you girls that are in this study. Prayers and blessings to you all. Kathy Mills

  4. Wendy, I have to say that after this week's lesson, I realize how important these Psalms are. Every Psalm David wrote was a specific prayer and a specific time in his life that he was going through something. My eyes have really been opened through these past weeks with the Scriptures. And i feel like my heart has gotten more sensitive to the Lord in how easy it is to drift away by one tiny thought-word-action can have great consequences. I'm thoroughly blessed by this study! I too am going to be sad when it ends…will there be another study?
    Renate

  5. Anonymous says:

    This whole idea of reconciliation is something I have given much thought about as a family member has been very hurtful and done some extremely unforgivable actions to many members of my family. After reading a book by Beth Moore, I realized that I somehow need to forgive this person and pray for this person, but I do feel that at this stage this person still continues to do hurtful things that it is best that s/he is not a part of my or my family's life right now. Does God really expect us to have reconciliation with anyone who has done horrible things and continues to do horrible things? I understand it's important to pray for these people and reach out to these people, but what if they continue to wear you down and they don't seem to be getting nicer, what are we supposed to do as Children of God. I can forgive, but I still can't always forget and I most certainly don't want to continue to let the person bring bad into my life.

  6. Wendy,
    I have so enjoyed this Bible study. It has really made me examine my own heart. David's life has gone from total reliance on God to sin, and what seems like an indifference to his children's behavior, and an unforgiving attitude toward his children and then when circumstances get worse he is back to relying on God. I think this is how I sometimes live my life. When things are going good in my life, I don't put God first in my life as much, but then when things turn bad or life gets difficult, I turn back to God and rely on him to get me through.

  7. Wendy Blight says:

    Anonymous,

    What a great question you asked about reconciling with someone who repeatedly hurts us and one I have wrestled with myself.

    The answer is not easy. I think the most important thing in the eyes of God is that we have forgiven them for the pain and hurt they have caused and continue to cause us because it is living with unforgiveness that is the sin.

    But God does not expect us to live in a relationship where we are continually berated, abused, and hurt. I think it is healthy to keep as much distance as possible from those who repeatedly hurt us. When we do have to spend time with such people, we should speak to them and be as kind as possible without subjecting ourselves to further hurt and pain. We should refrain from hurtful, sarcastic comments and should ask the Lord for strength to hold our tongue not matter what comes out of theirs.

    I hope this helps with your situation.

  8. mommyofmyne says:

    It is so important to keep God as the center of our lives, when we forget to ask him or refuse to stay true to Him bad things happen. Our foundations are important as well…when we plan something are we being honest, using integrity and making wise decisions? That base for your project, life, dream, is so key to have built on the foundations of the Lord instead of deciet, manipulations, and outright selfishness. It may not seem so obvious in our lives as it does reading about David…but why do you persue what you do? For what reasons do you try to better yourself? I love the eyeopening experiences David sends us thru in our own lives thru his…I am forever grateful for a God that loves and forgives as mine does.

  9. I am here from Proverbs 31. Your post there really resonated with me. I'm a lawyer too. I see that your current study is almost finished, but I'd love to participate in future Bible studies that you do.
    hadams@smithlaw.com

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