What’s influencing your Choices?

Earlier this week Laura and I had a good discussion on 2 Samuel 13. This chapter is a story about Tamar and Amnon, both children of David. Amnon was one of David’s sons and he was in love with his sister Tamar. In fact, it says he was so frustrated because of his feelings he made himself sick. His cousin Jonadab noticed his depression day after day until he finally confronted him. When Amnon told him his feelings toward his sister Jonadab gave him some advice.

Jonadab proceeded to tell Amnon how to get his father to bring his sister into his room by pretending to be ill and asking for Tamar to serve him. It was this plan that allowed Amnon to fulfill his lustful desires for his sister and once they were fulfilled he was filled with hate toward her.

There is much more to this story and I would encourage you to read it and ponder on what it says, because I think that there is a lot being revealed in this chapter about our human nature.

What I would like to focus on here is the impact that Jonadab had on his cousin, Amnon. The Bible does not talk directly about the intent of Jonadab’s advice to Amnon, but we can see the results. To me this is a pattern that I see so often at work, in the media, in movies, on television…just about everywhere I look.

I believe as individuals our flesh has desires that our society is telling us it is ok to nurture and develop, because our desires and needs are what define us. It is ok to have those desires and develop them because it is how we were created. Our society and culture has even become our personal Jonadab’s providing a subtle scheme to encourage us in our own fleshly cravings. We don’t need to look far to find the wrong type of encouragement. We find it everywhere…

There is a subtle message that comes through the gossip we participate in, the movies we watch, the TV we watch, the books and magazines we read, and the people we hang out with. It is message that comes at us from all angles feeding a message of entitlement that nourishes our willingness to use manipulation and deceit, and be justified in our actions.

Tamar actually tried to embolden Amnon to do the right thing. She told him that their father would not withhold her from him, but he needed to ask.

As followers of Christ Jesus we need to remember the same, that God does not want to withhold good things from his children.

Psalm 84:11, For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Romans 8:32, He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

The hard part is the messages that are being spoken to us on a daily basis that promotes us living our lives apart from God. The things we give our attention to tend to drive the desires we have, which ultimately produce bad behavior.

Galatians 5:19-2, Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…

His call on our lives should compel us to live apart from the world. To live in a way that brings Him honor and glory. When we do live for Him, His word tells us the fruit will be obvious, but that fruit does not come through our own fleshly ways. Jesus crucified the flesh so that we could learn to live differently.

Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,self-control…

 Galatians 5:24, Tells us that, “Christ crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

We need to be living our lives for the one that gave His life for us. We need to come to the same revelation that David did, that God is his Rock and his Fortress, and without Him he would perish.

Psalm 28:1, To You, O LORD, I call; My rock, do not be deaf to me, For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit.

 God is not deaf to us. He hears us and will respond, but we need to know Him. Many people I know will not answer a phone call from a blocked phone number or a number they do not know. They don’t want to be bothered by someone soliciting and figure if it is important they can listen to the message later. As followers of Christ we need to make sure that He knows our number and is familiar with it. We can only do that by knowing Him and spending time with Him in His word. We need to know Him and His ways.

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have
relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?

How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? [e]Selah.
But know that the Lord has 
set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.

 Tremble, and do not sin;

Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the Lord. 

Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”
Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.

 In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety

Through all of this I have to examine myself and ask, “How have I been participating in the ways of the world?”, and “What kind of worldly advice have I been giving?”, “Have I been a Jonadab to someone I know?”

What’s influencing your choices?


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