What did Jesus mean when He said we must “eat His flesh and drink His blood?” Why is it the path to true happiness, peace, satisfaction, and joy? Have you been settling, instead, for something that ends up like the yum-yums the White Witch offered Edmund in Narnia? Has it left you with nothing but a craving for more of the same?
Also, as David’s story continues to unfold in 2 Samuel, we see the foolishness of thinking we can sin in secret and that our sins won’t affect anyone but us. David had set in motion laws of sowing and reaping and the sad results were happening before his eyes in the lives of his own children. How can this drive us to our knees to pray for God’s wisdom in our own parenting?
2 Samuel 13 & 14
Are You Hungry for Him or Settling for Yum-Yums?
The Bread of Life
48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
What does it mean to “eat His flesh and drink His blood?” In verse 56 Jesus said the one who does so “abides” in Him.
John 15, also, talks about “abiding in Him.”
John 15.9-11 says, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
We “eat His flesh and drink His blood” when we allow the “Word of God,” to become as much a part of our being as the food we eat. Food is digested and broken down in our bodies and literally becomes a part of us. So should the Word of God.
Is it truly a part of who you are or just some nice ideas that you consider if you feel like it or if it “seems right to you” as our Proverbs passage today says? The Word of God is not a buffet where we can pick and choose what seems palatable to us or makes us happy.
Our “happiness” is not God’s first concern, rather it’s our holiness! In fact, the “happiness” the world offers is like the yum-yums the White Witch offered Edmund in Narnia, only an illusion crafted by the deceiver himself.
As today’s Proverbs reading says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Prov. 16.25).
When we seek happiness in disobedience, the end is death, beginning with our intimacy with God. The next thing we know the yum-yums we desired have vanished only to be replaced by a craving for something that brings no satisfaction.
True happiness, peace and satisfaction is found by “abiding in Him,” in “keeping the commandments,” in “eating His flesh and drinking His blood,” so that His “joy may remain in [us], and that [our] joy may be full.”
Today’s Other Readings:
2 Samuel 13 & 14:
God had told David in 2 Samuel 2.11, “‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house …”
David’s sins were adultery and murder. Now his son Ammon has raped his own half-sister and her brother, Absalom, has murdered Ammon and fled for fear.
38 So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 The heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead (2 Sam. 13.38-39).
But even though David longed to see his son, he refused to go to him. Only when one of his men interceded did he allow Absalom to return to Jerusalem and, even then, refused to see him for two more years.
I have to wonder what was going through David’s mind. How he must have reflected back on the consequences of his sin and its effect on his family. Perhaps the idea of seeing Absalom was too much to bear.
We think we can sin in secret and our sins don’t affect anyone but us, but we never sin in isolation. First, we set in motion the laws of sowing and reaping, and second, we are discipling our children and others by our lives and behavior. And our children, in particular, are much more likely to do what we “do” than what we “say.”
While none of us will parent or walk any part of the Christian life perfectly, this should encourage us to pray for His wisdom and to ask God to give us the desire to do what pleases Him.
Sadly, Absalom’s story doesn’t have a happy ending for, while his father eventually forgave him, more anger and bitterness had settled into the son’s heart, as we’ll see in tomorrow’s reading.
Shouting, Singing, and Saying
The mode and means of worship are as varied as the personalities, emotions, and circumstances of the worshipers. Here the psalmist instructs us to “shout to the Lord,” to “sing out,” and to “say to God.” All are biblical forms of worship when offered from the heart. In other places we are instructed to “clap,” to “bow down,” and to “make a joyful noise.” God is pleased by our exuberant, as well as, our quiet worship.
The Way Which Seems Right
Verse 25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
Proverbs 14.12 says the same thing. When God says something in Scripture we need to take it seriously, but when God repeats something, it means pay careful attention. He wants to be sure we get it.
We can easily be self-deluded by what seems right to us. So we must be careful to examine our decisions and attitudes carefully in light of Scripture. We must also make ourselves accountable to other godly believers who will help to hold us accountable, by giving them permission to let us know when they think we are getting off track in any way.
Remember, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, deceitful are the kisses of an enemy!” (Prov. 27.6).
What About You? Questions to Ponder or Journal:
What yum-yums have you been seeking?
Is there “a way which seems right to you” that you need to forsake?
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