“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV).
A war once broke out and a king lost his throne because someone thought he had found love. The story goes, “In the course of time, “Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. (2 Samuel 13: 1-2). Ammon pretending to be ill convinced his father King David to send Tamar to take care of him. Once alone together he raped her. But quickly after he “hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her” (vv 15). Not long a war broke out led by Tamar’s brother, Absalom, who sought to avenge, where King David would eventually be overthrown (2 Sam 15).
Ancient Greeks knew of six different types of love. There was Philia which meant friendship between equals. Storge meant the type of affection as seen between parents and children. Philautia meant self-love. Xenia was guest-friendship like being hospitable. Then there was Éros which means "love, mostly of the sexual passion". Finally, Agápe which means “the unconditional love of God for man and of man for a good God.”
In the above story, Amnon was certainly taken up with Eros, and once his sexual passion was fulfilled there was no love anymore for Tamar. On the contrary we later find that even though Absalom would later rebel and overthrew his father, he still loved him. King David directed his General Joab to “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake” (2 Sam 18:5). After learning he had been killed in battle, “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” (vv 33).
David’s love for his son was Agape love, which is unconcerned with the self and concerned with the greatest good of another. Agape love isn’t born just out of emotions, feelings, familiarity, or attraction, but from the will and as a choice. It is a choice, a deliberate striving for another’s highest good, and is demonstrated through action. God set the standard for Agape love in sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners. This is the type of love which should all emulate in our relations.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, creator of heaven and earth, as your love for me unconditional, I pray, just like David, I may share and live it in my personal relations.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!