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nature's calamity May 7 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 2Samuel 5:13-16; 1Chronicles 14:3-7; 1Chronicles 3:4b-9; 2Samuel 13:1-15:6

Chaos and Calamity—Some Causes

This is tornado season, and we will soon enter hurricane season. These storms are like vicious monsters. They tear apart homes and families, cause massive amounts of flooding, and leave everything in pieces and tangled masses. Earthquakes do similar damage. Something else also brings chaos and calamity and it is spelled s-i-n. Sin is doing wrong or failing to do right according to God’s standards. The devil (our adversary, Satan) loves to create chaos by getting Christians to sin. Today we want to observe the chaos sin causes, which will serve as a warning to us.

Although atheists and agnostics seem to get away with sin (at least for awhile), this is not true for those who have a personal relationship with God (more...). He wants us to be like him, and he wants to bless us, but sin often stands in the way. Even after forgiveness, sin must still be punished as a just payment and as an example and warning to others.

King David had an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. When she became pregnant, he tried to cover it up by bringing her husband home from the battle front to give a report of the battle and to “visit” his wife. David's ploy did not work, however; Uriah was a very loyal and dedicated soldier; he would not spend the night with his wife when Israel's armies were spending the night in the fields defending the kingdom. David then devised a plan to send Uriah back to the front and then have the troops withdraw from him so he would be killed. His plan worked, but God was displeased.

After the child was born, Nathan the prophet pointed out his sin. David genuinely repented, but Nathan still prophesied judgment upon his household (2Samuel 12:10-14). The fulfillment of the prophecies then began—David’s family and the entire kingdom experienced chaos.

The first fulfillment of the prophecy Nathan spoke against David for his sin was the death of the illegitimate child of King David and Bathsheba (2Samuel 12:15-19). This caused sorrow and heartache.

In today's Bible reading we learn about a second calamity, which begins with polygamy. David acquires many wives and concubines (secondary wives) when he comes to reign in Jerusalem. These may be political alliances, but polygamy is against God’s law for Israelite kings (Deuteronomy 17:17). It also sets a bad example for his son Solomon, who is destined to be the next king.

The second calamity which happens in David's family is the rape of his daughter, Tamar, by David's eldest son, her half brother, Amnon (2Samuel 13:1-20). This is forbidden in God’s moral law (Leviticus 18:9), but Amnon still wants her and plots to take her by force. Amnon’s actions cause a third and fourth calamity.

Since Amnon raped Absalom's sister, Absalom arranges for Amnon to be murdered. Amnon is killed and there is great mourning. This leads to another calamity—the exile of David's beloved son, Absalom. He is responsible for the murder of Amnon, so in fear he flees and is exiled for three years. Even when he is allowed to come back, still King David refuses to see his favorite son for awhile. Perhaps it is this offense which causes Absalom to stir up more trouble for David.

The fifth calamity which causes chaos is Absalom’s staged conspiracy against his own father to take over the kingdom (2Samuel 15:1-13).

More calamities are yet to come for David. They will be seen in our next few lessons.

Sin exacts a heavy price upon our lives, and not only on our lives but also on others around us. A business man may be guilty of accepting bribes for favors. Will he be the only one affected in his organization? No. A pastor of a church has a secret relationship with his secretary. Will he be the only one affected? No. A wife has a secret relationship with a male co-worker. Will her family be affected? Yes. Sin causes chaos and calamity. We can choose to sin, but we cannot choose the consequences.

Is there chaos in our lives? Could it be caused by sin? Not all chaos and calamity is caused by sin, of course. Like the weather, sometimes there are unfortunate occurrences which cause great damage. But for those occasions when sin is the root of the problem, we should recognize that when we are forgiven the effects of sin do not automatically disappear. We need to pray for God's mercy in his judgment and his help to endure the consequences. We need to learn lessons from seeing the results of sin in our lives and in others. We need to determine to live holy lives, pleasing to our Lord. If we live right, we will be rewarded by God's peace and blessings, instead of experiencing chaos and calamity.

Lessons to Live By

  • Is our life in chaos? Is it because of sin? God can help us find a way out or at least lessen the effects of it. He can give us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...)
  • God wants us to be like him, and he wants to bless us, but sin often stands in the way. Even after forgiveness, sin must still be punished as a just payment and as an example and warning to others.
  • Sin exacts a heavy price upon our lives, and not only on our lives but also on others around us.
  • We can choose to sin, but we cannot choose the consequences.
  • If we live right, we will be rewarded by God's peace and blessings, instead of experiencing chaos and calamity.

Focus Verse

Numbers 32:23b (NIV) “you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”

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A Look Ahead: David has experienced much chaos and calamity for his sin. This leaves him Weak and subject to Betrayal by his favorite son. What should we do if we are betrayed? Find out in our Next Lesson.

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