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Verse of the Day

Can We Finally Break the Silence Around Tamar?

Telling the uncomfortable story of “desolate” Tamar positions us to show a kind of compassion King David didn’t.

For the past year, I’ve been teaching the Book of Samuel to a group of women at my church. We go through it chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and I challenge them to think critically about what they are reading. The Book of Samuel is filled with stories that ask us to grapple with the sovereignty of God and the severity of sin. But perhaps none is so jarring as the story of Tamar and Amnon in 2 Samuel 13.

I’m sure you know it. Amnon, one of David’s sons, violates his own sister and then casts her aside. When her brother Absalom learns what Amnon has done, he tells her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this thing to heart.” Absalom’s shushing and dismissing are certainly vile, but it is David’s reaction that stuns: “When King David heard all this, he was furious” (vv. 20–21).

Furious. That’s it. No public denouncement of Amnon, no vindication of Tamar. No justice, no words of comfort or kindness for his daughter, just impotent, mute anger. David is silent. He takes no action against Amnon, opening the door for Absalom to have his brother murdered in revenge. And Tamar is left desolate.

Why does David’s anger translate into silence and inaction? Because David sees in his sons an amplification of his own grievous sins. David sacrificed Bathsheba to his lust and then murdered her husband to cover his tracks. Now his two sons fulfill God’s prophecy of judgment by committing heightened versions of his own sins within their own family.

David’s guilt renders him silent. Tamar’s plea to Amnon as he overpowers her rings in the ears of the reader: As for me, where could I carry my ...

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Did God Endow All His Creatures with an Appreciation of Beauty?

When it seems the whole world suffers, animals are still offering praise.

There’s no shortage of ugliness in our world. A quick scan of today’s environmental headlines reveals any number of horrors: burnt-out Californian forests, flooded Midwestern plains. It’s hard to pause to appreciate the wildflowers in bloom when dead whales wash ashore with plastic-engorged stomachs on beaches all over the world.

Perhaps it helps to know that when we fail to see the beauty around us, other creatures don’t. Some scientists now believe that animals appreciate beauty for its own sake.

Usually, the first (and most common) purpose ascribed to beauty is its functionality. Beauty can alert us to healthfulness or the presence of fertility, a useful and vital role in producing healthy offspring. In this scientific view, beauty serves no other purpose than as a genetic signpost.

But another potential exists. Some scientists recently proposed that beauty in the natural world might sometimes exist just for aesthetic purposes. In his book The Evolution of Beauty, ornithologist Richard Prum suggests that some animals may appreciate beauty outside of any reproductive purposes and may choose mates based on an aesthetic sense alone, a phenomenon known as sexual selection. He cites the laborious process a male bowerbird undertakes when building his bower, or nest. “The bower serves no physical purpose other than as a location where courtship takes place,” he says, indicating that this artistic demonstration is meant solely for the female bowerbird’s aesthetic enjoyment.

Jeff Schloss, a professor of biology at Westmont College, said in an interview that Prum’s theories have further inflamed an “ongoing debate” in the scientific world. Schloss, who studies the evolution ...

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May 30
Thursday 7:00 PM
The association of Bible study and prayer is an important one. Christians do not merely study the Bible as an academic disciple, but with the desire to know God better. Therefore, they frequently pray that God will give them understanding of the passage being studied.
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May
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May 31
Friday 7:30 PM
Jun
06
June 06
Thursday 7:00 PM
The association of Bible study and prayer is an important one. Christians do not merely study the Bible as an academic disciple, but with the desire to know God better. Therefore, they frequently pray that God will give them understanding of the passage being studied.
Westside
Jun
07
June 07
Friday 7:30 PM
Jun
13
June 13
Thursday 7:00 PM
The association of Bible study and prayer is an important one. Christians do not merely study the Bible as an academic disciple, but with the desire to know God better. Therefore, they frequently pray that God will give them understanding of the passage being studied.
Westside
Booker Goes Big for Abortion: 2020 Candidate Announces 'White House Office of Reproductive Freedom'

Democrats are doubling down on their efforts to keep abortion access front-and-center after numerous states like Georgia and Alabama recently passed laws to restrict abortion.

The post Booker Goes Big for Abortion: 2020 Candidate Announces 'White House Office of Reproductive Freedom' appeared first on Worthy Christian News.

Iran building new crossing on Syria border that would let it smuggle weapons, oil, experts say

New satellite images indicate Iran is building a border crossing at the Syrian-Iraqi border, which would open up a coveted land route from Iran to Lebanon, according to Western intelligence sources.

The post Iran building new crossing on Syria border that would let it smuggle weapons, oil, experts say appeared first on Worthy Christian News.