Thursday, 29 January 2015

My Talk

I have a talk in the School tonight, from the platform.  It is a difficult subject... I practised it with my helper, who has very serious health issues of her own.    Will be glad when its done and dusted.

Here it is, and, hopefully, as delivered in the School, it will have a lot more conversational quality than it appears to have on the page.  Bear in mind, we only have 5 minutes.  And its not a subject I often find myself conversing about anyway!

AMNON - Theme: Selfish erotic love is ruinous.
it - 1 p.96
Study 28 : Conversational quality

Setting:   Encouraging a Bible student to bring her teenage daughter to the meetings.

Sue.  Hello, how lovely to see you at the Sunday meeting.  Did you enjoy it?

Helper. I did, yes. I hope to come next Sunday.  I would love to try and get my daughter to come along, and I was wondering if you have any meetings just for teenagers.  I know she would have been bored if she had come today.

Sue. Yes, I can see why you say that. There is so much dazzling entertainment in the world now that just sitting being taught about the Bible could seem boring. But no, we don't have any special or separate meetings for different age groups, we are all taught together.

H.  That makes me feel a bit depressed - how do I get through to her?

Sue.  If it was up to you or me, it would be almost impossible.  But never under-estimate the power of Jehovah's word to reach the heart. And she might be surprised at how relevant the Bible is to current concerns.    For example, at our Thursday meeting we are going to be discussing the Biblical character of Amnon. And the theme of our discussion is:  "Selfish erotic love is ruinous".    I don't think she would find that a boring subject!

H.  No, she wouldn't, but what she might feel is that the Bible is all about stopping us from doing what we want.

Sue.  In one sense she would be right, in that it is trying to protect us from doing what our selfish imperfect natures want - and damaging both ourselves and others.   And the tragic story of Amnon and his sister is a good example of why we need that protection.    It starts very simply, at 2 Samuel 13, like this:  "Now David’s son Abʹsa·lom had a beautiful sister named Taʹmar, and David’s son Amʹnon fell in love with her."
Tamar was Amnon's half sister and the love he should have had for her was a brotherly fraternal love, an unselfish love.  However, what he felt for her was erotic love, a passionate sexual desire. And he nurtured this wrong desire, with terrible consequences.

H. So what happened?

Sue.  He talks to a cousin called Jehonadab, who gives him this advice.  Its here at verse 5 in the same chapter.  Would you read it, and tell me if you think this is good advice.

H. Reads 2 Samuel 13:5. "Je·honʹa·dab replied to him: “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please, let my sister Taʹmar come and serve me some food. If she prepares the food given to the sick before my eyes, I will eat it from her hand.’”
That is very bad advice, I think, as the last thing he should do is try to be alone with his sister in the bedroom! if he has those feelings.

Sue. Yes, it was the worst advice. And, sadly, Amnon took it.  And his poor unsuspecting sister, who clearly loved her brother unselfishly went to help when she thought he was sick and - well lets read what happens next:  "When she brought them for him to eat, he grabbed her and said: “Come, lie down with me, my sister.”  But she said to him: “No, my brother! Do not humiliate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing.... But he refused to listen to her, and he overpowered her and humiliated her by raping her." (verses 11-14)

H.  He must have felt very sorry and guilty afterwards.

Sue. He certainly knew he had done wrong, but the account suggests that he blamed Tamar, rather than himself, because it goes on to say (reads verse 15): "Then Amʹnon began hating her with a very intense hatred, so that his hatred for her became greater than the love he had felt for her."
So his sister suffered greatly because of his selfish desire for her.  And it clearly didn't make him happy either.

H. But what about him? Did he get away with it? 

Sue.   Well Tamar had a full brother Absalom. And you can imagine how angry he felt about what Amnon had done, he hated him for it.  If you read on in that chapter, you will see that, two years later at a festival, Absalom had Amnon killed.   So his selfish desire led to tragedy - for him, and for those around him.   And, as we all live in a world that tries to persuade us that if it feels good we should do it, can't we all learn from this whatever age we are?

H. Yes, its something my daughter does need to hear.  I will try to persuade her to come with me next time.

Kathy and I did some route calls on Tuesday - hers and mine. We didn't find many at home, but it was a good morning, and she came back to the flat for tea and biscuits.  And The Captain is planning lots of trips and outings for us.

No comments:

Post a Comment