Psalm 20

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Assurance of God’s Saving Work

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

20 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.

Psalm 19

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Perfect Revelation of the Lord

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

19 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line[a] has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true andrighteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 19:4 Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read sound; Targum reads business.

Psalm 18

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

18 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;[a]
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
    the foundations also of the mountains trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,[b]
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
    thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
    thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
    hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
    and the Most High uttered his voice,
    hailstones and coals of fire.
14 And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
    he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
    and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
    at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

16 He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his rules[c] were before me,
    and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23 I was blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from my guilt.
24 So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26 with the purified you show yourself pure;
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27 For you save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28 For it is you who light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
29 For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30 This God—his way is perfect;[d]
    the word of the Lord proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God, but the Lord?
    And who is a rock, except our God?—
32 the God who equipped me with strength
    and made my way blameless.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your right hand supported me,
    and your gentleness made me great.
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet did not slip.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
    and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
    they fell under my feet.
39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,[e]
    and those who hated me I destroyed.
41 They cried for help, but there was none to save;
    they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
    I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

43 You delivered me from strife with the people;
    you made me the head of the nations;
    people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
    foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart
    and came trembling out of their fortresses.

46 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47 the God who gave me vengeance
    and subdued peoples under me,
48 who rescued me from my enemies;
    yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
    you delivered me from the man of violence.

49 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
    and sing to your name.
50 Great salvation he brings to his king,
    and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
    to David and his offspring forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 18:4 Or terrified me
  2. Psalm 18:8 Or in his wrath
  3. Psalm 18:22 Or just decrees
  4. Psalm 18:30 Or blameless
  5. Psalm 18:40 Or You gave me my enemies’ necks

Breastfeeding shouldn’t be sexualized, critics fallaciously insist

Note the presupposition in this line of reasoning.

The preconceived notion in this argument goes something like: breastfeeding is a special, intimate moment of bonding between mother and child. (That, it certainly is). But it further assumes that it must remain only between mother and child while it need not be confined to that dynamic.

The Bible is the final authority on all matters. Since it never states nor implies that breastfeeding is limited to a mother nourishing her child, then breastfeeding is not limited to a mother nourishing her child.

We must rely not on our feelings or fallen sense of propriety but on God’s word alone.

Some might counter by saying not all unhealthy or imprudent behaviors are specifically prohibited in the Bible, and may adduce the consumption of other bodily fluids, as a counterexample. Scripture never specifically condemns such “perversions” but that doesn’t make it okay to drink blood, for example.

My response to this counterargument lies in the uniqueness of breast milk. It is the only bodily fluid designed with the sole intent of nurturing another human being. Even some experts who find the idea of ABF repugnant admit the harmlessness of adults consuming the milk of a healthy female,[1] therefore the mental block people have against ANRs is neither medical nor scientific, it’s psychological, and Christ has set us free from all psychological taboos.

“Childhood innocence and adult sexuality should be kept separate,” argued one woman. I agree, that’s why when I have kids, I would love them to innocently enjoy cartoons while my wife and I innocently participate in adult entertainment in a locked bedroom.

I categorically reject the notion that Couples Nursing somehow crosses the boundaries of normalcy or the ‘creepy pedophile’ line, because I firmly believe God intentionally created breastfeeding to also have a sexual component. First, multiple Bible verses affirm female breasts to be sex organs.[2][3][4][5] Additionally, medical experts report that nipples are erogenous zones [6][7and many sexually active nursing mothers report spraying milk while experiencing orgasm. One recounted how embarrassed she felt because she nearly hosed him down during sex.

We can surely state without a doubt that there’s a connection between breastfeeding and sexual pleasure, and God says in His word that breasts are secondary sex organs. All evidence considered, an unbiased person would admit that breastfeeding itself can be erotic. I’ve heard of women who felt so guilty for having an orgasm while breastfeeding their babies that they completely quit nursing. “With [my husband],” admitted one woman,” I don’t have to pretend that bfing isn’t erotic.”

All arguments that breastfeeding shouldn’t be sexualized can’t withstand biblical scrutiny. Christian ANR critics often raise objections on the basis of biblical gender roles, hierarchies, and reverence, all of which I’ve rebbutted in my posts A Biblical defense of ANRs and Am I twisting Scripture to justify my kinky fetish?
Rather than violating the divine order, doing things considered taboo, foolish, childish, irreverent and too vulnerable can on the contrary be the best way to vindicate it, just like a Man who is also the God of the universe voluntarily placed Himself under a curse and let His own creatures mock and strip and murder Him in order to redeem some of lost humanity. There was a time Saul of Tarsus considered this so taboo and offensive he would have arrested or killed you if you dared preach it to him.

If we want to argue using similar logic, then we must also insist that the mouth ought not be sexualized. We sometimes kiss our children with it.
Our arms can’t be sexualized either. We hold and hug babies with them.

What about cartoons? And other animated entertainment? Those were all originally meant for children. Does that mean adults can’t and haven’t adapted them for more grown-up use? See a list of the highest rated cartoons for teens and adults here. And how about adult coloring books which CNN reports are “all the rage right now [August 2017]?”

Because something was primarily intended for childhood consumption doesn’t mean it can find no audience among the adult population, and given a spin that totally differs from the usage of its original demographic. With the hubby, it’s a totally different dynamic.


References
1. The newest, hottest workout recovery beverage: Human breast milk, Washington Post

2. See Proverbs 5:19: “a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts drench you at all times; be led astray always in her love.”

3. Ezekiel 23:3: “who acted like prostitutes in Egypt, behaving promiscuously in their youth. Their breasts were fondled there, and their virgin nipples caressed.”

4. Ezekiel 23:8: “She didn’t give up her promiscuity that began in Egypt, when men slept with her in her youth, caressed her virgin nipples, and poured out their lust on her.”

5. Ezekiel 23:21: “So you revisited the indecency of your youth, when the Egyptians caressed your nipples to enjoy your youthful breasts.”

6. Women’s clitoris, vagina and cervix mapped on the sensory cortex: fMRI evidence, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

7. Female hot spots: extragenital erogenous zones, Research Gate

David mourns Absalom’s death

New Living Translation (NLT)

Absalom’s Defeat and Death

18 David now mustered the men who were with him and appointed generals and captains[a] to lead them. He sent the troops out in three groups, placing one group under Joab, one under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and one under Ittai, the man from Gath. The king told his troops, “I am going out with you.”

But his men objected strongly. “You must not go,” they urged. “If we have to turn and run—and even if half of us die—it will make no difference to Absalom’s troops; they will be looking only for you. You are worth 10,000 of us,[b] and it is better that you stay here in the town and send help if we need it.”

“If you think that’s the best plan, I’ll do it,” the king answered. So he stood alongside the gate of the town as all the troops marched out in groups of hundreds and of thousands.

And the king gave this command to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom.” And all the troops heard the king give this order to his commanders.

So the battle began in the forest of Ephraim,and the Israelite troops were beaten back by David’s men. There was a great slaughter that day, and 20,000 men laid down their lives. The battle raged all across the countryside, and more men died because of the forest than were killed by the sword.

During the battle, Absalom happened to come upon some of David’s men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair[c] got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air. 10 One of David’s men saw what had happened and told Joab, “I saw Absalom dangling from a great tree.”

11 “What?” Joab demanded. “You saw him there and didn’t kill him? I would have rewarded you with ten pieces of silver[d] and a hero’s belt!”

12 “I would not kill the king’s son for even a thousand pieces of silver,[e]” the man replied to Joab. “We all heard the king say to you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake, please spare young Absalom.’ 13 And if I had betrayed the king by killing his son—and the king would certainly find out who did it—you yourself would be the first to abandon me.”

14 “Enough of this nonsense,” Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom’s heart as he dangled, still alive, in the great tree. 15 Ten of Joab’s young armor bearers then surrounded Absalom and killed him.

16 Then Joab blew the ram’s horn, and his men returned from chasing the army of Israel. 17 They threw Absalom’s body into a deep pit in the forest and piled a great heap of stones over it. And all Israel fled to their homes.

18 During his lifetime, Absalom had built a monument to himself in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to carry on my name.” He named the monument after himself, and it is known as Absalom’s Monument to this day.

David Mourns Absalom’s Death

19 Then Zadok’s son Ahimaaz said, “Let me run to the king with the good news that the Lord has rescued him from his enemies.”

20 “No,” Joab told him, “it wouldn’t be good news to the king that his son is dead. You can be my messenger another time, but not today.”

21 Then Joab said to a man from Ethiopia,[f] “Go tell the king what you have seen.” The man bowed and ran off.

22 But Ahimaaz continued to plead with Joab, “Whatever happens, please let me go, too.”

“Why should you go, my son?” Joab replied. “There will be no reward for your news.”

23 “Yes, but let me go anyway,” he begged.

Joab finally said, “All right, go ahead.” So Ahimaaz took the less demanding route by way of the plain and ran to Mahanaim ahead of the Ethiopian.

24 While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates of the town, the watchman climbed to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked, he saw a lone man running toward them. 25 He shouted the news down to David, and the king replied, “If he is alone, he has news.”

As the messenger came closer, 26 the watchman saw another man running toward them. He shouted down, “Here comes another one!”

The king replied, “He also will have news.”

27 “The first man runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok,” the watchman said.

“He is a good man and comes with good news,” the king replied.

28 Then Ahimaaz cried out to the king, “Everything is all right!” He bowed before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise to the Lord your God, who has handed over the rebels who dared to stand against my lord the king.”

29 “What about young Absalom?” the king demanded. “Is he all right?”

Ahimaaz replied, “When Joab told me to come, there was a lot of commotion. But I didn’t know what was happening.”

30 “Wait here,” the king told him. So Ahimaaz stepped aside.

31 Then the man from Ethiopia arrived and said, “I have good news for my lord the king. Today the Lord has rescued you from all those who rebelled against you.”

32 “What about young Absalom?” the king demanded. “Is he all right?”

And the Ethiopian replied, “May all of your enemies, my lord the king, both now and in the future, share the fate of that young man!”

33 [g]The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.”

Joab Rebukes the King

19 [a]Word soon reached Joab that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom. As all the people heard of the king’s deep grief for his son, the joy of that day’s victory was turned into deep sadness. They crept back into the town that day as though they were ashamed and had deserted in battle. The king covered his face with his hands and kept on crying, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Footnotes:

  1. 18:1 Hebrew appointed commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds.
  2. 18:3 As in two Hebrew manuscripts and some Greek and Latin manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts read Now there are 10,000 like us.
  3. 18:9 Hebrew his head.
  4. 18:11 Hebrew 10 [shekels] of silver, about 4 ounces or 114 grams in weight.
  5. 18:12 Hebrew 1,000 [shekels] of silver, about 25 pounds or 11.4 kilograms in weight.
  6. 18:21 Hebrew from Cush; similarly in 18:23, 31, 32.
  7. 18:33 Verse 18:33 is numbered 19:1 in Hebrew text.
  8. [Chapter 19 superscript a] 19:1 Verses 19:1-43 are numbered 19:2-44 in Hebrew text.