CURVATURE OF THE SOUL
MARTIN LUTHER USED THE PHRASE “CURVATURE OF THE SOUL”
THIS BENT WE HAVE TOWARD REJECTING THE GOSPEL
FORGETTING HOW SINFUL WE ARE OURSELVES
AND HOW DESPERATE FOR GRACE
SO THAT OUR LIVES ARE FILLED WITH “UNGRACE”
HEBREWS WARNS AGAINST “A ROOT OF BITTERNESS”
WHEN YOU GIVE INTO HATE
IT FESTERS AND GROWS
AND TWISTS YOUR SOUL,
TIM KELLER SAYS THAT THE WORD FOR
HAS THE SAME ORIGIN AS
MEANING “TO TWIST”
JUST AS BRANCHES ARE TWISTED TO MAKE A WREATH
SO OUR SOULS CAN BE TWISTED BY WRATH
LIKEWISE THE WORD
DESCRIBES A GHOST THAT WAS SO TWISTED
BY BITTERNESS IN LIFE
THAT IN THE AFTERLIFE HE CONTINUES HIS HELLISH EXISTENCE
HAUNTING AND HATING
WHEN JUDAH, TWISTED WITH HATE FOR HIS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW TAMAR,
DISCOVERED SHE HAD COMMITTED ADULTERY
HE COMMANDED SHE BE BURNED TO DEATH
HOSEA PROPHESIED THAT A DAY WAS COMING WHEN
THAT DOUBLE STANDARD WOULD NOT BE TOLERATED, FOR HE SAID
JESUS FULFILLED THAT WHEN THE PHARISEES
BROUGHT A WOMAN (AND ONLY THE WOMAN) CAUGHT IN ADULTERY
HE WOULD NOT ALLOW HER ACCUSERS TO STONE HER
YET AMAZINGLY, OUR LORD CARES NOT ONLY ABOUT THE OPPRESSED
BUT THE OPPRESSER
HE WANTED TO BREAK THROUGH TO JUDAH
SO THAT HE WOULD NOT BE ETERNALLY TWISTED
BUT SET FREE
This is such an eye-opening passage and sermon from Keller. I have thought about the women participating in this blog who have been deeply hurt by someone. I think about the individuals who have brought great pain into the life of someone I love. I tend to fester and hate. My curvature of the soul leads me to begin to characterize that person as an evil person, throwing darts in them as Judah did with Tamar. That is not to say that there was not real sin involved (as there was in Tamar) but that we can augment it, stereotyping, and refusing to look at the sin in ourselves. We must guard our hearts when we have been hurt and not give the devil a foothold.
Oh Father, may I and each woman doing this study be open to Your reproval, and to turn from the darkness to the light, “so that what is lame may not be put our of joint but rather healed.” (Hebrews 12:13) Help our souls to untwist and glorify You
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Most of us, like Judah, have hated, have experienced this twisting of our soul.
Can you share a time when God “broke through” to help you recognize your own wrong?
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY: THE RESCUE OF JUDAH
(Sing this as a prayer)
(This is a continuation of last week — so if you just joined us, read last week’s blog on Tamar.)
3. Meditate on Hebrews 12:14-15
A. What command are we given?
B. What warning? (Find warnings within the warning!)
Keller traces a phrase “Haker na” or “Recognize” When Judah and his brothers threw Joseph in the pit, they brought his coat to Jacob, saying “Haker na?” — Do you recognize this? When Judah accused Tamar of adultery, she sent him his staff, and asked, “Haker na?” — Do you recognize this?
4. Review Genesis 38:24-26
A. How did Judah respond in verse 26?
B. This statement is both surprising and profound. What are some of the applications that you see in this statement?
C. What change do you see in Judah that indicated the untwisting of his soul? (Look carefully and give phrases.)
Joseph becomes a Prime Minister in Egypt and the brothers do not know it. They travel to Egypt to ask for food in a time of barrenness, and Joseph tests their hearts to see if there has been a change. He tricks them by putting a silver cup in Benjamin’s sack of grain. He tells them he will let them go, but will keep Benjamin. (Benjamin is the only other son of Rachel, Joseph’s full brother.)
5. Read Genesis 44:16-34
Find phrases that show that Judah’s soul has been untwisted — that he now has a heart of compassion.
Thursday-Friday: Listen again to the following and then answer the questions. It’s free. It looks like you will pay, but you won’t have to.
HERE’S THE LINK TO THE SERMON ON TAMAR: LINK
6. Why did Hosea 4:14 say that God would not punish the women caught in adultery? What does this tell you?
7. Keller said that what Judah was saying was not that Tamar was innocent, but that he was more guilty. What thoughts
do you have about this?
8. Keller said that Judah needed to believe bad things about Tamar. He was continually “sticking pins” in her in his mind. Have you done that with anyone? Has the Lord broken through to you?
9. How does Keller (as only Keller can do) have Judah point to the “ultimate” Judah?
10. What is your take-a-way and why?