Todays reading: 2 Samuel 13 and Psalms 45
Have you had a chance to open your Bible and read 2 Samuel 13 yet? If you have not had the chance, go ahead, open your Bible, and give it a read…
Well, how do you feel? Feel like you just turned on your TV and watched some show that you know is not appropriate?? When I began reading this chapter, I thought, “Seriously?? I do not want to have to write about this!!!” It is eye-opening to read about such sinful, horrible acts that took place back in David’s day and to realize that not much has changed in todays culture. Think Tamar would have joined in the #metoo movement of today???
Here is a quick synopsis of who’s who in this 13th chapter:
Amnon – the firstborn son of King David and Ahinoam
Absalom – son of King David and Princess Maakah, of Geshur
Tamar – daughter of King David and Princess Maakah, of Geshur
Jonadab – son of King David’s brother, Shimeah
Both Absalom and Tamar were very attractive and had luxurious hair. Absalom was the most handsome man in all of Israel. Tamar was a very beautiful girl who remained a virgin. Amnon was in love with his half-sister, Tamar, lust raged in him. However, he could not get near her. Jonadab, son of King David’s brother devised a scheme and asked Amnon to lie down in his bed, pretending to be sick. When king David visited him, he was to request the king to send Tamar to cook food for him. The plan worked and the king did so. When Tamar gave him the cooked food, he caught hold of her. Tamar pleaded with him, saying “No, do not force me!” Amnon gave no attention to her words. Using his physical strength, he subdued her and raped her, against her wish. After his lust was gratified, he hated her more than he loved her earlier. He then insisted that she get out of his sight and leave immediately. Tamar begged again that he not to do this to her, but Amnon would not listen to her words. She was dragged out of his chamber by means of force and the door was shut.
When Tamar’s brother Absalom learned about the disgrace that was brought upon his sister, he waited for the right opportunity to take revenge. He pacified Tamar and asked her to stay calm. King David learned about this incident and did not take any action or issue any punishment.
After two years, when Amnon was drunk, Absalom killed him. He then fled to Geshur, his mother’s place and stayed for three years.
King David mourned due to this sad incident, the death of Amnon and now, because of the absence of Absalom.
After forcing myself to spend some time on this chapter, I have a few thoughts…
In the chapters leading up to this, we read of David being such a Godly man. He upheld King Saul and Jonathan and treated them with kindness, even though he had reason to act otherwise. But then, we see his humanness evolve in chapter 12. David marred the image of God’s love by taking Bathsheba, another man’s wife. Then the whole thing snowballed out of control as his whole family was caught up in the injustice. In the previous chapter, 2 Samuel 12:11 says, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight.’” This is the beginning of the consequences that will be upon David’s family for the sin he committed.
Whose advice do you take and listen to?? In this text, we see that Amnon listens to Jonadab in verse 5 and takes his advice to pretend he is sick in bed. Jonadab comes up with a scheme so that Amnon can fulfill his lusts for his sister, Tamar. People can lead us into trouble. Before taking the advice from a person, we need to closely watch the personality and character of the person we are seeking advice from. It is so important to keep wise counsel. Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers”
I remember when my kids were in middle school and we were just beginning to really deal with peer pressure and using the phrase, “if someone asked you to jump off a building, would you do it?” We tried to bring reality to a situation and to help them stop and think before they acted. I do not think that Amnon stopped to think about what he was about to do. He acted on his lust. If we stop for a moment and whisper a prayer for guidance, our steps may change. Imagine if David would not have given in to his temptation of Bathsheba. This might have changed the whole direction of his family and they would not have had to endure the consequences of his sin. God forgives our sin, but we still have to deal with the consequences.
This Word of God is here in explicit detail to teach us that sin has consequences. Yes, you can be forgiven for the act of your sin, but you will face the consequences of the sin committed. The great news of the gospel is that we do not need to suffer the wrath of God for our sin. Jesus Christ has already paid the penalty for all of us. 1 Corinthians 15:3 says, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”. We have the choice to receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life.