The Sins of David's Sons
April 24 - Nº 114 2 Samuel 13
David begged God to forgive him for his sin with Bathsheba, and God did. But Nathan warned David that his sin would have consequences. He told the king that his family would have conflict and bloodshed. And it wasn’t long before this prophecy came true. Amnon was David’s oldest son. That meant that he was next in line to become the king. He had everything he wanted—except for one thing. He thought he was in love with his beautiful half-sister named Tamar. He yearned to be with her. In fact, he longed for her so much that he became depressed. When his cousin Jonadab asked him what was wrong, Amnon told him about his desire. Jonadab came up with a plan to lure Tamar into Amnon’s arms. He told Amnon, “Pretend you are very sick and that the only thing you can possibly eat is the special bread your sister sometimes bakes. Tell your servants to ask Tamar to bring you some of it.” Amnon liked the idea. Tamar baked the bread and brought it to her half-brother. When she came into the room, Amnon dismissed his servants. He grabbed Tamar and raped her. She begged him to stop, but he didn’t. Then, instead of loving her more, he began to hate her. He wanted nothing to do with her after that. When King David found out what had happened, he was extremely angry. However he did nothing to punish his oldest son (perhaps because of his own sexual guilt). But Absalom, Tamar’s full brother, hated Amnon for what he had done. He began plotting to get even. He vowed to kill Amnon. Two years later, after all his sheep were sheared, Absalom planned a big celebration with lots of food and drinks. He invited his father and all of his brothers and half-brothers. David decided that it wasn’t wise for all of them to be in one place at the same time, since enemies could seize the opportunity to murder the whole royal family. So he stayed back in Jerusalem. But he encouraged the others to attend. Before everyone arrived, Absalom secretly told his servants to keep an eye on Amnon. He said, “Wait until he has had plenty to drink, then kill him. Don’t be afraid. You won’t get in trouble because you are following my orders.” The servants obeyed their master. When the rest of the brothers saw what had just happened, they figured that Absalom was planning to murder them, too. They all jumped on their mules and fled. The news quickly reached David. He was incorrectly informed that Absalom had killed all of his brothers. David ripped his clothes and fell to the ground. Finally Jonadab arrived and reported that only Amnon had died. He told David that Absalom had been plotting this ever since Amnon had raped his sister Tamar. Absalom’s mother was the daughter of the king of Geshur (see 2 Samuel 3:3). Since he had relatives there, Absalom fled to Geshur and remained in hiding for three years.
Have you ever ended up in a place you knew you didn’t belong? When we find ourselves in situations that tempt us to sin, we must run—not stick around! David and Amnon and Absalom all allowed temptation to lure them further and further, until they found themselves caught in sinful circumstances with terrible consequences.