TODAY’S READING: II SAMUEL 13-16
Amnon rapes Tamar; Absalom, Tamar’s brother, plots Amnon’s murder in revenge; Absalom flees to Geshur; Joab plots to have Absalom returned to Jerusalem; David restores Absalom; Absalom leads a revolt, seeking to overthrow his father; David flees in fear of his son.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
In today’s reading we find the continuation of the consequences of David’s sin that the Lord promised in chapter 12, verse 11, “Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house.”
A parent can experience no greater pain than to see his own sin repeated in the lives of his children. In chapter 13, David’s son, Amnon, commits sexual sin against his own half-sister Tamar. When David learned of Amnon’s sin he was extremely upset and angry (13:21). He did not, however, punish Amnon, (Lev. 20:17 says that Amnon’s punishment for raping Tamar should have been death!), probably because his own sin was so fresh in everyone’s mind, not the least of which, his own! Tamar’s full-brother, Absalom, was also “ticked,” and his anger was only intensified as he observed that his father refused to do anything about Amnon’s sin even “after two full years” (13:22-23). He plotted Amnon’s death, and had him killed at a family gathering. Absalom went into hiding for the next three years (13:38), and after overcoming the grief of Amnon’s death, David longed to see Absalom, his exasperated son.
Joab recognized that David longed to have Absalom back in Jerusalem, but David’s hands were tied because all of the people knew that Absalom was guilty of murder and should have been executed, but David realized that to bring him back without retribution wouldn’t be good for his “approval rating” in Israel. Joab devised a clever plot (much like God did through Nathan – II Sam. 12:1-7), to get David to act on the situation with his own son, by sending a woman to ask the king’s counsel on a situation similar to the one David faced. In offering her counsel, David is caught in the web of his own moral wisdom. He has been backed into a corner, and now must restore, with protection, the banished, fearful, and exasperated Absalom.
David gives orders to Joab (as weak as they were), to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem, even though Absalom remained unrepentant. It is a decision through which the consequences of David’s sin will bear even more fruit, and once again, just as God said, would reap evil out of his own house.
Though Absalom is brought back to Jerusalem, he is not permitted to come into his father’s presence, and another “two full years” had passed (14:28). It has now been seven years since Amnon raped Tamar, and five years since Absalom has seen his father. But during Absalom’s two years back in Jerusalem, while his animosity toward his father continued to grow, the hearts of the people of Israel were beginning to be turned toward Absalom. When David and Absalom were reunited, Absalom took the favor his father had extended to him, and used it as the platform to launch a national rebellion. David had spared his son’s life, but Absalom schemed his father’s death. Not enough can be said about the incredible danger of “provoking your children to wrath” (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21). Be careful parents!
In chapters 15 and 16, Absalom blatantly seeks to extend his following, openly criticizing his father’s leadership, and plotting to turn the affection of the people toward himself. It is interesting to note that while David was reigning in the height of his power, his enemies within his own kingdom (that were there all along) would not dare to oppose him. Absalom’s revolt, however, gave them what they thought was the opportunity to resist the king’s leadership and get away with it. What Absalom’s rebellion actually did for the kingdom was sift the true from the false. God says that the same thing happens in churches: “…When ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there MUST be heresies (the same word that was just translated “divisions” in the previous sentence) among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (I Cor. 11:18-19). Remember, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9).
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
Through DAVID’S RESTORATION OF HIS ESTRANGED SON – II Samuel 14:22 (II Cor. 5:19)
Through DAVID as he REBUKED HIS FOLLOWERS WHEN THEY WANTED TO EXECUTE HIS ENEMIES – II Samuel 16:10-11 (Luke 9:54-56)