Today’s reading is tough one to get through, but we see the beginning of the prophesy of Nathan start to play out by David’s sons causing complete chaos amongst the family. First we meet Amnon, he is a son of David’s from his wife Ahinoam. I learned that at this point David had eight wives, so it’s no surprise that things were going to get messy. Scripture tells us Amnon “fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.” (v.1) Tamar is Amnon’s half sister. She is the full sister to Absalom, who we just meet as well, both of them were from his wife, Maacah. Scripture goes on to tells us he became obsessed with Tamar. This is our first sign that he was not actually in love with her. It became an obsession because it was someone he could not have. We then meet Jonadab, who is David’s brother, who encourages and helps Amnon basically plot to have his way with Tamar. Unfortunately it worked. Amnon pretends to be sick and asks his dad, King David, to have Tamar come and bake bread for him to eat, David does this, but sets up his own daughter. When Tamar gets there and bakes his bread, Amnon orders everyone to leave and he gets aggressive with Tamar, Scripture tells us she tried to fight him, but he didn’t listen and he was obviously stronger and he ends up raping her. Sign number two it wasn’t love, but it was lust. After raping her we see the final sign that it was lust not love because afterwards, it says he hated her, that he hated her more than he ever loved her and he goes on to have her kicked out of his house. Her life is now ruined because of him. You see because he threw her out, and there were no witnesses to what happened since he kicked everyone else out, it looked as though she had “made a shameful prostitution to him” (application) and because she was no longer a virgin, she could not be given in marriage. My heart is just broken for this woman. But, the story doesn’t end there. Absalom, her full brother, sees her and he knows what happened, what Amnon did. He takes her into his house where she now would have to live since she couldn’t get married. Obviously Absalom was filled with anger and it says when King David found out he was furious. Two years later scripture tells us that Absalom invites everyone to his sheepshearing day, this was a big day for him as he took the coats off his sheep, through King David, also his dad, but David refuses to go, but does allow him to take Amnon with him. Well, maybe you can guess, but Absalom tells his men to kill Amnon. And so they do. Remember David’s sin of murder? And then Nathan telling him it was going to happen amongst his family, here is the beginning of his consequences. After killing Amnon, Absalom flees for three years and scripture tells us King David longed to see Absalom.
Let’s go back to how David reacted to Amnon and Tamar in our verse for today. What really gets me here is that is says King David was furious, but he did nothing! He doesn’t even confront his son about what just happened to his daughter! I loved how pastor Skip Heitzip put this into perspective for us in his message in Through The Word. That David probably didn’t say anything because he also committed sexual sin, that he felt he had no right to confront him. He went on to say that this was wrong because he was actually the best person to talk to him since he had made a mistake similar and the importance of teaching our childen (or any littles that you have in your life!) what’s right and how to avoid sin from our own pasts. And our application says, “while David was unsurpassed as a king and military leader, he lacked skill and sensitivity as a husband and father.” I’d say so!
Is there a past sin that you regret, one that you wouldn’t want to talk about or try to teach a lesson from, because it may feel like you’re not one to talk because you aren’t a good example having committed the sin or one similar, yourself? How would it look if you switched your perspective to the above and decided to use that as a way to show the consequences that happened to you? What could you share that might help them realize the wrong in it? Write out what you could teach someone based on your past sin and the consequences that came from it.
Heavenly Father, we know that we need the hard stories just as much as the good stories in order to learn. Today was a hard message, we see David’s life start to turn towards the message you gave Nathan to give to David. Help us to use our pasts as a way to help others. Lord we don’t want to take what you’ve taught us and keep that to ourselves, we want to use our mistakes to help others avoid making them themselves. Help us to have the courage to share and explain how you showed up in the midst of our sin so we can encourage and teach others through it. Guide and encourage us with everyone you put in our path to be a light for you. It’s in your faithful name we pray, AMEN!