21 When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar. Two years later, when Absalom’s sheep shearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons to come there. Absalom went to the king and said . . . ‘‘Will the king and his attendants please join me?’’ . . . Although Absalom urged him, he still refused to go but gave him his blessing. Then Absalom said, ‘‘ . . . please let my brother Amnon come with us.’’ The king asked him, ‘’Why should he go with you?’’ But Absalom urged him, so he sent with him Amnon and the rest of the king’s sons.
Absalom ordered his men, ‘‘Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. . .’’ So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered . . . the king’s sons came in, wailing loudly. The king too, and all his attendants wept very bitterly. Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son. After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. And King David longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death.~2 Samuel 13:21-39.
One of the consequences of David’s sin was that God declared to David that,’’the sword will never depart from your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’’ God’s word never returns empty to Him, so the sword took a toll as judgment continued to unfold. Amnon raped and maltreated his sister Tamar and Absalom ordered Amnon to be killed in revenge. David’s family was in turmoil.
It is interesting that David satisfied his needs the wrong way when he ordered Bathsheba to be brought to the palace for intimacy. We see the same thing happening when Amnon cunningly maneuvered for his sister Tamar to be brought to his house with the ulterior motive of forcing himself on her. Bathsheba was arguably ‘’defenseless’’ against the powerful king and so was Tamar helpless against her strong brother Amnon. Uriah was ordered to be murdered by David and Amnon was ordered to be murdered by Absalom. The similarities are rather chilling. The sword took a toll as divine judgment unfolded in David’s household.
What I find interesting is the rather lax way in which King David handled issues in his family.
David was furious when Amnon raped Tamar but, beyond that, he did nothing to discipline him. David also gave in when Absalom insisted that the king should allow his brothers to come and celebrate at his house, especially Amnon. The king questioned Absalom’s motives but finally gave in. It was almost as if David was a pushover when it came to disciplining his sons!
Sin has a way of weakening our moral ability to deal rightfully with situations that require discipline. One could arguably say that David’s household knew about his murder and adultery which made it difficult for David to discipline his boys. Not only did the sword take a toll as judgment unfolded on David, but sin also took a toll on his ability to handle the same issues when it occured in his household. May the Lord help us to be mindful of the myriad ways in which our actions can come back to bite us. May grace help us to stand. We need grace!
Prayer: Father, I am grateful for the lessons we learn from David’s life. Please help me not to overlook them but to digest and hold on to them so I can make wise choices at all times. Amen.