2 Samuel 13-15
Click here for today’s reading
Please forgive my delay in getting this posted today. I KNOW it sounds impossible but I have been running a high fever since Saturday, am on antibiotics for a sinus infection and praying this does not go into bronchitis or pneumonia, have conjunctivitis (so I can barely read anything)…so again I apologize for the delay but at least you know why.
HEAVENS ~~~ WHAT a mess we have, right off the bat!!
We read in 1 Chronicles 3 a list of David’s wives and children:
The following are the sons born to him in Hebron (remember he was anointed King in Hebron over Judah first). The sons are listed in order of their birth:
Amnon whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel (Amnon was 1st born so would have been the likely son to “naturally” become King after David;)
The second, Daniel, son of Abigail of Carmel (remember her husband was Nabal..ummm the idiot sort of);
The third, Absalom, son of Maacah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
The fourth, Adonijah, the son of Haggith;
The fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
The sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah;
The 7th-10th were: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon all whose mother was Bathsheba;
The next nine sons were: Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhis, Elishama, Eliada, and another Eliphelet;
And Tamar was their sister.
You will notice that Michal, Saul’s daughter is not in this list of wives; possibly because she ended up hating David and they had no children (2 Samuel 6:23.)
KEEP in MIND >>> David had 8 wives (counting Michal), untold concubines, and 19 sons and 1 daughter that we know about. BUT >>>> God’s WORD clearly said in Deuteronomy 17:17:
“He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.”
We begin today’s reading with Amnon WANTING Tamar, his half sister. He asks the advice of Jonadab, his cousin and friend, and sometimes we neither get or give the best advice in our families. Once Amnon raped his sister, he throws her away like trash. She begs him not to toss her out since she was no longer a virgin. In Jewish tradition, if the man threw her out that meant she had made a shameful proposition to him (no witnesses would come forward) and she would never be able to marry!! Talk about a self righteous man!! Amnon’s “true love” was merely lust and then he hated HER!! I have to tell you I just wanted to reach through the bible and slap him!!! He obviously had NO integrity!!
And what did David do… NOTHING!!! NOTHING!! I mean he became angry at him, but did absolutely nothing to punish his son nor did he do anything to protect his daughter.
Absalom, David’s third son, reached out to protect Tamar and she lived in her brother’s house “a desolate woman.” SAD!!
Two years later, we see that Absalom had been planning for a time when he could have revenge on his brother for raping his sister, and Amnon is killed. LOOK at the rumors that start here…word gets back to David that ALL of his sons are dead!!! However, they all return home except Absalom. Absalom flees to his grandfather’s house in Geshur where he was welcomed and stayed for 3 years. Interestingly we are told that “the spirit of the king longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death.”
In case you want a refresher on Joab you might want to look back a 2 Samuel 3. Although he was a great friend of David, he killed Abner. Abner killed one of Joab’s brother’s in self defense. Abner was in Hebron, a City of Refuge, so was innocent. DAVID KNEW what Joab did but was more concerned about his kingship at the moment than the sin that had been committed (easy to ignore sin around us when it seems to be “working for us.”)
But it takes the “intervention” of Joab using a “wise woman” to get Absalom and David back together. We are told Absalom lived in Jerusalem 2 years after his return WITHOUT SEEING HIS FATHER’S FACE!! He had three sons and a daughter named Tamar (who he named for his sister.) So five years have passed since Absalom had planned and had Amnon killed. Absalom asked for Joab to meet him twice so he could see his father, David, BUT …. NO JOAB. Was Joab jealous of Absalom, did he just think David wouldn’t see him, was he trying to start something with this situation??? So Absalom sets some of his father’s fields on fire…..which places him before David. Absalom bowed before his father and David kissed his son. BUT David said NOTHING to him about killing his brother, wanting to come to him long before now, or about burning some of his fields/crops!! Such indecisiveness, we will come to read…will be the undoing of David. It is a reminder that when we ignore sin in our own lives or in the lives of others we are responsible for …. we will experience greater pain than if we dealt with it immediately. OUCH!!!!
We read how handsome and charismatic Absalom was, and he did have a great heart for his sister Tamar. We are told in 2 Sam 14:26 that whenever he would cut his hair he would WEIGH IT… and it usually weighed about 5 POUNDS. He cut it because he HAD to …. it was too heavy on his head!! (NOW….here is sit with very little hair and would LOVE to have had THAT experience!! <<smile>>>) At any rate… you might want to remember about Absalom’s hair!!! Possibly if David had intervened earlier with Absalom and Amnon things would have gone very differently. However, David didn’t and here we are …. Absalom did not hesitate to use the past, the resentment, the anger, the bitterness all against his father. Unfortunately, it will not only impact his father…..it will impact the entire world!!! I am sure Absalom was still angry at his father for doing nothing to Amnon, for not protecting and providing for Tamar, and for allowing him to be away from him for 3 years, plus not seeing him for another 2 years while he was in the same city. When Absalom did return he was ready to steal his father’s rule of the land. David also did nothing to stop him, correct him, or confront him. You KNOW as much as these people talked David HAD to be aware of all Absalom was doing at the gates (the place where the people of authority gathered.) Absalom was able to make the people believe David was not interested in what was happening to them, their was no judge to plead their case…..BUT if HE were KING…HE would FIX all this. Absalom’s political strategy was to steal the hearts of the people with his good looks, grand entrances, and apparent concern for justice. Unfortunately we will read that many were fooled and deceived by Absalom and he became an evil ruler. WE all could learn a little something from Absalom and what he stood for politically and morally….not everything is as it appears to be. Take a look at our political leaders today…they may look good, smell good, say the right things, have a great education, say all the right things….BUT it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to KNOW what these leaders REALLY STAND for… read what they have voted for in the past… read what they stand for (abortion, euthanasia, military strategy, what things are being cut from the budget that should not be and what is being kept that could easily be cut.) We can not depend on others to KNOW all the facts nor can we simply rely on appearances and this story is a perfect example of “such a time as this.”
David was not perfect and we are now painfully aware of many things he did very wrong. We can also see how his inaction toward his children lead to a divided nation. However, David repented and constantly turned to God. This is why he was called a man after God’s own heart. Like many great leaders in the Bible, and in our world today, the leaders may be great in certain areas but fail deeply with their own families. David had been a great shepherd, a great warrior, and a man who for the most part REALLY cared about God’s ways. However, he had his weaknesses….his MANY wives and concubines, a mistress, the need to cover up his affair with deceit and the murder of Uriah, involving innocent people in his cover up, and now his “hands off approach” with his children.
Thank you all for your patience. And I have to thank God for giving me the strength and the eyes (literally and the eyes of my heart) so I could read this today and place an entry. HALLELUJAH!!
I would love to hear your thoughts about today. Did God whisper anything specific in your ear, in your heart, from our reading?
Sharing HIS unconditional love