Highlights:

Consequences of sin begin (II Sam. 12:9-12); Amnon rapes his half-sister which leads to murder; David and Absalom reconcile (14:28-33); Absalom's treachery.

Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant (II Sam. 13:28).

Absalom was planning the murder of his own brother. Of course, most would say that Amnon deserved it for raping their sister, Tamar. Absalom had waited until the opportune time to exact his revenge on Amnon.

In this whole series of events, so many wrongs happened within Israel's royal family. Amnon had lustful feelings for his half-sister and then he took her. Amnon was not punished for his crime. Absalom took justice into his own hands in having his brother killed.

Of course, this was not to be the end of these terrible events. The murder of Amnon placed a terrible strain on Absalom's relationship with David his father. It even led to Absalom attempting to steal his father's throne. This eventually caused a war between father and son which ended in death.

The choices made by almost everyone involved in this horrible situation were not led by God, to say the least. These decisions set in motion a chain of events that were nearly impossible to stop. Sin will often do that. It has a way of getting out of control. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful (Rom. 7:13).

This is why sin is so dangerous. It only took the sin of one to lead to the downfall of mankind. Through Adam's sin, we all have inherited separation from God. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Rom. 5:12).

Thanks be to God that Jesus died and gave us the ability to gain victory over sin. By surrendering our lives to Christ, we gain that victory. Through Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, He has the power to deliver us out of the bondage of sin.For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (Rom. 5:19).

The best course of action to take in life is to avoid falling into sin's traps. There are many laid out there. We see evidence of some in the lives of these two brothers, Absalom and Amnon. Though they might seem very different, they are virtually the same. Yes, they might have had different reasons for their sins, but this matters little in life's eternal destination.

Don't think for a second there is a good excuse to sin. There is not. God will not even listen to the pleading of our case. God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to lead us away from sin. Let's follow Jesus and commit ourselves to the path of right living.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him (I John 4:9).

Thought for Today:

Sin always brings bitter rewards, but God's purpose never fails.

Christ Revealed:

: Through David's restoration of Absalom (II Sam. 14:33). If an earthly father's compassion reconciles him to his estranged son, how much more will our loving Heavenly Father reconcile us to Himself when we confess our sins. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing (counting, crediting) their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:19).

Word Studies:

13:4 lean, depressed, looking so wretched; 13:5 make thyself sick, pretend to be sick; 14:2 feign, pretend; 14:4 did obeisance, showed reverence, honor; 14:7 quench my coal which is left, destroy the last of my family; 14:11 suffer, allow; 14:21 done this thing, granted your request; 14:26 polled his head, cut his hair.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Staff: Beth Carlton • International Broadcasts: sponsored by Carl E. Miller • Country: Belarus (10 million) in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Belarussian and Russian • Religious freedom • 48% Orthodox; 22% Roman Catholic; 1.1% Jewish; 1% Protestant; .2% Muslim; 27.7% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to enable you to endure temptation (James 1:12).

Optional Reading: Acts 16

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26