April 15

Read 2 Samuel 13 -- 14

In Today's Reading:

Rape, incest, and murder occur amidst David's children l Amnon rapes Tamar l Absalom murders his older brother Amnon l Absalom flees to Geshur in Syria l Joab arranges for Absalom's return l After five years, Absalom, with an arrogant, shameless, and defiant attitude, demands that Joab arrange to have the king see him, saying: If there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me (2 Samuel 14:32).

Verse for Today:

Absalom fled. . . . And David mourned for his son every day (2 Samuel 13:37).

Absalom's sister Tamar was the beautiful daughter of David by a wife named Maacah the daughter of Talmai King of Geshur (2 Samuel 3:3). King David's oldest son Amnon was born in Hebron to Ahinoam of Jezreel. Amnon was about 20 years of age when he pretended to be sick and asked his father David to send his half-sister Tamar to prepare a meal for him (1 Samuel 25:43; 2 Samuel 3:2:6-7; 1 Chronicles 3:1).

When Tamar brought Amnon food, he took hold of her, and said [to] her, Come lie with me, my sister. And she answered him, [No], my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not [commit] this folly (disgraceful outrage)! And I, [how could I rid myself of] my shame? . . . and as for [you], [you shall] be as one of the fools in Israel (2 Samuel 13:11-13). But Amnon refused to be stopped and, being stronger than she, [ruthlessly raped her]. Then Amnon hated her exceedingly. . . . And Amnon said [to] her, Arise, be gone (13:14-15). After his brief moment of lustful gratification, he forced her out of his home and locked the door, and Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colors (a symbol of virginity) . . . and went on crying. . . . So Tamar remained desolate (heartbroken and alone) in her brother Absalom's house (13:19-20).

When David learned of Amnon's deception and wicked sin against his daughter, he was very [angry] (but did nothing). And Absalom . . . hated Amnon [for having raped his sister] (13:21-22). However, Amnon was David's firstborn son and heir to the throne, so David took no action, even though the Law of God demanded the death sentence for rape (Leviticus 20:17). Perhaps David felt the guilt of his own past sin of adultery and refrained from judging his son.

After two full years . . . Absalom invited all the king's sons to a celebration party at which he arranged the murder of his older half-brother Amnon to avenge the rape of his sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13:23-29). Not to be overlooked, however, is the fact that, with Amnon's death, the way was opened for Absalom to become the next king.

Since the mother of Absalom was the daughter of the King of Geshur. . . . Absalom fled (for safety to Syria where he lived with his grandfather) . . . and was there three years (13:37-38).

Parents can experience no greater suffering than to see their own sins repeated in their children's lives. We do reap the consequences of what we sow (Galatians 6:7). David was a man of God, but his few failures point out the far-reaching effect of sin in the lives of our children and others.

We cannot undo past sins, failures, and wasted time, but Christians have the merciful privilege of being forgiven when they are fully repented of and forsaken. We are assured that, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Christ Revealed:

Through David's restoration of Absalom (2 Samuel 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 (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Word Studies:

13:4 lean = depressed, losing weight; 13:5 make thyself sick = pretend to be sick; 14:2 feign = pretend; 14:4 did obeisance = showed respect; honor; 14:7 quench my coal which is left = destroy the last of my family; 14:11 suffer = allow; 14:21 done = grant your request; 14:26 polled his head = cut his hair.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Howard Berman (CA) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (MD) · Pray for your Sunday School teacher · Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Religious freedom · 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving (Psalms 147:7).

Optional Reading: Acts 16

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:17