April 15

Read II Samuel 13 -- 14

Absalom's sister Tamar was the beautiful daughter of David by a wife named Maacah, daughter of Talmai King of Geshur (Syria) (II 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 for his half-sister Tamar to prepare him a meal (I Samuel 25:43; II Samuel 3:2; I 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 (II Samuel 13:11-13). But Amnon refused to be stopped and, being stronger than she, ruthlessly raped her (13:14). Then Amnon hated her exceedingly. . . . And Amnon said to her, Arise, be gone (13:15). 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 (symbol of virginity) . . . and went on crying. . . . So Tamar remained desolate (heartbroken and alone, as a widow) in her brother Absaloms house (13:19-20).

When David learned of Amnons deception and wicked sin against his daughter, he was very angry. And Absalom . . . hated Amnon for having raped his sister (13:21-22). However, Amnon was Davids firstborn son and heir to the throne, so David took no legal action, even though the Law of God demanded the death sentence for rape (Leviticus 20:17). David may also have felt the guilt of his own past adulterous act, in that he refrained from judging his son.

After two full years . . . Absalom invited all the kings sons to a celebration party at which he arranged the murder of his older half-brother Amnon in order to avenge the rape of his sister Tamar (II Samuel 13:23-29). Not to be overlooked, however, is the fact that with his death Amnon no longer stood in the way of Absalom becoming the next king.

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

A parent can experience no greater suffering than to see his own sin repeated in his childrens lives; but we reap the consequences of what we sow (Galatians 6:7). David's few failures point out the far-reaching effect of our sin on 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 of past sins, when 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 (I John 1:9).

Christ Revealed: Through David's restoration of Absalom (II 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 (II Corinthians 5:19).

Word Studies: 13:2 vexed means distressed; 13:3 subtil means shrewd; crafty; 13:25 chargeable means burdensome; 14:4 did obeisance means showed respect; 14:7 quench my coal which is left means destroy the last of my family; 14:11 suffer means allow.

Prayer:

Government Officials: Rep. Howard Berman (CA) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (MD) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WNQM-AM, Nashville, TN · Country: Cyprus (754,000) in the Middle East · Major languages: Greek and Turkish · No open evangelism or conversions to Christ · 75% Greek Orthodox; 19% Muslim; 1% Protestant; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Do not be fearful or live in dread of what might happen; trust the Lord to take care of you (Psalms 112:7).

Optional Reading: Acts 16

Memory Verse for the Week: I John 1:9