Highlights In Today's Reading:
Thus it begins. The consequences of David's sin hit home (12:9-12), first with family rape and incest, which turns to hate, revenge, and eventually murder as brother kills brother. David and Absalom reconcile (14:28-33). But Absalom's treachery has only begun.
Absalom's sister Tamar was the beautiful daughter of King David by Maacah . . . of Geshur (in Syria) (3:3; 13:1; 15:8). David's oldest son, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess (3:2), was about 20 years of age when he pretended to be sick and, with evil intent, asked his father David to send his half-sister Tamar to prepare him a meal (3:2-3; 13:6; I Chr. 3:1-2).
When she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force (degrade) me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not . . . this folly (vile abomination). . . . Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with (raped) her. Then Amnon hated her exceedingly. . . . And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone (II Sam. 13:11-15). After his brief moment of lustful gratification, he forced her out of his home and locked the door. Dishonored and heartbroken, Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house (13:20).
When King David learned of Amnon's deception and wicked sin against his daughter, he was very wroth (angry). And . . . Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced (raped) his sister Tamar (13:21-22).
Amnon was David's firstborn son and heir to the throne. The Law of God demanded the death sentence for Amnon, not for incest alone, nor for rape alone, but for "incestuous rape" (Lev. 18:9,11; 20:17). But David took no action.
After two full years . . . Absalom invited all the king's sons (to a great feast). . . . Now Absalom had commanded his servants . . . when I say unto you, Smite (strike) Amnon; then kill him. . . . And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded (II Sam. 13:23-29). Absalom then fled for safety to Geshur where he lived with his grandfather for three years (13:37-38; 3:2-3).
A parent can experience no greater suffering than to see his similar sins repeated in his children's lives. We cannot avoid the inevitable results. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal. 5:24).
Thought for Today:
Even though God will forgive our sins if we repent and forsake them, the consequences of our actions may continue to plague our lives.
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).
13:4 lean =epressed, looking so wretched; 13:5 make thyself sick =retend to be sick; 14:2 feign =retend; 14:4 did obeisance =howed reverence, honor; 14:7 quench my coal which is left =estroy the last of my family; 14:11 suffer =llow; 14:21 done this thing =ranted your request; 14:26 polled his head =ut his hair.
Pray for Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Official: Rep. Howard Berman (CA) • Country: Hungary (10.1 million) in east-central Europe • Major language: Hungarian • New freedom has opened the door to evangelism and Bible distribution • 61.7% Roman Catholic; 24.4% Protestant; 12.5% non-Religious/Other; .8% Jewish; .3% Orthodox; .2% Marginal; .1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Be of one heart and mind with other Christians (I Cor. 1:10).
Optional Reading: Acts 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:11-12