If you don’t mind, I am taking a little detour into Matthew 28, rather than sticking with 2 Samuel 13. Being Easter, I thought it only fitting.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19
The truest Christian life, is a life never alone. By definition the Christian life can only be lived in relationship; it’s its very purpose (John 17:3). So, it is no wonder Jesus concludes Matthew 28 in this way, “as you go, you will see I am always with you; you will never go alone.” Okay, I added a few words, but isn’t that what Jesus is saying?
The disciples were worried of course, left to fulfill Jesus’ mission in His absence (at least so they thought), but I think these words were intended for more than just assurance. What if they were intended to help them in the going, a little motivation. So rather than don’t worry, I will always be with you, Jesus meant, when you go, you will see me there.
Let me flip it. What if we struggle to see Jesus (or feel alone) sometimes because we are slow in the going? If we could only get the lead out of our feet, maybe we would have regular encounters with Jesus.
vs. 21 Now when King David heard of all these matters, he was very angry.
I keep looking for the verse or verses that were never written. Maybe a verse where David shows compassion and encouragement to Tamar. Or, where he rebukes and disciplines Amnon. Yet, none of those things happened. Why? Well, verse 21 might give us a hint. The reference to his anger was to David’s title as King rather than his responsibility and calling as father. A lesson for all parents. There are always relationships and layers that we must filter decisions, responses, and actions through. However, the most important ones are the relationships within our families (Husband, Wife, Father, Mother, Son, Daughter). We must always remember to keep family relationships at the top of our priorities and responsibilities. By God’s design, those key relationships are the best images and portrayals of the gospel.
Why would this account of palace intrigue even be included in Scripture? It might have to do with succession to the throne. Amnon was, after all, the eldest son of David and the likely heir to the throne. His counsel came from a cousin, Jonadab, who was the son of one of David’s older brothers. Jonadab may have even had aspirations for the throne himself. (He was shrewd!) Then, there was Absalom, and later Adonijah (the oldest after Amnon and Absalom’s death). David’s plan all along was that his successor would be Solomon. God had a plan that ran all through history…a family line that would lead to the birth of Christ.
The word is ‘sovereignty’…God is sovereign over all creation, all history, and all governments…everything! Does ‘everything’ include our lives? Is God sovereign over the events of my life? Am I really in charge of my own destiny? Seeking God first can make such a difference in our lives pointing others to Him!
Mercenary, opportunist, chameleon: Meet Jonadab, advisor to cads, keeper of scuttlebutt, guardian of plausible deniability. One day he’s advising Amnon on exactly how to trap and rape Tamar, another day he’s filling the role of king-whisperer as the only one who has the straight story to calm an increasingly panicked David amid an onslaught of fake news in the wake of events provoked by the trapping and raping of Tamar. Jonadab was there at the hatching of the sexual assault plan; he was there to soothe souls in the aftermath of sexual assault revenge. He sprang into action whenever he saw that he could be useful. Amnon liked having him around, wouldn’t you think? David probably did, too. Everybody spoke well of him. It seems Jesus had something to say about that kind of thing.
Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; 12:11
But Absalom did not speak to Amnon either good or bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar. 13:22
Don’t ever let yourself become convinced that your “secret” sin will only impact your life, and that you and you alone will carry the consequences if you are ever found out. The truth of the matter is that our lives are so intricately woven with our families, our friends, even those who associate with us. They all notice our choices, actions, and often suffer with us. We cannot walk in sin and extricate our lives from those who are watching. We may not walk the same road as David, but his life should serve as a cautionary tale to all of us who harbor “secret” sin. It is always less secret than we realize, and the consequences are almost always more public than we could have ever imagined.
However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme… (2 Samuel 12:14)
Often, I forget the ever-expanding reach of sin. Sometimes I can imagine how choices may impact me, or maybe, if I’m generous, I can see how those choices might affect those around me. However, in this verse we are reminded that ripples emanate out of our sin that touch countless people.
Others began to use David’s sin to discredit God and use David’s sin as permission to do whatever they wanted. May our lives never be so. May our actions bring people into God’s presence rather than push them away.
Once conviction sets in, David quickly confesses, “I have sinned against the Lord.” In Psalm 51 David writes, “Against you only have I sinned.” Why not Bathsheba, or Uriah? If we are honest, it bothers us that David fails to mention those who received the brunt of his sin. I’m sure there were moments, not recorded for us, that David expressed the particulars of his guilt, but maybe God has a different agenda in these verses.
Maybe God intends for us to know there are a priority of offenses, and the greatest offense when we sin is against the Lord. Perhaps though, God intends to teach us something else too. What if he wants us to connect the dots of our sin, that to sin against the Lord leads to the harm of others? The two great commandments, love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself are deeply connected. To fail to love God, and thus not obeying His Word, will always lead to a failure to love your neighbor. I think David knew this all too well; to confess to the one (his sin against the Lord alone), was to confess to the other.
Here’s another truth that follows: a failure to love God, will always impact the people around you.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 12:1-23 (day five) vs 16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground.
What would cause David to think that he could ask God to help and save his dying son?Why would David even pray asking God to change directions?I think it’s because David had confessed and repented from his sins, and had his fellowship with the Lord restored. I don’t believe he was trying to manipulate God with prayer and fasting into getting his own way. Rather, I think David (maybe more than ever) believed in the power and strength of God and trusted God’s sovereignty. Only a clean and pure heart can believe and trust like this. Completely different approach and perspective from the previous chapter.His heart was restored. Could this be a similar prayer to the prayer Jesus prayed in the garden. Wanna believe and trust like that? Confess and Repent.
It was a thinly veiled story…but David took it hook, line, and sinker! He never recognized the point of the story until Nathan sprang the trap…”You are the man!” David had been quick to condemn the rich man in Nathan’s story, but he had completely glossed over his own guilt with Uriah and Bathsheba. Everyone recognized David’s guilt but himself.
Aren’t we like that, often? It is easy for us to condemn others for their jealousy, or their hypocrisy, or their lack of compassion, but we fail to see our own iniquity and sin. Our sinful hearts can so quickly absolve our own motives and actions, while at the same time condemning others for their actions. Christ taught us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:41-42) to deal with the log in our own eye before we try to remove the speck in our brother’s eye. Good instruction! Hard to do, but profitable to practice.