Friday 18 September, 2020

2 Samuel 13:1-22

13 In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. 2 Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her. 3 Now Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4 He asked Amnon, “Why do you, the king’s son, look so haggard morning after morning? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5 “Go to bed and pretend to be ill,” Jonadab said. “When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I may watch her and then eat it from her hand.’” 6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand.” 7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it. 9 Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat. “Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11 But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.” 12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. 13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. 15 Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!” 16 “No!” she said to him. “Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me.” But he refused to listen to her. 17 He called his personal servant and said, “Get this woman out of my sight and bolt the door after her.” 18 So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing an ornate[a] robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went. 20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman. 21 When King David heard all this, he was furious. 22 And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.

What a terrible story of a family broken apart by lust, greed, deception, and revenge.

Here is Amnon who is full of lust, he becomes ill and then seeks (bad) advice from Jonadab his cousin.  Neither of these men have any regard for the law, their family or their sister/cousin Tamar and her future.  Amnon’s greed and lust and then the deceptive plan he gets from his cousin, brings about years of hatred and sees a family fragmented.

V 21 “When King David heard what had happened, he was very angry.”

V 22 “and though Absalom never spoke to Amnon about this, he hated Amnon deeply because of what he had done to his sister.”

What bothers me in this passage is that no one (his father or his brother) had the courage to talk about this.  To challenge Amnon’s behaviour and his sins of lust, deception and greed.

It made me think that I would much prefer a friend (brother/sister) to come to me and challenge my sin or blindness; than allow revenge, hate and unforgiveness to continue to eat at me.

If David or Absalom had gone to Amnon and challenged him (see the scriptures below) – revenge would not have been sought 2 years later, resulting in the death of Amnon; and then David would not have had another 3 years of separation from Absalom as he left town!!

Psalm 27:5-6 says:  Better is an open rebuke than hidden love.  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy

Matthew 18:15:  If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Luke 17:3:  Pay attention to yourselves!  If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

Lord, help us have the courage to challenge sin in our own lives.  To not allow ourselves to be deceived and commit even worse sin. Help us to be courageous and love people enough to challenge sin, with your love and mercy.  Help us Lord to love and forgive when we are wronged.  Teach us to be carriers of reconciliation, grace and forgiveness.

In Jesus name.   Amen

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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