2 Samuel 13:23-39
23 Two years later, when Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons to come there. 24 Absalom went to the king and said, “Your servant has had shearers come. Will the king and his attendants please join me?” 25 “No, my son,” the king replied. “All of us should not go; we would only be a burden to you.” Although Absalom urged him, he still refused to go but gave him his blessing. 26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon come with us.” The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom urged him, so he sent with him Amnon and the rest of the king’s sons. 28 Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.” 29 So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled. 30 While they were on their way, the report came to David: “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons; not one of them is left.” 31 The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his attendants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 But Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, said, “My lord should not think that they killed all the princes; only Amnon is dead. This has been Absalom’s express intention ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 My lord the king should not be concerned about the report that all the king’s sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead.” 34 Meanwhile, Absalom had fled. Now the man standing watch looked up and saw many people on the road west of him, coming down the side of the hill. The watchman went and told the king, “I see men in the direction of Horonaim, on the side of the hill.” 35 Jonadab said to the king, “See, the king’s sons have come; it has happened just as your servant said.” 36 As he finished speaking, the king’s sons came in, wailing loudly. The king, too, and all his attendants wept very bitterly. 37 Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son. 38 After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. 39 And King David longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death.
Ok. So David’s family dynamics were clearly dysfunctional, toxic, and very very messy. Looking at this passage through the filter of my own culture I find it hard to understand and reconcile this story of incest, lax parenting, revenge and murder. What I do note is that there is not one mention of God here. This is the kind of stuff that goes on when we follow our own desires and make choices without God.
This is the only connection I can find with this story – when I make choices with myself at the centre (not Jesus) then I run the risk of creating havoc in my own life as well as the lives of those I love. I need to guard my heart and check my choices so that what I say and do always brings glory to God and reflects His love.
Heavenly Father, I am sorry for the times when I have allowed my own wants and desires to rule my decisions. Forgive me for the times when my actions have hurt those around me. Help me to weigh my decisions. Help me to think before I act. Thank you, Lord, for the restoring work of the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus Name Amen
Written by Christine Knight