David, Amnon, Tamar, & Absalom — David, the passive father.
Reading 1: 2 Samuel 13
Reading 2: 2 Samuel 14
Reading 3: Deuteronomy 22:25-27
Today we see further failure and sin in David’s life. It is often the case that sin repeats along family lines until repentance and forgiveness breaks the power of the rebellion against God. In this case, Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar and her brother Absalom takes revenge by killing Amnon. Again sexual sin and murder beset David’s family!
This shows us that there is no such thing as a sinless human, and for any of us to pretend we are without sin is itself sin. And sin often leads to further poor judgment and self-pity, as in the case of Absalom’s rift with David that follows this incident. From our modern perspective there seems to be dysfunction on both sides in this family feud – as is so often the case when families refuse to allow God to rule fully in their lives.
Eventually Joab engineers a truce and there is a measure of reconciliation, but there is more trouble to come! As an aside, consider how these accounts validate the authenticity of the scriptures: if I was going to write a holy book I would not include all this unholiness! Thankfully for us, the power of sin is broken by the victory of Jesus on the Cross. We don’t have to settle for such broken patterns in our lives. Instead we can ask the Holy Spirit (and the community of believers) to help us overcome sin’s destruction.
Have a great day!