“… I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more…Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house…”
The capture of the Ammonite capital following the death of David’s son might lead us to believe that all is now well with David’s kingdom. But turning to chapter 13 reveals this success was only a momentary respite, and Nathan’s prophecy that the LORD “will raise up evil against you out of your own house” today is filled full.
The author introduces us to David’s son Absalom through his sister, Tamar, and the treachery committed against her by his half-brother, Amnon. The account in chapter 13 is physically and emotionally brutal, and Absalom’s vengeance matches its ferocity. David receives conflicting messages, Absalom fears for his own neck and flees Jerusalem, leaving a father to grieve the loss of two sons.
After three years, Joab seeks reconciliation by calling on a wise woman from Tekoa to persuade the king to recall his son. Her technique is reminiscent of other times wisdom was put before David: she tells him a story. David heeds her (and Joab’s) counsel, but Absalom spends two more years in Jerusalem without receiving an audience with the king. Absalom lets his displeasure be known, and his resentment toward his father will fuel the rest of his life’s story.
A thread to pay attention to is David’s declining discernment and courage. Amnon’s violation of Tamar made him “very angry,” yet he did nothing. The spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom, yet for three years he did not. And two more years go by without David recognizing the powder keg he was filling in Absalom – more obviously grieving the loss of Amnon than anything else that had happened. Watch and see if this theme threads its way through the coming chapters.
Our verse for this week is John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
2 Samuel chapters 13 and 14. Now let’s read it!
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.