Today’s Reading – 2 Samuel 13-15
When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar. 2 Samuel 13:21-22
David has a lot of dysfunction in his role as father and husband, but I want to concentrate on his relationship with two of his oldest sons.
Events came to a head in adulthood when his eldest son Amnon raped his beautiful half-sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13). Her brother, Absalom, was outraged, and hatred for his half-brother turned to a burning desire for revenge.
If at this point David had punished Amnon, the royal family might not have split so disastrously. But David, though “very angry” with Amnon (2 Samuel 13:21), apparently did nothing and just as important said nothing.
Absalom waits two years, then avenges his sister by sending his servants to kill Amnon at a feast to which he had invited all the king’s sons (2 Samuel 13:1-29).
Because David failed to act with Amnon, Absalom took justice into his own hands by ordering his servants to murder his half-brother. Absalom then fled to his grandfather, the King of Geshur, and remained in exile. The king finally gave up trying to get back at Absalom. He had come to terms with Amnon’s death. (2 Samuel 13:39)
What might have happened had David expressed his love?
Absalom never knew how his father really felt about him or his brother’s sin. Parents we have been given some bad advice over the years regarding ignoring bad behavior and rewarding good behavior. Ignoring bad behavior will not produce good behavior. If a child simply doesn’t know how to act in a situation like this, then ignoring bad behavior won’t help him learn how to behave appropriately.
David in all his failings teaches us still today:
Do not leave things unsaid in your family.
Be able to acknowledge both the good and the bad in your relationships.
Remember there are no perfect Christian families – so stop trying so hard to hide or ignore the flaws.
Tomorrow’s Reading – Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, and 55