Tuesday – October 8, 2019 – Privilege Without Discipline (Read 2 Samuel 13)
2 Samuel 3:2-3 (NKJV) Sons were born to David in Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3 his second, Chileab, by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; the third, Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur;
2 Samuel 13:21-22 (MSG) King David heard the whole story and was enraged, but he didn’t discipline Amnon. David doted on him because he was his firstborn. Absalom quit speaking to Amnon—not a word, whether good or bad—because he hated him for violating his sister Tamar.
Privilege can be dangerous, especially without the safeguard of discipline. The picture seen in 2 Samuel 13, is one of unrestrained liberty. David’s children could do as they pleased without the supervision of those tasked to oversee them. They were given freedom that their character could not bear because they had been neglected. Amnon, David’s oldest was a spoiled brat. His father doted over him but would not discipline him. As a result, he did horrible things to his family. He wasn’t alone in his depravity. He had accomplices. His cousin, Jonadab, David’s nephew gave him the strategy to rape his half-sister, Tamar. He encouraged his lust for her rather than discouraging it. How Amnon felt toward Tamar changed dramatically after the rape. He hated her because of his own guilt and threw her out his house. She went to her brother Absalom and lived in desolation, broken hearted.
Absalom did what he could to comfort her, while at the same time plotting his revenge against Amnon. Since David refused to intervene and discipline his eldest, Absalom decided to take vengeance himself. He was cold and calculated in his plan. He waited two years before he sprung his trap to murder his brother. His resolve was cold and calculated. From the day of the rape, he set in motion his plan. From that day, he had nothing to do with Amnon. Amnon had no idea how much Absalom hated him and did not set up defenses to protect himself. He willingly went to his own slaughter thinking he was only going to another party.
Of course, David was outraged at this act resulting in Absalom fleeing from David. Absalom’s grandfather was from Geshur, a tribe of people who were historic enemies of Israel. He went there for three years, most likely receiving evil advice regarding his relationship to his father. David longed to be with him, but Absalom went too far away and stayed too long. That can happen when one generation abdicates their responsibility toward the next generation. That is a tragedy.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that we can learn from other generation’s mistakes. Help us to avoid tragedies like the one that David experienced.