Wednesday, May 19, 2021

2021.05.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 13:1–22

Read 2 Samuel 13:1–22

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom does 2 Samuel 13:1 first mention? Whose son is he? What does he have? What was her name? Who was Amnon? How did he feel toward her? How did he respond to this purported “love” (2 Samuel 13:2)? To what extent? What was improper? What else did Amnon have (2 Samuel 13:3)? What was his name? What was his relation? What was Jonadab like? What does he ask Amnon in 2 Samuel 13:4? How does Amnon answer? What does Jonadab tell him to fake (2 Samuel 13:5)? Whom does he tell Amnon to ask for what? How carefully does Amnon follow this advice (2 Samuel 13:6)? What does David tell whom to do in 2 Samuel 13:7? What does Tamar do, where, in 2 Samuel 13:8? What is Amnon doing? What suspicious command does Amnon give in 2 Samuel 13:9? Then what does he command in 2 Samuel 13:10? But what does he do when she comes near in 2 Samuel 13:11? How does she answer in 2 Samuel 13:12? What does she ask about herself in 2 Samuel 13:13? What does she point out would happen to him? What counsel does she give instead? What does Amnon do with her counsel (2 Samuel 13:14)? What “advantage” does he have? What does he do to her? What does he now feel toward her in 2 Samuel 13:15? How does this compare to his prior feeling? What does he command? What does she call this command in 2 Samuel 13:16? What does she say about the greatness of this evil? What won’t he do to her in verse 2 Samuel 13:16? Whom does he call in 2 Samuel 13:17? What does he command? What does he do? What was she wearing (2 Samuel 13:18)? What was done to her? What does she put on her head (2 Samuel 13:19)? What does she do to her princess robe? What posture does she take? What does she do? Who speaks to her in 2 Samuel 13:20? What does he apparently know to ask directly? What does he tell her to do? What does he call Amnon? Where does she stay? In what condition? Who hears of it in 2 Samuel 13:21? How does he feel? What does he do? What does Absalom say about it to Amnon (2 Samuel 13:22)? How did he feel toward Amnon? Why? 

It is a judgment from God, when He gives fleshly men over to what they deludedly think is love. The Lord had declared to David that the sword would never depart from his house (cf. 2 Samuel 12:10) and that He would raise up adversity against David from his own house (cf. 2 Samuel 12:11), and now we see the chastening coming to pass. When we consider that this wickedness comes as a judgment from God, and when we see the evil that comes from it, we ought to be very careful with the self-delusion and self-satisfying desire that so many of us tell ourselves is “love.” There were many clues to know that this was not love as he thought (end of 2 Samuel 13:4). There were many clues or indications that could have helped him recognize that it wasn’t love:

  • The distress was in large part because he knew it was wrong to act upon,  2 Samuel 13:2. Lust is actually strengthened, rather than weakened, by its wrongness.
  • He was unwilling to listen to her ( 2 Samuel 13:14, end of  2 Samuel 13:16), though he was willing to listen to Jonadab about how to get her ( 2 Samuel 13:5, ff.). Lust lacks any compassion or sympathy and doesn’t care about the ideas or interests of its object.
  • It depended upon pretense ( 2 Samuel 13:6). Lust parades as something else, both in our hearts and in our presentation of it to others.
  • It hid behind secrecy ( 2 Samuel 13:9). Lust embraces its own shamefulness, getting rid of the people who might see, rather than getting rid of the shameful action that they would have seen.
  • It didn’t care what happened to God’s people ( 2 Samuel 13:12). Lust doesn’t care about God’s glory and its display in God’s people.
  • It didn’t care what happened to her ( 2 Samuel 13:13). Lust doesn’t care about the wellbeing of its object.
  • It took what it wanted by death-deserving force ( 2 Samuel 13:14). Lust enthrones its own gratification instead of the Lord.
  • It easily turned to a hatred that was even more intense ( 2 Samuel 13:15). Let us learn that self-focused emotions may very easily be completely reversed.

It is a judgment from God, when He gives leadership over to cowardice or laziness in punishing wrong. “But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry” ( 2 Samuel 13:21). Was he, now? Was not God infinitely angrier than David?! And was David not only head of this clan but king over the nation?! How could a father not seek proper avenging for the forcing of his daughter?! How could a king permit such wickedness in the highest levels of the kingdom?!

The punishing of evil had been assigned to him by God (cf. Romans 13:1–4; 1 Peter 2:14). Yet, here he is doing the same thing as Amnon: caring only about what he thinks he feels, but not taking the action that God requires. His merely human anger was nothing without righteous indignation that leads to righteous action in fulfillment of the role that God has assigned to him.

It is a judgment from God, when we seethe and nurse bitterness, rather than taking it both to the Lord and to the proper authority ( 2 Samuel 13:22). Amnon’s and David’s sins in this passage are extremely wicked. But it is ultimately Absalom’s sin that will be the primary fulfillment of God’s pronounced curse from 2 Samuel 12:10–12. And here we see the beginning of it. He doesn’t confront Amnon. He doesn’t confront or appeal to the king. Instead, he nurses the hatred of bitterness and bides his time until he can act against both Amnon, and later the king himself.

O, dear believer, what a dreadful curse sin is! There is no worse chastening than to be given over to sin. Whether lust, or laziness, or bitter hatred, let us seek that the Lord by His grace would keep us from these. And deliver us from others who are being given over to it.

In which of these directions do your thoughts most often run?: intense longing desire for another who is not your spouse, avoidance of duties that belong to your station in life, or seething bitterness and enmity? How can you employ the means of grace as you depend upon the Lord to deliver you from these evils?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH540 “Soldiers of Christ, Arise”

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