The Sins of the Father
Day: 44 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel
Editor’s Note: Today’s passage includes a sexual assault that may serve as a trigger due to something in your past.
Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 13
2 Samuel 13:3-4 (NIV) “Now Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man. He asked Amnon, ‘Why do you, the king’s son, look so haggard morning after morning? Won’t you tell me?’ Amnon said to him, ‘I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.’”
Have you been the victim of someone else’s violent behavior? Have you experienced a physical or emotional pain so deep it seems nothing can soothe the hurt? Has someone ripped away all you know to be good and true in your life? I have. It’s why my heart deeply connects with today’s story. Samuel tells a hard story. A terrible story. One we wish we could skip. But we cannot. Because every word of Scripture is God-breathed and intended to speak into our lives.
Our passage today continues the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy spoken in 2 Samuel 12:10-12. God promised He would bring calamity upon David and all his household. The same lust, scheming and scandal that plagued David’s life would now be visited upon his family.
David had many wives and many children. Today we encounter three: a son named Amnon and two others born to another wife — a daughter named Tamar and a son named Absalom.
The Scripture tells us Amnon “fell in love” with his half sister, Tamar. The word love, as used here, refers to pure lust – an irrational desire to have sexual relations with another.
Amnon lusted after Tamar the way David lusted after Bathsheba. Amnon’s sick obsession with Tamar overtook him physically.
Amnon confessed his obsession to his advisor and cousin, Jonadab, and they schemed to bring Tamar to him. Amnon pretended to be sick and invited Tamar to come and cook for him. Upon her arrival, he sent everyone out, grabbed her and ordered her to come to bed with him. (2 Samuel 13:14b) Tamar refused, begging him to let her go, but Amnon ignored her pleas and then committed the most hideous of sins. He raped her.
When he had enough of her, Amnon ordered her to leave. She refused. When she confronted him with his sin, he threw her out.
Amnon’s uncontrollable lust shattered this beautiful young virgin’s life into a million pieces. The author gives us a glimpse into Tamar’s pain, and it’s heartbreaking. Upon awakening that day, she chose to wear her richly ornamented robe. A cloak of dignity and honor that symbolized she was the virgin daughter of the king. By evening, Tamar tore her robes, weeping and grieving over what she would never get back … her virginity. Amnon stole so much more … her security, dignity, value and worth.
This story is personal for me because just days after my college graduation, an armed, masked man raped me. That vile man destroyed all I knew to be good and true. Being a victim defined my life for years.
Are you in a similar place? Maybe you have experienced a physical or emotional pain so deep it stripped away all you know to be good and true, all that feels safe and familiar.
Take courage, my friend. Our circumstances differ from Tamar’s. We have Jesus. Our identity is wrapped up in Him and Him alone. Though they may try, no one and nothing can ever take that from us. Jesus takes our broken places, tenderly holds them in His hands and weaves them together, redeeming, healing, mending, rebuilding and restoring, until we are whole once again.
Prayer: Father, it’s sometimes hard for me to understand why You allow others to inflict pain and suffering on Your people. It confuses me and makes me angry. But Your Word continually reveals You are a good God, and You have purpose in the hard places. You use them to mold and shape us for our good and Your glory. Help me to trust You in my hard place today. Bring the transforming power of Your Word into my life. Heal and restore me. Weave together my shattered places and make them whole. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Editor’s Note: If today’s teaching served as any kind of a trigger for you due to something in your past, you’re not alone. Research tells us sexual abuse and violence may affect as many as 1 in 3 women. If you or someone you know is struggling with past or current sexual abuse, we encourage you to seek help. Focus on the Family offers free counseling and referrals.
Our tragic story continues in 2 Samuel 13:19-39.
With her face smeared with ashes, her... Read More
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