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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC


2 Samuel 13:23-31

Verse 31 The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his attendants stood by with their clothes torn.

When David decided not to do anything to Amnon for his actions against Tamar, her brother Absalom decided to take matters into his own hands. It took him two years but he figured out the way he would do it. In that way he had given his dad two years to do something to show his love for his daughter but the king seemed to be ignoring what had happened.

Absalom had a righteous anger but he had let it get out of control. He loved his sister enough to take her under his own roof as a desolate woman. Tamar was living the life of a shamed woman. Once able to walk about in her finery being admired as the king’s daughter, she was now ashamed to be seen by the public. She felt the shame of what had been done to her and likely felt the sting of her father not doing anything about it.

Absalom’s plan was to invite David and his attendants but the king said it would be too much for Absalom to host everyone. In other words David didn’t want to go. Absalom felt this was a form of rejection from his father. The fact is it may have been his father’s guilt about not punishing Amnon. If the king went he may see Tamar and then would be reminded of not defending her honor. The king’s suspicion may have grown when Absalom asked that the king at least send Amnon and the rest of the brothers for the event and yet it didn’t grow enough for David to put a stop to it.

Imagine this family party. It is interesting that Amnon has gone along as if nothing had ever happened. Maybe he had gotten over his hate of his half-sister and thought it was all in the past but Absalom obviously had not and so he instructs his men to kill Amnon as soon as he is drunk enough. The men were obviously concerned about doing something which would make the king mad but Absalom reminds them they are just to be following orders.

The other brothers got out as soon as they could but word, albeit untrue, got back to David before the brothers arrived that all the sons were dead. David had once again bailed on a family outing and it took a bad turn for his family and their reputation. And hearing it was Absalom who had done the killing, the king had to wonder about his failings as a father.

Making It Personal

Are there choices you have made which you regret? What did you learn from the experience which will help you make better choices in the future? Is it ever good to seek revenge?

Making It Personal Kids

Is it a good idea to try to get back at someone for something they did to you? How did Jesus treat people who did things to him? What is the best way to react to someone being mean?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for this example of how not to respond to evil. Give us the wisdom we need to be able to respond as You did to evil. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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