II Samuel 13 Devotional
by Pastor Mark Hudson
This chapter narrates some awful, violent, heinous sins. One can’t exegerate how shameful these men act. David has created this mess with all the wives he married. Wives often meant political alliances. It wasn’t right then and it will never be right to use women or marriage for your own purpose.
David’s oldest son, Amnon, who is a half brother to Tamar lusted after Tamar. He was upset because “it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.” To do anything to her? He is not thinking. He is feeling. This is all crass sexual perversion. And if you think Amnon is bad, what about his cousin?
Jonadab, the fixer, upon hearing Amnon’s dilemma has a ready solution. In verse 4, he refers to him as ‘son of the king’ implying that he can get what he wants. Where Amnon should have stopped in verse 1 and told himself to find another girl, Jonadab should have counselled him to stop lusting. Oh no. `You want her? I will get her for you. Here is how to rape her.’ Without a moment’s hesitation, Jonadab directs Amnon to arrange the situation for his advantage.
Amnon is lying one lie after another. He manipulates his father to get Tamar into his bedroom. Amnon then grabs Tamar and overpowers her. It gets worse, if that is even possible. Tamar shows her wisdom, courage, and godliness through this entire episode. We must listen to her. Amnon refused to listen. “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing”. First, “You are my brother!! What are you thinking?” Second, “Don’t violate me. This is my life you are forever destroying. Think of me!” Third, “We are God’s people. God has called us to holiness. This is the way the Philistines or Ammonites act. We don’t act like this.” Finally, “This is an extremely shameful act. This is debased and will be condemned as a horrible sin. Do not do this awful thing.”
She continues pleading with Amnon. Can you imagine the courage and level-headedness to speak to Amnon. She is an amazing woman. In verse 13, she is back to reasoning with her rapist. “What will I do with my shame. This will ruin my life. And think of yourself! Your life is over after this. Just because you can’t control your raging hormones? This is not worth it!” She is trying every tactic in the book. Speaking to him is doing no good at all. But she keeps trying, she keeps appealing hoping something will stick. Tamar is desperate and even in the strong grip of Amnon, is spreaking the truth to Amnon. One last appeal that is thrown up to save herself, `Ask the King’, “for he will not withhold me from you.” Amnon is not listening but God is and so are we. Tamar is in his clutches, pleading and trying to reason with him. Reason left him long ago. He is not thinking. He is only feeling; feeling his raging hormones.
In verse 15, his “love” turns to hatred. But he doesn’t just hate her; he hates himself. In two words in the original, “Get! Out!” he makes a terrifying tragedy even worse. Again, Tamar, the only rational one in this chapter says, `If possible, this is even worse than raping me.’ Again, he refused to listen. Now he tosses her out like garbage. In the original there is no word for woman. Lock the door? She does not need to locked out. Amnon, you need to be locked up!
Tamar leaves in humiliation and tells her brother, Absalom who comforts her like a wet blanket. Abasalom says, “do not take this to heart.” What on earth can that mean? Maybe Abslolom is thinking he will use this to his political advantage. What a thing to say to a woman who was just raped.
Of course David could say something but he just gets mad. Maybe he is afraid or expecting someone to say, “You want to weigh in after your Bathsheba incident?” But King David should have acted. He had the authority and the right to set things right but he abdicated. So Absalom killed Amnon. As Jonadab told King David, Absalom had determined this, “from the day he (Amnon) violated his sister Tamar. So Absolam left Jerusalem to stay with his maternal grandparents and for three years he never saw his father’s face.
As we have seen, Tamar is a strong woman of virtue who was abused by Jonadab, Amnon, and treated horribly by Absalom and her father. She is a shining star yet her life was radically changed by the sins of others. This tragic story is a result of David’s sin as prophesied by Nathan after his violation of Bathseba. In II Sam 12:10, Nathan says, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord, `Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house.’”
If you read chapter 7, you will see how God gives amazing grace that overwhelms David. Then in chapter 8, God blesses David and His people as 8:15 affirms, “And David administered justice and equity to all his people.” But we see David going down hill in chapter 11. He hits the lowest point in his life. Chapter 12 Nathan confronts David and Bathsheba and David’s baby dies. Now in chapter 13, God’s judgment is meted out and the effects are disastrous. Compare chapter 8 and chaper 13. When we sin we incur God’s judgment. When we place our faith and trust in God we experience the blessings like chapter 8. While we don’t want to be simplistic in our thinking, we can state that God both punishes sin and blesses righteousness. You choose the right and you get the blessing. You choose your own will and you get God’s judgment. We want chapter 8 in II Samuel not chapter 13.
Father, sin is horrible and the consequences involves hurting innocent people. We have been sinned against and we actively commit cosmic trason against You. We say we “know” this about sin yet we keeping sinning. We devalue Your worth and majesty when we sin. Keep us from sin that tries to burrow its way into our soul. As John Owen reminds us, “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.” Help us not to nurse our sin or coddle our worst instincts but cut it out of our lives. Grant us genuine repentance and a whole hearted trust in Christ. In the name of the pure Son of God. Amen.