Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son. (2 Samuel 13:37 NIV)
David had done wrong in plotting and scheming, it cost the life of a husband and a baby boy. Yet the punishment of God was to extend to his entire house. The thirteenth chapter of 2 Samuel depicts the start of that in tragic detail, highlighted by the way in which the key players plotted and schemed.
It is stomach churning seeing the extent to which Amnon lusted after Tamar and was urged to put a scheme in place to exploit her. His treatment of her before, during and after the rape of Tamar is so gut wrenching there’s a thought that says something should have happened to him for such disgusting abuse.
Absalom, Tamar’s brother, had every right to be angry. He had every right to seek justice for the grotesque treatment of his sister. The way he went about administering revenge, however, went beyond what he had the right to do. To wait for two years, harbouring murderous hatred of his brother and then setting up an occasion to finally kill his brother is another devastating incident in David’s dynasty.
Among all this, David appears to be just a passive observer, expressing emotion at the violation of his daughter and the subsequent murder of his son, but doing little else. He seems powerless to address the growing dissension in his house. This lack of effective discipline would go on to have even more divisive effects.
God help us in our engagement with the dysfunctional family.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden