Summary: Learning from David’s mistakes with his sons Amnon and Absalom
David’s Dysfunctional Family
Primary Purpose: Learning from David’s mistakes in dealing with his disappointments with Amnon and Absalom
One of my favorite Bible characters is David. David was a great man of God, but wasn’t one who had a easy life. Some of the problems he had were brought about by his own actions or lack of action. This is particularly true when you look at some of the relationships he had with his sons Amnon and Absalom. David was a man who loved deeply, but sometimes had trouble both with disciplining his children and in loving them. This would lead to disasterous results.
First, I want to look at David’s response to his daughter’s Tamar rape by Amnon. In 2 Samuel 13 we read the story. David’s response to this was that he was furious 2 Sam 13:21. Yet, David didn’t express his anger to Amnon. Amnon on his part never ran from or apparently feared his father.
Amnon deserved death for what he did.
What can we learn from that? David didn’t control what he could have. If he had judged his son, even though that would have been painful, then Absalom fury would have subsided and he wouldn’t have sought revenge. David didn’t deal with his problem in a Biblical manner. He didn’t judge the sin rightly. He should have taken this whole matter to the Lord and allow the Lord to guide him in his decision making. Instead, David doesn’t nothing. He should have known the heart of God about this after God had punished him by taking away Bathsheba’s child because of adultery. By doing nothing, it appears David condones what happened.
Second, we see that David refuses to forgive his son Absalom for the murder of Amnon. Because David didn’t judge Amnon, Absalom, Tamar’s half brother does. It’s interesting that though Jonadab, a nephew of David’s understood how Absalom felt, but David didn’t. David didn’t see the unforgiveness in Absalom’s heart.
A. Absalom orders Amnon’s murder (2 Sam 13:28-29)
B. Absalom flees and lives in Geshur for 3 years (2 Sam 13:37)
C. Absalom came home, but David refused to see him (2 Sam 14:32-33) Absalom had to set fire to Joab’s fields in order to get his attention. Absalom feels like he is being treated as a guilty person even though nobody is saying anything good or bad to him. Bitterness enslaves a person
The book “Will Daylight Come?” by Richard Hoefler, illustrates the truth, that forgiveness frees and unforgiveness enslaves. A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to grandma’s back yard, he spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let it fly. The stone hit its target. The boy panicked. Desperatedly he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to look and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch that day, Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Johnyy told me he wantd to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you, Johnny?” Ans she whispered to him, “Remember the duck!” So Johnny did the dishes.