2 Samuel 13:24-39

Absalom Avenges Tamar

24 And Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold now, your servant has sheepshearers; may the king and his servants please go with your servant.” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we should not all go, so that we will not be a burden to you.” Though he urged him, he would not go; but he blessed him. 26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please have my brother Amnon go with us.” But the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 Nevertheless Absalom urged him, so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28 Then Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, when Amnon’s heart is cheerful with wine, and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death. Do not fear; have I not commanded you myself? Be courageous and be [l]valiant.” 29 And the servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons got up and each mounted his mule and fled.

30 Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck and killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” 31 Then the king stood up, tore his clothes, and lay on the ground; and all his servants were standing by with clothes torn. 32 And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, [m]responded, “Let my lord not [n]assume that they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead; because this has been set up by the [o]intent of Absalom since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33 So now, may my lord the king not take the report to [p]heart, [q]claiming, ‘all the king’s sons are dead’; but only Amnon is dead.”

34 Now Absalom had fled. And the young man who was the watchman raised his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. 35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; so it has happened according to your servant’s word.” 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept [r]very profusely.

37 Now Absalom had fled and gone to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there for three years. 39 And the heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted regarding Amnon, since he was dead.

When it comes to our sin (when we disobey God’s commands), it can be tempting to say, as Jonadab did, “but only…” But one is too many for our God, and so it was for David. Even one death made the king weep, how much more so when we go our own way and dismiss the King’s love for us?

Even afterward, we see the parallel with God’s love for us, as David longed for his son Absalom. Though Absalom had killed his own brother, David wanted restoration, but he didn’t know what to do.

God did not have the same problem, and has always had a plan, before we were ever estranged from Him in the garden. God sent His own Son to pay the penalty for our mistakes, for our rebellion.

Now it is up to us, will we brush it aside, and say, but I’m not that bad, it’s only one thing, or maybe a couple… While God cannot tolerate sin, His love for us is unfailing, and He longs for us to come home to Him. Will you come home to freedom and forgiveness?

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