2 Samuel 13:36: “So it was, as soon as he had finished speaking, that the king’s sons indeed came, and they lifted up their voice and wept. Also the king and all his servants wept very bitterly.”

March 20th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This is a long, sad chapter in the story of King David and his children. We don’t know exactly how many wives and concubines David had, but 1 Chronicles 3 tells us he had at least 19 sons by 8 different women. His firstborn son, Amnon, the crown prince, raped his half-sister Tamar. When Tamar’s brother and Amnon’s half-brother, Absalom, discovered what had happened to his sister, he was so angry he set a trap for Amnon and murdered him. Absalom then fled because he was afraid of what David might do. David, with his remaining sons, experienced great sorrow when he learned of Amnon’s death and Absalom’s flight.

All through these sorry events, we never read of David doing anything to discipline his kids as a father. We read that he was angry, sure; but David refused to confront and correct his children. As we consider David’s own past sins, we begin to understand his hesitation at confronting his children’s failures. After all, what Amnon did in raping Tamar was only slightly different from what David had done in taking Bathsheba. And what Absalom did in killing Amnon was only slightly different from what David had done in murdering Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. David felt like his hands were tied, that he couldn’t rebuke his own children when he himself had failed so miserably in the same sins.

It seems David never took the callings of husband and father as seriously as the roles demand. David had created a pattern in his own life of taking whatever attractive woman he saw. And as God had already warned, there was simply no way any man could properly husband more than one wife, let alone properly parent all their children. That is why God said in the opening chapters of Genesis that a man should leave father and mother and cling to his wife (singular). Just as our love of God is revealed by our love for our fellow man (John 13:35), our intimacy with God is revealed by our devotion and dedication to our family. A father’s heart turned toward God is seen by his life being turned toward his home. If our homes are not different because of our relationship with Jesus Christ, then something is missing from our faith.

“LORD, help us to love and serve our families as we choose to love and serve You.”