What does it say?

David’s daughter Tamar is raped by her half-brother Amnon (2Sam 13). Though Tamar appears to have been open to marrying Amnon, it becomes clear that Amnon is motivated purely by lust. David does nothing to avenge or even deal decisively with Tamar’s rape. Instead, her brother Absalom takes matters into his own hands and murders Amnon. He then flees to Geshur and is estranged from his father David.

David is consumed with sorrow over his separation from Absalom, so Joab gets a woman from Tekoah to pierce David’s heart by telling him a false story (2Sam 14). Convicted that he should give the same grace to Absalom as to any other of his subjects, David brings Absalom in from exile, but he remains in the city for two years before David allows him into his presence.

Absalom is now next in line for the throne, but David has chosen Solomon as his successor (2Sam 15). Absalom begins to campaign for the throne and schemes to win the people’s hearts. Under the guise of paying a vow, Absalom stages a successful coup d’état and David flees into exile with a group of his close advisors and officials who have remained loyal.

What does it mean?

David is a powerful and wise king and a gifted psalmist, but he’s a lousy parent. His family life experiences continual turmoil. No matter how much we know the Bible and serve God, we are not exempt from the living the Bible in the presence of our families and those closest to us.

David does not want to deal with the conflict with Absalom. Even when forced to recognize the problem, he is unwilling to truly face the situation. Many of us likewise avoid conflict, but we will also reap the consequences of inaction. Better to deal with problems and conflicts immediately according to biblical principles. Waiting only delays the inevitable and magnifies the consequences.

How will I respond?

What problems and conflicts in my life am I avoiding? Are there any? Why not prioritize those issues that are the most difficult right now and face them first according to biblical truth. I will learn to deal with conflict biblically, decisively and as quickly as possible.