As stated in the last post, we have three more chapters to discuss in this series. I hope you are reading along and gaining some unforgettable lessons as well.
I hope your week has started off on a high note. As for me, I am trying to get my blogging ‘mojo’ back, amidst other things I am involved with at the moment.
Today’s post will be focusing on chapter thirteen of the second book of Samuel. The lessons from this passage are ones that I hold very dearly to my heart. I hope that as usual that the Holy Spirit will minister these words to our hearts in a way that will cause for change and repentance. Amen!
This chapter starts up with the thoughts of a young man, Ammon, David’s son. He was obsessed with his sister [step], Tamar, to the point of making himself sick over her.
Pause and Think: What kind of thoughts occupy our mind? And when thoughts that do not please God come to our minds, what do we do? Do we expel them immediately or do we feed them?
The thing about the situation with Ammon is that he had control over how he was feeling and chose to allow his feelings rule him. He was obsessively in love with Tamar, to the point of making himself sick over her. He was not possessed by some spirit, he was an actor in this movie. This makes us understand that we have power over our thoughts. Whether our thoughts become actions, is dependent on if we cast out the thoughts or if we feed the thoughts.
Then it gets more interesting, Ammon had a friend called Jonadab [technically his cousin-son of David’s brother, Shimeah], who was shrewd [as the NIV puts it] or exceptionally streetwise [as the Message Version puts it]. Ammon tells Jonadab about this feeling, and he springs up a plan…
Here’s what you do, said Jonadab. Go to bed and pretend you’re sick. When your father comes to visit you, say, ‘Have my sister Tamar come and prepare some supper for me here where I can watch her and she can feed me’. v 5 [MSG]
Jonadab was indeed street wise [in a negative way]
Pause and Think: Who walks with you? Who stands by you? Who do you listen to? Are you very confident that when your friends see you stray away, they will be able to rebuke you in love?
The power of association is one that should never be underestimated. Our associations can either make or mar us. The bible says; evil communication corrupts good manners, and it does. But in the case of Ammon, he had a thought and his friend devised a plan. You see, that’s how friendship is supposed to be, a friend is supposed to complement/impact. Ammon was performing the duty of a friend but it was for a negative purpose.
We live in a world where as humans, we desire to connect, to belong etc. There is nothing wrong with such feelings, but where such a feeling is not understood properly from the eyes of the maker of the desire, abuse is inevitable. It is also dangerous to have such a feeling without an understanding of your identity and a mind of your own. The influence of a friend is very powerful, and the position of a friend should not be given to just anybody.
As expected, Ammon carries out the plan devised by his friend, it does not end well. He rapes his step-sister, and hates her even more than he loved her.
The thing about sin, is that, at first sight, it seems right, but the end is definitely destructive. Lust seeks SELF gratification; while love is selfless. Love seeks to protect the virtue of the other.
Moving on from the sin, the king, David hears of the whole story, he was furious about it, but did nothing about it. He did not discipline Ammon. Here’s the reason:
David doted on him because he was the firstborn. [from the Message version]
This inaction of David spiraled into a path of violence, which could have been avoided.
Pause and Think: Do you know that favoritism is a sin?
It is expected that if a wrong is done, a person entrusted with a position of justice is to seek out justice for everyone under his/her power or jurisdiction. David being king, it was expected that on hearing about Ammon’s action, he was going to call for a reprimand or discipline for his actions. I believe Absalom had the same expectations, and when his expectations were not met, he decided to take matters into his hands.
Anger that is an outrage over the desecration of life can become a powerful catalyst for justice, but David’s anger amounted to nothing.
Two years after, Absalom throws a sheep-shearing party and invited the king’s sons, ordered his servants to kill Ammon when he is drunk; and they did. After which, he fled. The injustice meted on his sister was the main catalyst that propelled Absalom down a path ofviolence- the killing of Ammon, the desire to de-throne his father etc.
I have a very soft spot for today’s post, reason being that the foundation of this whole massacre was the thought of a young man and the devious plan of his friend. I cannot help but think that, if that thought never existed, Ammon may have not have died as he did. But I’m also of the opinion that Absalom’s anger could have been alleviated by King David, but the sin of favoritism took a better part of him.
As usual, we are picking out these lessons to learn from them, not to prove to ourselves that we are better and cannot be caught in such. Remember:
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. I Cor 10 v 12 [ESV]
If you don’t remember anything from this post, please remember these:
- Your thoughts are powerful, the bible isn’t mincing words when it says- As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Train your mind.Train your thoughts. Do not allow negative thoughts abide in you. Any thought that does not please God should not rest in His temple-YOU.
- Who you call your friend is life changing. Be picky when it comes to giving someone this priceless title. If you are not the best person at choosing friends, then let the Lord choose for you.
- Favoritism is a sin. James 2 v 9 NIV- But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
The three highlighted lessons are things that we face everyday. As Christians, we read and study the Word of God to be changed, not to repeat the same errors.
May God help us all. Amen.
P.S I discussed just three lessons from the passage, but I am sure there are other lessons; what are they?
PT TIP OF THE DAY