Beware: Poison! (II Samuel 12-13)

Friday, October 21

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Nathaniel Johnson

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were tempted to eat of the one forbidden fruit. In David’s kingdom, he was tempted to take Bathsheba as his own wife, even though she was already married. David’s son Amnon, was tempted to take his sister Tamar for himself, even though that is disgraceful. The sin that started with Adam found its way to king David, a man after God’s own heart, and on to his son Amnon. Like father, like son, they both went after the forbidden fruit. How silly of Amnon to not listen to Tamar! He could have been free of guilt had he only asked David to give him Tamar as his wife, but he couldn’t resist the temptation. The sin that Amnon commits spreads like a virus to his brother Absalom. Absalom handles this fairly well at first. He started to take care of his sister and let her live in his household. He also didn’t lash out at his brother. In fact, he didn’t say a single word to Amnon. But, he made one crucial mistake in dealing with his brother. He didn’t forgive him. I know it’s hard to imagine being in this situation and it’s even harder to be able to imagine being able to forgive someone for that. As Alan Cain once said, “Unforgiveness is the poison we drink thinking that it will harm someone else.” Absalom thought that by harboring this bitterness in his heart, he could pay back Amnon for what he did to Tamar. He was wrong. When the bitterness in his heart boiled over, he struck out and killed his brother. As a result, he not only hurt himself, but left an emptiness in his father’s life by running away in shame. When we sin, the worst thing we can do is duck our heads and run away. Just as David still wanted to see his son Absalom after he had sinned, our Heavenly Father wants to see us when we take a bite of that forbidden fruit. Through Jesus, God will always welcome us back with open arms as long as we come for forgiveness.

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