After David and Bathsheba’s son died, God blessed them by giving them. Solomon 2 Samuel 12:24-25 describes the special love the Lord had for Solomon.
Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him 25 and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
Jedidiah means beloved of the LORD. He was a special blessing for David and Bathsheba after losing their first son. God continued to bless David as He gave him the royal city of Ammon called Rabbah, the Ammonite crown, and eventually all of Ammon. But David’s sin had resulted in a curse 2 Samuel 12:10-12 records that curse.
“Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”
Today we see some of that curse come to pass. 2 Samuel 13 records the tale of David’s son Amnon and his desire for his half-sister Tamar. Amnon’s cousin and close friend Jonadab came up with a plan and carried it out. Amnon pretended to be ill and asked David to send him Tamar to cook for him. She did as her father requested. When she made food for her brother, he refused to eat. He sent everyone out of the house and asked Tamar to feed him in his bedroom. But when she went in to do that, Amnon raped her. His lust became hatred and he sent his sister out of the house to live in shame. Verses 18-22 continue the account.
Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves, for thus were the virgin daughters of the king dressed. So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. 19 And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went.
20 And her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom's house.21 When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had violated his sister Tamar.
Absalom was angry. He was furious with Amnon but since Amnon was the firstborn son, David would not punish him and so he was angry with his father as well. He repressed his fury as he plotted his revenge. Two years passed and Absalom saw his chance for vengeance. He was having the sheepshearers come and there would be a party to celebrate. He invited his family but David would not consent to having the entire family there. Absalom finally convinced David to let Amnon and the rest of his brothers and half-brothers attend.
When Amnon was drunk, Absalom commanded his servant kill his brother. The rest of his brothers saw it and fled for their lives. Absalom had not been able to kill his father but he had killed the man who raped and shamed his sister.
But the news that reached David was much different. He heard that every one of his sons had been killed. He was in agony, but his nephew Jonadab told him that only Amnon was dead and that Absalom had repaid him for Tamar’s rape. Verses 34-39 resume the story.
But Absalom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up 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; as your servant said, so it has come about.” 36 And as soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king's sons came and lifted up their voice and wept. And the king also and all his servants wept very bitterly.
37 But Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son day after day. 38 So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 And the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom, because he was comforted about Amnon, since he was dead.
David had lost Amnon and now he had lost Absalom. He longed to reunite with Absalom and tell him he was forgiven, but how could he? Absalom would be killed if he came back to Jerusalem. Joab saw David’s grief-stricken heart and wanted to help him. 2 Samuel 14 picks up the account. Joab got the help of a wise woman and told her to dress and behave like a mourning woman and told her what to say to the king. She told him a story about her two sons, one who killed the other exiled and threatened with death. Verses 11-17 reads,
Then she said, “Please let the king invoke the Lord your God, that the avenger of blood kill no more, and my son be not destroyed.” He said, “As the Lordlives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.”
12 Then the woman said, “Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” He said, “Speak.” 13 And the woman said, “Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in giving this decision the king convicts himself, inasmuch as the king does not bring his banished one home again. 14 We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast. 15 Now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid, and your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant. 16 For the king will hear and deliver his servant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the heritage of God.’ 17 And your servant thought, ‘The word of my lord the king will set me at rest,’ for my lord the king is like the angel of God to discern good and evil. The Lord your God be with you!”
She began by reminding David of his power in God. David had the position and right to carry out God’s will and to make judgements and decisions in God’s name. David was moved by her story. He was also a very smart man and recognized Joab in her words and understood he could bring Absalom home again. As God had forgiven David, he could forgive his son as well.
David had to live the curse of his sin but he could overcome it through the LORD. God forgives. And David forgave as well. We have no right to withhold forgiveness from anyone considering all we were forgiven for. In Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus said it this way,
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness overcomes the curse of sins. Jesus’ blood overcomes all sin and His Resurrection overcame death. We pursue God’s heart, we put on the new self which is the image of Christ and we will experience conquering the curse of our sins with the blessing of salvation in Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 reads,
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
So David forgave Absalom and allowed him to come back to Jerusalem, though he was not allowed in the king’s presence. He still owed a debt of blood for Amnon. He himself had never asked for forgiveness or shown remorse for the murder of his brother. But he wanted to be in the household of the king again.
He didn’t want it because he longed to be with his father, he wanted it because he assumed he would been next in line to be king. He was vain and self-obsessed and wanted to live like a prince again. We will continue this thrilling chronicle tomorrow.
Today, remember that sin has consequences; the curse of sin is real. But Jesus overcame sin and death. His forgiveness is our blessing. Sin separated us from God, but forgiveness opens the way for us to be reconciled to Him. Repent, believe, and confess and we become the sons and daughters of the King of kings through the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 reads,
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.