Amnon, one of David’s sons, was madly in lust with his half-sister Tamar who was the full sister of David’s son Absalom. The Bible says that “Amnon became so obsessed with Tamar that he became ill” (II Samuel 13:2a, NLT).
As I said yesterday, Amnon had a choice. He could have occupied his mind with other things and repented of his impure thoughts toward his half-sister, but instead, he chose to follow the example set by his father with Bathsheba.
Amnon also “had a very crafty friend – his cousin Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimea” (II Samuel 13:3).
You can tell a lot about a person by the company he keeps. An honest person doesn’t want to hang with a dishonest person. A non-drug user doesn’t want to hang with a drug user. You can bet Amnon and “crafty” ol’ Jonadab were two peas in a pod; they clearly enjoyed each other’s company.
Now let’s pick up the story of these two ne’er-do-wells: “One day Jonadab said to Amnon, ‘What’s the trouble? Why should the son of a king look so dejected morning after morning?’ So Amnon told him, ‘I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister’” (II Samuel 13:3-4).
Remember all the steps David went through to get to Bathsheba? David had opportunity after opportunity to make the right choice, but he continued to make wrong ones. Amnon was intent on doing likewise. Instead of closing his mind and mouth to his wrongful thoughts, he shared them with his cousin.
“‘Well,’ Jonadab said, ‘I’ll tell you what to do. Go back to bed and pretend you are ill. When your father comes to see you, ask him to let Tamar come and prepare some food for you. Tell him you’ll feel better if she prepares it as you watch and feeds you with her own hands” (II Samuel 13:5).
“I’ll tell you what to do.” Talk about poor judgment! Amnon took advice from a “crafty” individual. A sneak. A con. A person not to be trusted. A person very much like himself. And in so doing, Amnon took a full plunge into evil:
“So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. And when the king came to see him, Amnon asked him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and cook my favorite dish as I watch. Then I can eat it from her own hands’” (II Samuel 13:6).
Giveth thou me a break! Was David that naïve? With all the servants the king’s family had at their disposal, what kind of lame ploy was this? Yet David failed to smell the proverbial rat – or rats. Both Amnon and Jonadab were rotten to the core and an innocent young woman was going to suffer because of them.
Talk to almost any ex-con and he’ll tell you his first mistake was the wrong choice of friends. While we’re to love and reach out to the lost world, we aren’t to wallow in its filth. It’s one thing to reach out to a drug addict; it’s quite another to hit the crack house with him.
“Christian” is a title bought by the precious blood of Christ. Don’t use it unless you live it.
“Be careful the environment you choose, for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose, for you will become like them.” (W. Clement Stone)
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates