WE USUALLY SEE THE WAY WE LIVE REFLECTED IN OUR CHILDREN'S LIVES
A SERMON ORIGINALLY DELIVERED AT
THE FEDERATED CHURCH OF ATHENS
7 AUGUST 1994
By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
Exodus 20:14, 17
2 Samuel 13:1-17
Over the past month or so, we have looked at several aspects of King David's life, and we have seen how the way he lived affected the way Israel lived.
The people followed both his good attributes and his bad examples, and as we have seen, people seem to be attracted more to the evil than to the good.
This is why it is so important for us, who say we are followers of Jesus Christ, to set the proper Christian example.
Today, we are going to look at a few more aspects of David's life; but more to the point of today's lesson, we are going to look at the lives of a few of his children, as they reflect certain aspects of David's life.
Keep in mind, that people pick up on the good as well as the bad examples of our lives.
Our children all have minds of their own.
God gave each of them a free will and the ability to discern good from evil.
Thus, each one has the ability to follow our good examples and to reject our bad ones.
But still, we usually see the way we live reflected in our children's lives.
Let's begin our journey this morning in 2 Samuel 13:1.
1. Now it was after this that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her.
Absalom and Amnon were sons of different wives of David.
2. And Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.
The type of love Amnon felt for his half sister was not healthy, for it was really lustful.
And Amnon knew that his feelings were wrong, for we are told, “…it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.”
He knew what he was told in the Law of God (Leviticus 20:17):
17. 'If there is a man who takes his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the sons of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness; he bears his guilt.
Amnon knew this, and he also knew something else the Law told him (Exodus 20:14, 17):
14. "You shall not commit adultery.
17. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
Amnon knew that his father did this very thing with Bathsheba.
And he also saw that his father was not directly punished.
So, in Amnon's mind, he considered that the Law was not all that important.
While he was obviously taught right from wrong, and knew the difference, he also allowed himself to be tempted. (2 Samuel 13:3-5)
3. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very shrewd man.
4. And he said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Then Amnon said to him, "I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom."
5. Jonadab then said to him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill; when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat, and let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from her hand.' "
Do you remember seeing the cartoons in which an angel sat on one shoulder of the character, and a demon sat on the other, each trying to convince the character what to do?
Do you also remember what the Lord told Cain when his offering was not regarded as being proper (Genesis 4:5-7)?
5. but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
6. Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
7. "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."
Amnon knew this story, too.
We are also reminded of something very interesting in Hebrews 13:2:
2. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Now, while Amnon didn't have the benefit of this message to remind him, he did know the way the angels of the Lord visited Abraham.
Along life's pathway there are many forks.
Some lead to life everlasting, and some lead to destruction.
And at every one of these forks, we encounter those who try to lead us one way or the other.
Unfortunately, Amnon took the wrong fork. (2 Samuel 13:6-7)
6. So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand."
7. Then David sent to the house for Tamar, saying, "Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare food for him."
David should have questioned this request, but even if he did in his mind, he still went along with it.
And Tamar went to Amnon's house and prepared food for him, and Amnon sent his servants away, leaving him alone with his sister, and then he tried to entice her (2 Samuel 13:8-11).
Listen to what Tamar said to Amnon (2 Samuel 13:12-13).
12. But she answered him, "No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing!
13. "As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you."
From what Tamar is saying, we come to understand that she, as well as her brother, understands the intent of the Law.
She was taught properly.
But what she says in the last part of verse 13 also leaves us with the impression that she believes her father is above the Law of the Lord.
In essence, it didn't matter what David did, for he could always convince God to conform to his way, or at least this is what David's children seem to believe.
And they believed this because of what they saw their father do.
In their minds, and the minds of many people today, morals can be compromised.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
(2 Samuel 13:14-15)
14. However, he [Amnon] would not listen to her [Tamar]; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.
15. Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Get up, go away!"
If Amnon really loved his sister, he could never have done this.
And Amnon even goes so far as to have his servant throw Tamar out of his house (2 Samuel 13:16-17).
This family intrigue goes on and on and gets even worse.
But so much for today's message.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode, or cheat a little and read your own Bible to find out what happens next.
But before we end this message, think again about what Amnon did, and about what David did.
Are the acts of the son any worse than the father’s?
Sure, David later repented of his sins, and we don't have any account of Amnon having done so.
But are not their sins of a similar nature and intent?
As a society, we don't fully understand how much the next generation follows what we do, or we would be more careful of our actions.
We should all think carefully about how we appear to others.
And remember, that it is God's intent that when others look at us, they see Jesus.
Your Comments are welcome
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