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When Family Bonds Shatter 2 Sam. 13:19-22, 28a, 37-39; 14:23-24; 15:1-6 Nov. 23, 2008


       How important is family to you? In my immediate maternal family all have died. I no longer have anyone with whom to reminisce about the stories families love to tell. It really brings home to me some of the added values of a family most of us take for granted. I am pleased my family never divided over some sinful acts, or refusal to seek forgiveness from one another. I do not share the experiences David and others share When Family Bonds Shatter.


1.   The . . Blame When Family Bonds Shatter. 13:19-22

       A.   The Blame Belongs to . . Sinful Actions. 13:19-20

            19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long-sleeved garment she was wearing. She put
her hand on her head and went away weeping. 20 Her brother Absalom said to her: "Has your brother

Amnon been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister. He is your brother. Don't take this thing to heart."
So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in the house of her brother Absalom.


       B.   The Blame Belongs to . . Selfish Actions. 13:21-22

            21 When King David heard about all these things, he was furious. 22 Absalom didn't say

anything to Amnon, either good or bad, because he hated Amnon since he disgraced his sister Tamar.

       The sinful act of incest certainly caused havoc in David’s family. Several chapters in the Bible focus on what originated with this one act. Of course God told David his sinful acts would carry punishment that would drastically affect his family. Ammon’s uncontrolled and evil lust blossomed to include the death of himself and Absalom. Absalom’s selfishness did not turn judgment over to his father for Ammon’s sin, but took matters in his own hands. We can see his egotistical desires for himself in these early events. Ammon’s sin must be blamed but close behind is the selfish actions of Absalom.


2.   The . . Banishment When Family Bonds Shatter. 13:28a, 37-39

       A.   The Banishment Caused By . . Death. 13:28a

              28 Now Absalom commanded his young men, "Watch Amnon until he is in a good mood from the wine. When I order you to strike Amnon, then kill him.


       B.   The Banishment Caused By . . Departing. 13:37-39a

            37 Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David
mourned for his son every day. 38 Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur where he stayed three years.
39 Then King David longed to go to Absalom, for David had finished grieving over Amnon's death.

       Banishment occurred for Amnon through his death ordered by Absalom. He ordered his servants to do this in order to revenge Amnon’s actions against their sister Tamar. Surely the incest needed to be punished, but the decision, and how severe, properly required their father, David’s, input. The vast majority would agree the activity by Absalom caused family bonds to shatter. Then Absalom fled to another country and through his departing he affected his own banishment. Sometimes family members decide what actions another family member might take without allowing them the benefit of expressing themselves. A few years ago I counseled a family with 7 young adult children. They were not talking to one another but agreed to all come and talk with me. I sat them all down around a large table and one by one asked them why they thought there was a problem. When everyone expressed their feelings I asked them to express their love for their mother and for at least one other sibling. Tears began to flow. They began to laugh, and when we concluded I asked them to hug one another. This interaction affirmed my opinion that communicating with one another usually helps those involved make wiser decisions. 



3.   The . . Burden When Family Bonds Shatter. 14:23-24, 15:1-6

       A.   The Burden Caused By . . Exclusion. 14:23-24

              23 So Joab got up, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 However, the king added,  "He may return to his house, but he may not see my face." So Absalom returned to his house, but he did not see the king.


       B.   The Burden Caused By . . Egotism. 15:1-6

              1 After this, Absalom got himself a chariot, horses, and 50 men to run before him. 2 He would get up early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone had a grievance to bring before the king for settlement, Absalom called out to him and asked, "What city are you from?" If he replied, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel," 3 Absalom said to him, "Look, your claims are good and right, but the king does not have anyone to listen to you." 4 He added, "If only someone would appoint me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a grievance or dispute could come to me, and I would make sure he received justice." 5 When a person approached to bow down to him, Absalom reached out his hand, took hold of him, and kissed him. 6 Absalom did this to all the Israelites who came to the king for a settlement.  So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. HCSB

       The fellowship of the family and the lack of interaction in it may cause several burdens. In the text David initiated a decision that excluded Absalom from a complete fellowship between he and his siblings. That probably fed Absalom’s egotism and he decided to work toward making himself king. What a horrible way for a family to react. Many times exclusions and egotism must take the blame When Family Bonds Shatter. Amen? Amen!