Family Ministry Center: David Sons of the Sword
SONS OF THE SWORD
About 1010 B.C., David became king over Judah and then about 1003 B.C. he became king over all Israel. David had the following children, starting with the firstborn son: Amnon, Chileab, Abasalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, and Ithream. The story of David includes the violent death of several sons. But to understand those terrible losses, you must understand the sins of David.
Sexual Sins of Fathers
Adultery Today Will Bear Evil Fruit Both Today and Tomorrow
After Triumph in Your Greatest Battles, Beware of Sexual Sin
Your Sexual Sins Affect Both Your Marriage and Your Children’s Lives
David Anointed King. God chose David, a shepherd boy, to succeed Saul as king of Israel. After Samuel anointed David, God formed a special covenant with him, and promised him that David would never have to fear that his offspring would be replaced by God as God had replaced King Saul with David. In 2 Samuel 7:8-17, pages 502-503, God promised David peace and prosperity. God also promised that He would raise up a royal line from David to sit upon the throne of Israel. God declared He would be a Father to David’s son, and God’s loving-kindness would never depart from David’s descendants.
David the Adulterer and Murderer. Not long after God gave David these tremendous promises of great blessing, David fell into sexual sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-13, pages 507-508). After he committed adultery with her, David then murdered her husband and valiant warrior, Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:14-27, pages 508-509). God sent Nathan the prophet to David to confront him with his sin (2 Samuel 12:1-15, pages 509-510). David had despised God and His blessings, opting instead to live in wild rebellion. God spared the life of David, but pronounced a sentence upon the family of David commensurate with David’s crimes. First, because David had killed Uriah by the sword of the Ammonites, so the sword would never depart from the the house of David (2 Samuel 12:9-10, page 510). Second, evil would rise up against David from within his own household (2 Samuel 12:11, page 510). Third, David’s wives would be taken under the sun and given to his companion, even before his own eyes (2 Samuel 12:11-13, page 510). Upon hearing the sentence, David confessed his sin against the LORD (2 Samuel 12:14, page 510; Psalm 51:1-19, pages 904-905). But a final blow remained. The son of adultery with Bathsheba would also die (2 Samuel 12:1-15, Page 509). God then records the fulfillment of the prophecy of the sword among David’s sons.
Amnon the Rapist. David’s son, Amnon, loved Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom (2 Samuel 13:1, page 511). Even though Amnon and Tamar had David as father, their mothers were Ahinoam the Jezreelitess (2 Samuel 3:2, page 496) and Maacah (a daughter of a king herself; 2 Samuel 3:3, page 496; 2 Samuel 13:1, page 511), respectively. The incestuous heart of Amon burned for his half sister, and he and Jonadab (his evil friend) concocted a plot to get her for Amnon (2 Samuel 13:1-6, pages 511-512). Amon pretended to be ill, and arranged for Tamar to bring him food. As she brought the food to his bed, he grabbed her and violated her, despite her protests (2 Samuel 13:7-14, page 512). But then, Amnon hated her with a violent hatred and sent her away (2 Samuel 13:15, page 512). She went to Absalom her brother and also another son of David, told him the story, and remained desolate in the house of Absalom (2 Samuel 13:15-22, pages 512-513). Two years later, Absalom had his revenge upon Amnon. Absalom had a great feast for his brothers, and then sent his servants to kill Amnon. Abasalom’s men carried out his instructions and killed Amnon for raping Tamar, the sister of Absalom (2 Samuel 13:28-30, page 513). Just as Nathan prophesied, the sword had just devoured its first victim, Amnon, the firstborn of David, and Absalom had wielded it in retaliation for sexual and incestuous sin in the house of David.
Absalom the Traitor. At this point, Absalom had the blood of his half-brother Amnon on his hands and he fled to Geshur and the protection offered by Talmai of his mother’s family. Abasalom was the thirdborn son of David, after firstborn Amon whom he killed, and the secondborn Chileab, the son of Abigail (2 Samuel 3:2-3, page 496). David mourned for the separation from his son Absalom every day (2 Samuel 13:24-37, Page 513). After a period of three years, Joab conceived a plan using the woman from Tekoa to convince David that Absalom should be brought back to Jerusalem, and allowed to live (2 Samuel 14:1-20, Pages 514-515). The plan worked, and David permitted Absalom to return. Over a period of many years, Absalom fomented rebellion and stole the hearts of the men of Israel away from King David (2 Samuel 15:1-6, Page 516). Absalom then seized power and David had to flee Jerusalem (2 Samuel 7-18, pages 516-517). Absalom took possession of both the city and his father’s concubines. He set up a tent on the roof, and used those concubines to make himself odious to his father David (2 Samuel 16, Pages 519-520). David gathered his forces, and sent them against Absalom under the command of Joab. Twenty thousand men of Israel fell in the ensuing battle, and Joab killed Absalom, disregarding the direct command of David to spare the life of Absalom (2 Samuel 18:1-19, Pages 522-523). Upon hearing the news of Absalom’s death, David lapsed into grief-stricken depression (2 Samuel 18:24-19-7, pages 5243-525). The sword had now struck down the second son of David, but had not yet departed from his house. Furthermore, just as Nathan prophesied, what David had done sexually in private, his son Absalom had done to his concubines before all Israel.
Adonijah the Supplanter. As David grew old, Adonijah his fourthborn son exalted himself and Joab and Abiathar the priest supported his bid for the throne (1 Kings 1:1-7, page 539). Meanwhile, Bathsheba heard from Nathan the prophet about the rise of Adonijah and immediately sought an audience with King David (1 Kings 1:11-14, pages 539-540). She reminded David that he had promised her that their son Solomon would be the next king (1 Kings 1:15-27, page 540). David directed Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet to anoint Solomon king over Israel (1 Kings 1:28-37, Pages 540-541). Solomon immediately took the throne and Adonijah begged for his own life. Solomon spared Adonijah’s life, but told him “Go to your house” (1 Kings 1:49-53, page 542). After Solomon became King, David died (1 Kings 2:1-12, pages 542-543). Solomon’s kingdom was firmly established (1 Kings 2:12, page 543). Adonijah then sent his mother, Bathsheba, to Solomon and asked for Abishag, the maid of David, to become his wife. Solomon discerned the rebellious motives of Adonijah and killed Adonijah by the hand of Benaiah (1 Kings 2:19-27, pages 543-544). The sword had now taken a third son of David.
So we learn more about fathers and their role in daily devotions.
● Being a father in Christ means that sexual sins have a profound and terrible result in your life, both today and tomorrow. David suffered the death of that child born of adultery, and then suffered even more later with his own sons. Children learn how to act sexually from their fathers.
● Being a father in Christ means that you your sexual sins can have effects upon your children. Likewise, your patterns of behavior will influence the behavior of your children.
● Being a father in Christ means you must continue to love God and trust His blessings, even if your children stray from the truth.
Application for Today
David and his sons remind us of how powerful sexual sin can be. Nathan the prophet confronted David concerning his sin, and David repented and turned to the Lord for forgiveness. Even so, serious consequences continued for David and his sons. Will you avoid sexual sins today? Will you repent of your sinful behavior and know God loves to forgive sinners today?
Family Ministry Center: David Sons of the Sword
Family Ministry Basics