Family – David was a master king, but a dysfunctional husband and father. How did David lose Jerusalem and the kingdom? The answer is easy – family. It was because he never HAD his family or HAD a marriage. Oh, he had lots of wives, at least eight of them. He also had lots of concubines, more than the Bible counts. He had lots of children… again, more than even the Bible counts, but he never HAD his family.
DAVID THE KING
By Delbert Young
David, How’s Your Family?
David, How’s Your Family?
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 15:30-31, 1 Chronicles 3:9, 2 Samuel 12:10-11, 15, 13:3, 7, 14, 20-21, 27-29, 14:25-26, 15:6, 13-14, 18:9, 14-15, 18:33
2 Samuel 15:30-31 But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up. Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed…
What’s going on? Why is David weeping, mourning, and praying? David was in his sixties, but looked and felt older than sixties as he walked up the incline of the Mount of Olives. He fell from his balcony into Bathsheba’s arms around fourteen years earlier. David was a broken, broken man. He took a step and sobbed. Took another step and sobbed. His own son, Absalom, revolted, formed an army, and was now on his way to take Jerusalem, the kingdom, and David’s life. Instead of putting Jerusalem and its inhabitants into peril, David left weeping as he went with a few close and faithful friends. Close and faithful friends… what a comfort in a weeping and broken moment. You never forget those friends. They were there when… and they were there when… and they were also there when…
What happened? How did David lose Jerusalem and the kingdom? How? The answer is easy. It was because he never HAD his family or HAD “a” marriage. Oh, he had lots of wives, at least eight of them. He also had lots of concubines, more than the Bible counts. He had lots of children… again, more than even the Bible counts. The Bible lists twenty sons and one daughter in his immediate family (that’s my best count). At any rate, the Bible says this.
1 Chronicles 3:9 All these were the sons of David, BESIDES his sons by his concubines. And Tamar was their sister.
My point is having “wives/husbands” or a wife/husband, or a child, does not make anyone a husband or wife, a father or mother. Unless you are a father or mother by successfully being a father or mother, you will eventually find yourself walking a lonely incline of life, taking a step and sobbing, taking another step and sobbing… You lost it all… all that truly mattered. Your kingdom is gone and your Jerusalem/worship is gone. What’s left that matters?
We see this more clearly by asking David very important questions. “David, how’s your children? How’s your family?” To answer, David shakes his head and weeps louder. Fourteen years earlier, the Lord said to David…
2 Samuel 12:10-11 Now, therefore, THE SWORD WILL NEVER DEPART FROM YOUR HO– USE, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ “This is what the LORD says: ‘OUT OF YOUR OWN HO– USEHOLD I am going to bring CALAMITY upon you…”
Sword? Never depart? Never! Calamity? Calamity! The word of God during our lives is both painfully true and joyfully accurate. For David, at this point in his life, it was painfully true. Let’s catch up for those fourteen years.
Shortly after that word of the Lord, Tamar, the only daughter David mentioned in the scriptures, was violated and raped by Amnon, David’s oldest son. Tamar was Amnon’s half sister – same dad, different mother. Amnon obviously had a sick mind. The Bible said that Amnon fell in love with his half sister Tamar (2Sa 13:1). Like his father, he viewed a woman as a commodity. How do you know that Delbert? After he violated her, the Bible says…
2 Samuel 13:15 Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”
You young and old men know what Amnon experienced as his body went through puberty and of his using a girl and, sadly, you women experienced it, at least to some degree.
Young men still go through crazy moments as their bodies scream at them. Because of this, guard your daughters as you guard your most prized possession. She is.
2 Samuel 13:3 Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man.
This “friend” was Ammo’s cousin. Some vile things happen with cousins. Parent’s, watch out for cousins. They’re shrewd. I had “cousins” and I was a “cousin.” You were too! The point is watch out with whom your child associates, and maybe more often than not, family members. Be a parent. Watch! Investigate! Ask parental questions. You can. You have that right. Jonadab and Amnon formed a plan. It was actually a plan to get David to put Amnon and Tamar together. It was a plan to get David to SET UP his own daughter Tamar.
Amnon told David that he was very sick, but if David would allow Tamar to come and cook for him and if he watched Tamar cook and she fed him, he would feel better (2Sa 13:5-6). Hello David! Are you in there, David? Does that not sound strange to you, David? David, like most parents, suffered from “parental preoccupation.”David was preoccupied by things which would make him successful, or “happy,” but not with his family.David never realized how he handled this would determine the kingdom and much of the remainder of his life. David never linked family with success and failure, misery and happiness… until it was too late. Parents today never realize how they handle their family/children determines their happiness or misery for the remainder of their lives until it’s too late.
David fell for Amnon’s plan. David set up his own daughter Tamar!
2 Samuel 13:7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.” So Tamar went…
HERE WE SEE DAVID STILL SENDING…..She did as her dad said/allowed. Tamar put herself in a bad position. Amnon invited her into the bedroom and she went. Hello Tamar! What are you doing in the bedroom…? You are asking for trouble. Amnon tried to seduce her. She said no, but…
2 Samuel 13:14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
She reasoned. She pleaded. She fought. He raped. When he was done with her, he hated her and threw her out. She forever suffered.
2 Samuel 13:20-21 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman. When King David heard all this, he was furious.
The plot thickens. Tamar has a brother named Absalom. He said, “Don’t take this thing to heart.” Excuse me. We see the mentality of the sons of David. Sex meant nothing. Look at David, Amnon, and look at Solomon.
It said David was “furious.” Furious? That’s it? Yes, that was it. As far as we know, David never addressed, or disciplined Amnon. “Boys will be boys.” David did nothing to Amnon. Even worse, he did nothing FOR Tamar. He didn’t comfort her, affirm her, or express love to her. She needed her Father. She got silence, so she lived the rest of her life “a desolate woman.” David was simply “furious,” probably, “furious” because of embarrassment. That’s why most parents are the most upset. At whom should David be furious, Amnon, Tamar, or…? You got it… at David. Why? DAVID SET TAMAR UP.
PARENTS FREQUENTLY SET UP THEIR CHILDREN. We allow them to select their friends. Judy and I didn’t! How did you do that, Delbert? We were the parents and we told them “so and so” cannot be your friend and we told them why. Parents set their children up by allowing them to date much too early. We didn’t! Our daughter, Bonnie, was 22 years old and still double dating when she got married. How did you demand that, Delbert? WE WERE THE PARENTS! WE COULD DEMAND ANYTHING WE WANTED! Now, we didn’t wait until she was 16 before establishing that parental position. Well, that sure seems severely strict. Yes, yes it was, but Bonnie was a virgin when she married and thanked us numerous times for our “severely strict” parenting.I wonder if Tamar thanked David. I might have suffered some from “parental preoccupation,” but Judy never did. Today, parents set their children up to mess up. Most people don’t parent. They are too tired, or too busy, too into themselves, or too concerned about making their child mad – PARENTAL PREOCCUPATION. You should ask, “Who are they with? Who are their friends? Who is this boy or girl on the phone (or today, texting, IMing, whatevering)?” I was talking to a mother who was telling me she checks her son’s text messages. He’s a very young man and she must already correct him about texts, etc. I said, “Good for you. We didn’t have to watch what parents do today, but what we did have, we monitored.” Parents SET UP THEIR CHILDREN by wanting to be “their friends.” Listen to me! They have lots of friends, but they are lucky to have ONE PARENT!
They mess up and we become “furious.” We become embarrassed and we get angry with the child for only doing what we allowed. Come on, David… eight wives, who knows how many other women and illegitimate children. David, you don’t know how many children you had. David, you are not a parent. David, you can conquer nations, but you can’t parent your children. Your oldest son, the one who should be heir and be the one most like you, raped his sister. The son into whom you should impart your heart, your mission, your values is a vile minded young man who you allowed to become an animal while you were… having multiple wives and children and who knows how many women. No wonder you only became “furious.” What could YOU possibly say?
Ok Delbert, we got it, but what did that have to do with David being overthrown by Absalom? Everything! For two years, Absalom did not speak to Amnon and hated Amnon (13:22). Absalom waited two years for David to do something to Amnon and for Tamar. David did nothing. So, Absalom planned. He went to David and invited David and all the leadership to come to a sheep shearing party. David said that would be too much of a burden – actually parental preoccupation. Then Absalom asked David to allow Amnon and all the other brothers to come. Hello David! Smell a fish, David? You knew Absalom hated Amnon. Do you know what David did? You got it.David SET UP Amnon to be murdered.
2 Samuel 13:27-29 But Absalom urged him, so he sent with him Amnon and the rest of the king’s sons. Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Have not I given you this order? Be strong and brave.” So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered…
Absalom ran after having Amnon killed staying away from David 3 years. Eventually, David let Absalom slither back to Jerusalem. What did David do to Absalom? Nothing, except not speak to him for awhile. So, here’s what happened.
2 Samuel 14:25-16 Now no one in Israel was as handsome as Absalom. From head to foot, he was the perfect specimen of a man. He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was too heavy to carry around. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds!
2 Samuel 15:6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
Remember the hair part. Absalom began turning the people against David until he stole the hearts of all the people. Absalom planned his coup. David had to know something was going on. However… PARENTAL PREOCCUPATION.
2 Samuel 15:13-14 A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell King David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!” “Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before he arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.”
“How’s your family David?” Deceit, incest, vileness, rape, murder, rebellion, the kingdom in turmoil, and David fleeing for his life. David set up his children in three ways: (1) His own attitudes about the opposite sex; (2) personal sin(s) – (How could he correct them?); (3) parental preoccupation. Then went David taking a step and sobbing, another step and sobbing. “David, the Homer Simpson of biblical dads. The picture of passivity. When we ask him about his kids, he just groans.” Yes, David was a “Homer Simpson,” but let’s not forget about Marge, Homer’s wife. Where were the wives in all this? Where are mothers today? PARENTAL PREOCCUPATION!
This might be a good time to remind ourselves that David was still the man after God’s own heart. David did so much so well – a mastermind of military strategy, founded Jerusalem, advanced praise to God, wrote psalms we continue singing, but when it came to family, he was a horrible failure and when one fails at family, he/she fails at everything. David’s family failure placed David and his family in lifelong consequences that cost every one of them every day.
Absalom did take Jerusalem. He lead his army to kill his own father David. The Bible tells of a ferocious battle with over 20,000 men killed. It’s amazing the number of people our parental preoccupation can affect.Then…
2 Samuel 18:9 During the battle, Absalom came unexpectedly upon some of David’s men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great oak, his head got caught. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air.
2 Samuel 18:14-15 “Enough of this nonsense,” Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom’s heart as he dangled from the oak still alive. Ten of Joab’s young armor bearers then surrounded Absalom and killed him.
David sets up another child. How’s that Delbert? David didn’t do anything to Amnon for violating Tamar. He didn’t do anything to Absalom for murdering Amnon. Prison would have been better than dying hanging from a tree with darts in your heart and swords rammed through your body. How did David respond to Absalom’s death? It’s one of the saddest verses in the whole Bible.
2 Samuel 18:33 The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to his room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I could have died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.”
Tardy tears. David succeeded everywhere except at home, and, if you don’t succeed at home, do you succeed at all? David never wrote a psalm about his children. David never wrote a psalm about one wife. David, other than praying the Lord spare Bathsheba’s first child, never prayed for his children. He prayed about everything else. He wrote psalms about everything else. He had time for everything else. Now it’s too late.
So. How’s your children, David? How’s your marriage, David? HOW’S YOUR FAMILY, DAVID? How’s your life, David?
How about you today? Are you weeping as you go up the incline of life? Are you truly successful? Are you truly a man or woman after God’s heart?
Other Related Sermons:
Facing Your Giants, Max Lucado, p. 152