Now David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her. But as she was feeding him, he grabbed her and demanded, "Come to bed with me, my darling sister." But Amnon wouldn't listen to her, and since he was stronger than she was, he raped her. (2 Samuel 13:1, 11, 14 NLT)
Imagine being David. Imagine being a father who finds out that his son raped his daughter. What would you do? David hates what was done to his daughter, but he doesn’t want to put his son to death (the penalty for such things in that day.) So, David does “nothing.” (He doesn’t put his son to death at least.)
And though Absalom never spoke to Amnon about this, he hated Amnon deeply because of what he had done to his sister. Absalom told his men, "Wait until Amnon gets drunk; then at my signal, kill him! Don't be afraid. I'm the one who has given the command. Take courage and do it!" So at Absalom's signal they murdered Amnon. Then the other sons of the king jumped on their mules and fled. (2 Samuel 13:22, 28-29 NLT)
Now imagine being David. Your son kills your other son for raping his sister. Now what do you do? You don’t approve of what your first son did. You don’t approve of what your second son did. His actions were murder. Once again, the penalty for murder is death. David does “nothing.” (Well, he doesn’t put this son to death, either.)
And David mourned many days for son Amnon. Absalom fled to his grandfather, Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. He stayed there in Geshur for three years. (2 Samuel 13:37-38 NLT)
What David really wants is a daughter who knows she is safe and loved (appropriately). What David really wants is for Amnon to be alive and not a rapist. What David really wants is for Absalom to be content, fulfilled, and not a murderer. That’s not what David has, though. David has a mess.
And King David, now reconciled to Amnon's death, longed to be reunited with his son Absalom. Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom. (2 Samuel 13:39-14:1 NLT)
Now imagine that you’re God. Imagine watching your children rape, murder, and, in many other ways, hurt and destroy one another. What do you do? How do you respond to their evil? You want them to stop and you love your children.
How about you? As a child, do you know that you’re loved? Do you have children? Do you love your children, even when they do wrong? Do you know that you are loved as a child of God?