Scripture Focus: 2 Samuel 13.13-14
13 “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. 13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
“He’d grown up just like me…my boy was just like me…” — “Cats in the Cradle, Harry Chapin Carpenter
Reflection: Like Father, Like Sons
By John Tillman
David’s sons turn out to be very much like him. Amnon becomes a carefully plotting rapist. Absalom becomes a murderer, a rebel, and a rapist as well. And that’s just a starter.
Nathan prophesied that David’s sins would “never leave his house.” (2 Samuel 12.10) So as we read of the history of the kings of Judah, we frequently find the sword cutting people down and women being abused.
David’s passing down of abuse and violence to his children is no surprise. Neither is the escalation of violence. We see a pattern of escalating evil laid out in Genesis. Evil grows from the taking of the fruit, to unreasonable anger, to the taking of Abel’s life. Then Cain’s descendant, Lamech, “takes” two wives (with implied violence) and multiplies Cain’s murderous ways. This escalating violence leads eventually to the destruction of the flood.
Sin always sets in motion more sin to follow. Often, the sins of fathers and mothers have lasting effects. Sometimes these can be self-replicating, damaging behaviors that are passed down through generations such as abuse, addictions, and other harmful actions. Sometimes they are consequences, debts, or mental or emotional handicaps that leave the next generation at a disadvantage.
The natural inheritance from David is not pure or holy. However, there is another heritage from David because there is another Son of David. Jesus came to be the son that David could never raise and the king that David could never be. The incarnation is God stepping in to fulfill all the commands and expectations God had for David’s dynasty. Jesus is the king David was supposed to be and fulfills all that David failed to do.
In Jesus, there is a new royal dynasty that inherits his footsteps of righteousness. We join this dynasty as siblings of Jesus, heirs together with him. (Romans 8.17; Galatians 3.29; Ephesians 3.6)
We have within us twin destinies from our twin dynasties. From David, we have lust and violence and power that takes for itself. From Jesus, we have love and service and righteousness, which is power that provides for the weak.
Who will deliver us from this body of death? (Romans 7.24-25) Jesus. We can be redeemed siblings, sons and daughters who are like God our Father as revealed by Jesus.
May we humbly abdicate the throne of our lives and learn to allow Jesus’ power to flow through us, doing righteousness that we cannot do on our own.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Our sins are stronger than we are, but you will blot them out. — Psalm 65.3
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
2 Samuel 13 (Listen – 6:39)
2 Corinthians 6 (Listen -2:31)
This Weekend’s Readings
2 Samuel 14 (Listen – 5:57), 2 Corinthians 7 (Listen -2:58)
2 Samuel 15 (Listen – 6:06), 2 Corinthians 8 (Listen -3:25)
Read more about Two Lamechs, One Jesus
Cain’s Lamech multiplies violence. He is proud of being more violent than any other man.
Read more about Be Yoked to Christ, Not Politics
May no party or human leader be permitted to yoke us or Christ’s church to their cause.