Avoiding the Sow-and-reap Cycle
Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of April 26, 2015
2 Samuel 13:1-14:33
Nathan told David that because he killed “Uriah the Hittite with the sword...the sword will never depart from your house” (2 Sam. 12:9-10). One example of that occurred between David’s sons Amnon and Absalom.
Amnon “fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom” (2 Sam. 13:1). He pretended illness to get her to bring some food to his bedroom, where “he raped her” (v. 14). Then “he hated her more than he had loved her” (v. 15), and locked her out of his quarters. Tamar mourned in disgrace, her brother Absalom sought to comfort her, and David “was furious” (v. 21). But neither David nor Absalom spoke to Amnon about the matter.
Two years later Absalom succeeded in having Amnon murdered. He then fled into exile in Geshur for three years. But David longed to be reconciled with his son Absalom.
So Joab hired a wise woman from Tekoa to tell David a story that one of her sons had killed the other, but now the relatives wanted the first son put to death, leaving her without an heir. She gained David’s sympathy and his oath to deliver the remaining son. Then she said, “When the king says this, does he not convict himself, for the king has not brought back his banished son?” (14:13)
David realized that Joab had “put words in her mouth” (v. 3), and gave in, instructing Joab, “Go, bring back the young man Absalom” (v. 21) to Jerusalem. But David did not allow Absalom to see him until after two more years.
A sobering thought: Forgiveness does not necessarily change the principle that “a man reaps what he sows” (Gal. 6:7). The drunkard may be converted but may still die of liver disease. The careless drug user may be converted but may still die of AIDS. The perjurer may be repentant but may not be able to undo the harm he caused in the lives of others. Let’s live in obedience to God’s Word so that we will not begin the “sow-and-reap” cycle of sin.