Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah — all died young. Amnon was killed by Absalom in vengeance for his rape of his half-sister (and sister of Absalom) Tamar. Absalom was killed by Joab and his men for overthrowing David and taking his throne. Adonijah was killed for disloyalty to Solomon following Solomon’s mercy to him after a failed coup against David.
The overwhelming impression is that David, a great man in many ways, was a terrible father. Over and over, he is blind to the sins of his sons. He took no action in response to Amnon’s crime. He forgave Absalom for killing Amnon, with no punishment other than a temporary exile. When Absalom rebelled, David gave orders that he not be killed — even though he’d driven David from the palace, cuckolded his father with David’s concubines, and led an army to kill David. When Adonijah rebelled against David, David had Solomon anointed king but took no action against Adonijah.
We began the quarter with this question: How is David a man after God’s own heart?
(Act 13:22 ESV) 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
Consider these attributes of Lord’s anointed —
* A man of great faith. Think of Goliath and David’s refusal to kill Saul, patiently trusting God to make things right in due course.
* A man who keeps his covenants.
* A poet and composer of songs, a great musician.
* A man of great mercy. Consider Shimei.
* A man who loves his sons so much that he is blind to their sins.
Frankly, I can’t respect David as a rearer of children. He did a terrible job with his three oldest sons. But I’m thrilled that God — like David — is blind to my sins! The difference is that God disciplines me. He lets me suffer the earthly consequences of my mistakes — but he forgives me. And that’s a greater blessing.