We have already been introduced to a tragedy in David’s house with regard to adultery, now we are introduced to another tragedy. A number of years have come and gone that by the time we read what we do here, David had children that were grown to the point of, at the very least, young adulthood. David’s first born, Amnon (3:2), had an infatuation with his sister Tamar. Not knowing how best to “release” this infatuated energy, he became ill. His cousin gave him some counsel, and in this counsel Amnon’s sister was violated (raped). His infatuation now turned to hate. The only response of this emotion toward his sister was to push her outside and let her suffer from his evil deed. Absalom, Tamar’s brother, now sets his sight toward Amnon because of his evil. Two years come and go and the plan Absalom hatches works to completion with Amnon being killed. David, in all this, could have brought justice to his house, but he did not. Interestingly enough the LXX reads, “And king David heard of all these things, and was very angry; but he did not grieve the spirit of his son Amnon, because be loved him, for he was his first-born” (13:21). Since David would not bring justice, Absalom did! Knowing he would be a marked man, he flees, and for three years stays in hiding.
Application: I can only imagine what David must have felt like when Nathan confronted him with the Lord’s displeasure; perhaps it froze him in considering how best to tend to problems in his home; perhaps, when he heard from the Lord that the sword would not depart from his house (12:10-11), he resigned himself to the possible problems forthcoming. Perhaps none of this applies. Whatever stopped David from rendering the proper judgment to the situation as justice was crying out … whatever it was it was now a time for much affliction for David. In his confusion over the next number of months and years, David wrote Psalm 3. Maybe the situation helped him to get things in order.