God’s Kingdom is for a Greater King (2Samuel 13-18)


There is a story[1] told about a little boy who was out in a pond. He had his little toy boat floating on the pond and the boat began to drift way out. He couldn’t get it. A man came by and saw the boat way out in the pond and he did something very interesting. He picked up stones and threw them on the other side of the boat. He threw them beyond where the boat was. The boy didn’t understand what the man was trying to do. The stones were causing quite a disturbance in the water.

Something very interesting began to happen. As the man threw the stones out in the pond, they created ripples of water that moved backward toward where he and the boy were standing. Those ripples slowly pushed the boat back to shore.

That’s how God’s discipline is. When we wander away from Him in the sea of sin and pond of depravity, God throws the disturbing actions of His loving discipline in order to push us back onshore. God wants to push us back to where we should never have wandered from in the first place.

The last message in 2Samuel was King David floating away in sin, shame, and selfishness. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband. David’s sin was exposed by the prophet Nathan. In grace, David confessed his sin and received mercy, but not without earthly consequence. This message will examine the generational consequences of David’s sin and the longing for shalom (peace).


EXAMINE           2Samuel 13-18          God’s Kingdom is for a Greater King

When sin overwhelms an individual, it often impacts the lives of those around that person. It’s like cotton candy being sticky on all the fingers, and regardless of how messy it is everyone wants a bite. So, sin not only spreads, but establishes standards and patterns for others, especially those in the family and specifically children.

If we are honest, a lot/all of our families contain many burdens and brokenness from sin. One of the aspects of the Bible to appreciate are the stories not hiding primary character’s failures but telling the realness of their lives and then how God works in their midst. Perhaps, David is the classic example of God blessing and disciplining a man of strong morality contrasts.

So, in this message I want to share 1 principle and show how it is expressed in several chapters of 2Sam 13-18.

God’s grace removes our eternal punishment but not earthly consequences.

2Samuel 12:10-14 “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.’”

David’s eternal punishment was “put away” but his earthly consequences remained.

–        War: sword shall never depart from your house.

–        Treason: raise up evil against you out of your own house.

–        Betrayal & Infidelity: wives taken and given to neighbors

2Samuel 12-18 record David’s earthly consequences for sin described by Nathan. In all, they would be a lack of peace that David had before when he was established in Jerusalem (2Samuel 7:1).

–        Death of David and Bathsheba’s child (2 Sam 12:16-23)

è The loss of a child, unborn or later, is heart-wrenching and confusing. Why does God let this happen? I know this from personal experience in the loss of our first child. Here is what brought us hope[2]:

  • God knows our children, even in the womb (Ps 22:9-10; Ps 139; Jer 1:4-5; Lk 1:15-16, 44)
  • God views children, even in spite of original sin, as belonging to Him (Ez 16:4-7, 16:20-22)
  • God does not have an age of accountability, but a condition of moral and spiritual accountability where one becomes responsible for awareness of God, grace, sin, salvation.
  • God has created heaven to be a place of joyous reunion (John 14:3; Rev 21:3-4).
  • 2Samuel 12:23 “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”


–        Incest and sexual harassment & assault/rape between David’s children Amnon and Tamar (2 Sam 13:114 – note v 14). Even more, Amnon puts away Tamar and causes her further isolation (2 Sam 13:17).

è  Love can be a tremendous gift but a terrible god. Amnon was lovesick for Tamar (2Sam 13:2-4). Yet, his lovesickness was an idol and a lust rather than godly and relational love.

è Sexual abuse doesn’t only exist but it’s prevalent, in the world and yes in the church.

o   1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age of 18.[3] 1 out of every 6 American women has been victim of an attempted rape in her lifetime.[4]

o   Every 109 seconds an American is sexually assaulted; and every 8 minutes that victim is a child.[5]

è Abused individuals are not alone.[6] Unlike King David who essentially ignored the matter, the church needs to be ready to minister to the thousands wounded and suffering from sexual sin, victims and even repentant victimizers.

  • Your darkest secret is not a death sentence and can be shared to find healing. Absalom sought to keep it quiet and never confronted his brother (2Sam 13:20-22). Victims should not be forced to silence.
  • You can have victory over your victimization. Tamar was raped and irrevocably violated (2Sam 13:12-19). She likely feared her future as a bride and mother were stolen hopes. Tamar’s outcome is unknown but we do know that Absalom names his daughter after her. The good news of the gospel is that in spite of sin victimizing our world, there is victory in Jesus conquering sin and shame. His grace gives us victory through a new identity of being perfectly loved, cherished, and firmly secured in the Father’s hand.
  • à For Christians, there is no room for “locker room talk” that denigrates women or causes them to feel objectified or unsafe. Adult men must model and mentor godly manhood and confront immature or immoral talk & actions. Young men must grow up into maturity or realize such talk or actions will not be tolerated.
  • à PS: Our church’s Student Ministry (CM/YM) takes this seriously that we do background screenings for all our workers, and are working toward increased measures to train vols, and maintain a safe environment for all minors in our care.

–        Murder between David’s children Absalom with Amnon (2Sam 13:20-33).

You can conceal your sin and reap destruction, or you can confess your sin and receive deliverance. David, Absalom, and any others failed to confront the sin but instead covered it up, resulting in great destruction with anger, hatred, bitterness, and murder. God’s way to deal with sin is not concealing but confessing it.

Our relationships must remove anger, hate, and bitterness. We must choose forgiveness and trust God to bring about justice.

–        Divided family with David refusing to speak with son Absalom for two-five years (2Sam 14:1-27). Absalom had done wrong but at least he stood up for his sister and justice.

è We must not avoid our problems but address them. Imagine the issues and problems that David could have solved had he addressed Absalom.

–        Rebellious acts by David’s son Absalom setting fire to Joab’s harvest field (2Sam 14:30). Absalom is just trying to get his father’s attention. Sometimes the actions of children are simply cries to be noticed, heard, and perhaps even be disciplined.

è What fires are your children starting to get father or parental attention?

–        Conspiracy and betrayal to overthrow David by his own son Absalom (2Sam 15:1-12, 13-37; note 15:6 “Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel”).

–        Persecution with David’s servants cursing him (2 Sam 16:5-14; note 16:11-12 “for the Lord has told him to curse me”).

o   David had forgotten God’s promises from 2Sam 7. He is believing the words of man rather than God’s promise of favor and blessing.

o   1Peter 4:17 “if anyone suffers as Christian, let him not be ashamed, but glorify God in that name”

o   We walk in depression & defeat when we believe words of men rather than promises from God.

  • This is why being a part of a church community and small group is so important. We are called to speak and sing gospel truth to each other that informs and transforms our thinking & living.

–        Absalom disgraces David & family by sleeping w/ father’s concubines/step-mothers (2 Sam 16:1523).

o   Generational sin occurred. To be clear, generational sin is not that a child involuntarily repeats the immoral behaviors of their parents or ancestors. Generational sin implies the models of behavior are so influential that they become the standard by which individuals are measured, if not also the unfortunate patterns that are repeated. Therefore, the seeds of sin among parents are often harvested in their children.

o   The patterns of David was repeated in Absalom.

  • This woman (2Sam 11:3 with 13:17)
  • Women experience great grief (2Sam 11:26 with 13:19)
  • Drunkenness and murder (2Sam 11:11-13 with 13:28)
  • Death among David’s sons (2Sam 12:18 with 13:29)
  • Sin not only spreads, but establishes standards and patterns for the next generation.

–        David is forced to attack his own child, which Absalom ends up murdered in battle (2 Sam 18:1-15; note 18:33 “And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, ‘O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son.”)

o   David is riddled with regret, realizing he can never go back.

o   Men/Husbands/Fathers, let us not reach this point. Learn from David’s life. Make life count!

David wept for his son’s rebellion. He wished he could have spared his life and died in his place.

The Son of David, Jesus, wept for our rebellion. He did die in our place.

The father we need is greater than David.

–        Like Absalom, we have rebelled against our father.

–        Like Absalom, we have publicly reveled in sin on the rooftop of our lives.

–        Like Absalom, we have stolen our father’s kingdom to become our own.

–        Like the parable of the gracious father, God longs for us to come home from our prodigal living. When we repent God runs to us, embraces us, forgives us, and restores us.

–        Like Absalom died hanging on a tree with a spear of rebellion thrust in his heart. Jesus died hanging on a tree with our rebellion thrust in his heart.


David fell short. David was not the king for whom Israel was searching. Instead, that would be the Son of David, Jesus. David’s life legacy was in the hope of God’s promise of Jesus.

Jesus takes our sin and consequences and re-creates a better story.

–        Like a cross-stitch project on the backside looks like a confused and complex mess, but when complete and turned around it turns out to be a beautiful creation. God does the same with our lives in weaving together all our circumstances, even our sin, to re-create a life and future legacy.

Shalom – full peace

–        2Samuel 22 David’s song references 8 descriptions for God: rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn of salvation, stronghold, refuge, and Savior. All the descriptions are intimate with the personal pronoun “my”, and yet they are also a reference to the Lord’s relationship with Israel.

–        1Thessalonians 5:23-24 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”



–        David was a fearless military figure but a pitiful family leader. Fathers and husbands claim their sport and vocation accomplishments but too often fail at home. Further, men’s great temptation is often not wickedness but apathy.

o   Ministry & Mission

o   Marriage

o   Parenting


è Repent and renew commitment to the Lord today.



[1] Tony Evans, Illustrations, sins consequences.

[2] A resource that is helpful is John MacArthur’s Safe In The Arms Of God: Truth From Heaven About The Death Of A Child.

[3] https://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/public/statistics_childSexualAbuse.html

[4] National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey (1998).

[5] https://www.rainn.org/statistics/scope-problem

[6] Following points of hope adapted from Clayton King, Healing From Sexual Abuse, 2Sam 13, accessed at: http://www.summitrdu.com/message/healing-from-sexual-abuse-2-samuel-131-21/

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