Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 21, 2015

The One Common Trail of Misery and Our Only Hope of Being Lifted Out of It

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Samuel Chapter 13.  Here is a link to this chapter –

I quote only the following verses.

“1 Now it was after this that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her.  2 Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.  3 But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very shrewd man.  4 He said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so depressed morning after morning?  Will you not tell me?”  Then Amnon said to him, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.”  5 Jonadab then said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill;  when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat, and let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from her hand.’”  6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill;  when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”

7 Then David sent to the house for Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.”  8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying down.  And she took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 She took the pan and dished them out before him, but he refused to eat.  And Amnon said, “Have everyone go out from me.”  So everyone went out from him.  10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand.”  So Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon.  11 When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.”  12 But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel;  do not do this disgraceful thing!  13 As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach?  And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel.  Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.”  14 However, he would not listen to her;  since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred;  for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her.  And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!”  16 But she said to him, “No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!”  Yet he would not listen to her.

20 Then Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you?  But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.”  So Tamar remained and was desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.  21 Now when King David heard of all these matters, he was very angry.  22 But Absalom did not speak to Amnon either good or bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.

28 Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death.  Do not fear;  have not I myself commanded you?  Be courageous and be valiant.”  29 The servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded.  Then all the king’s sons arose and each mounted his mule and fled.

37 Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 The heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom;  for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.”  2 Samuel Chapter 13:  Verses 1-16 and 20-22 and 28-29 and 37-39.


We see the trail of misery of Amnon.  Amnon was tempted and carried away and enticed by his own lust.

Amnon seized Tamar, Absalom’s sister, and dragged her into his trail of misery, violating her and then later abandoning her to desolation.

Amnon’s actions caused David and Absalom to enter the trail of misery of Amnon.  David was very angry at Amnon.  Absalom hated Amnon.

In this trail of misery, Absalom plotted to avenge what Amnon did to his sister Tamar and brought all the kings sons into this trail of misery through the plot.

Finally, Absalom accomplished the death of Amnon through the death of his servants whom Absalom commanded and who also entered this trail of misery.

But, the trail of misery does not even end at the death of Amnon, because Absalom fled out of fear for what he had done and went to Geshurand was there three years, causing more grief for David who missed Absalom.

Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  Romans 3:16-18.

But, before we single out Amnon and wag our finger at Amnon, we need to read the context of Romans 3:16-18 to realize that in our natural condition all of us are in this “one common misery” called “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

“10 as it is written,

“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;

14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;

15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,”  Romans 3:10-15.

But, there is hope!

Article 7.  Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation. 

This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than the others, but with them involved in one common misery, God hath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by him, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his Word and Spirit, to bestow upon them true faith, justification and sanctification;  and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally, to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of his glorious grace; as it is written:  “According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love;  having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved,” Ephesians 1:4,5,6.  And elsewhere: “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified;  and whom he justified, them he also glorified,” Romans 8:30.  FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination of Canons of Dordt.


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