As the story progresses in today’s reading we see that what God had said would come to pass, is doing just that. Absalom now sleeps with David’s concubines in front of all Israel. I would like to take some time examining something in these chapters that I have not heard others mention. There is another effect of sin in these chapters that I believe is often, if not always, not recognized.
Some people believe that it was okay, in God’s eyes, for David, Solomon and many other men to have multiple women, either as wives or concubines. But just because scripture records these actions, it does not mean that they are condoned by God. Being the husband of one wife is not something that came about after the earthly life of Jesus. This concept for the family was given by God from the very beginning. We see in Genesis that a man should leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. Then God says that these become one flesh. God never intended for men to have multiple wives, nor did He create us emotionally capable for such arrangements. Today I want to look at the two different problems in the life of David and Israel in regards to the effect of this sinful act. I would like to add that when a man decides to have multiple wives, women become more like an object or property. This action is selfish and prideful.
When king David would not take action against Tamar’s rapist, her half brother; I believe that it was not just mere anger over the act that caused Absalom to take the drastic measures in which he took. It seems to me that there is also some underlying jealousy in this story. Was king David showing favor to children of certain wives over others? Absalom sees that the king has shown less regard to him and his sister Tamar, than he had shown to his children from another woman. In fact David allowed his son, from another woman, to rape his sister without any recompense. How can there not be strife and jealousy in a family that has multiple wives, then naturally, multiple mothers. If you remember the story line in the life of Jacob, he had similar problems. After being duped into marrying Leah, Jacob worked for seven years to gain Leah’s younger sister Rachel in marriage. This act drove these two sisters to hate one another. Leah gave Jacob ten sons while Rachel gave him two. Jacob showed great love for the youngest two boys who were from the womb of Rachel. As the story unfolds, there was great jealousy between these boys of Rachel and the ten sons of Leah and her hand maids. The older ten set out to kill Joseph due to jealousy; if it were not for one of the son’s gaining a conscience, Joseph would have been left in a pit to die. Joseph was instead sold to the Ishmaelites.
When we step outside of what God has commanded it always ends badly for us. God gave us standards to live by; not because He simply enjoys making rules. God gives us these standards in order that we may have joy in life. Now we see Absalom, in broad daylight, having sexual relations with David’s concubines. This would not be possible if David lived by the standard that God had given. Once again we see the many fingers of sin digging in like the roots of a great tree. They take hold and cannot be easily removed.