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Amnon: Ruined By Friendship

The decisions we make regarding our friends in this life are among the most vital decisions we must make. In II Samuel 13, we can read a tragic story of one of King David's sons, Amnon. Now, Amnon had a lovely half-sister, Tamar, for whom he had deep desires. But he had never acted on those desires, for, "it was improper for Amnon to do anything to her" (vs. 2). However, the very next verse states, "But Amnon had a friend...[who was]...a very crafty man." Amnon had never done anything to Tamar...then his wicked friend, Jonadab, presented him with a scheme that would give him the opportunity. Jonadab advised Amnon, to fake an illness to lure his sister in to tend to him, and then have his way with her (vs. 5). Amnon heeded his counsel.

The influence of a friend caused Amnon to bring shame on himself and his sister, and set in motion his brother Absalom's plot for revenge. Amnon made a detrimental mistake in choosing Jonadab for his friend. How different his life may have been if he had surrounded himself with godly people!

So, Absalom waited two full years before carrying out his revenge on Amnon (vs. 23). He took all his brothers with him to Baal Hazor, and while they were there, he commanded his servants to slay Amnon (vs. 28) In this part of the story, Jonadab's treachery is revealed to go deeper than one could imagine. After Amnon was killed, word came back to King David that Absalom had killed all his sons. But Jonadab assured David, "...only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar." (vs. 32) Jonadab had known all along that Absalom intended to kill Amnon, but apparently had not even warned him. What a friend!

From Amnon's story we learn that friends can be a bad thing if we don't choose them wisely. What kind of friends do you keep? This is a question that needs answering, for in it could lie your earthly, and eternal fate (II Corinthians 6:14-15).

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward