2 Samuel 13:3, “ But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.”
The life of David is one filled with the rich blessings of God. David was a man who was guided, protected and strengthened by the Lord of glory. Yet, David was not a perfect man in all his ways. In 2 Samuel 11, David sinned against God, and even though God forgave David, the consequences of his actions remained.
In 2 Samuel 13, we begin to read about the consequences of David’s sin. The sins of parents are often seen in the children’s actions. With David’s example lacking in many ways, his children were left to walk in their own ways and look to the world for patterns. David’s sin opened a door for the influence of ungodliness.
When Amnon, the son of David, fell love sick for his half-sister Tamar, we never read about him going to his father David for help and advice. Upon reading 13:1-2, it seems in my humble opinion, that he could restrain himself concerning his sinful thoughts, yet the Bible tells us that he had a “friend”. Amnon’s friend was his first cousin, the son of David’s brother, and the Bible says he was a “subtil man”. The word “subtil” means that he was a cunning, skillful, and intelligent man concerning the things of this world. He was skilled in the actions of sin and he advised Amnon in acting out his sin.
Years ago, when I first began to make an effort to preach, I was blessed to have a conversation with a precious father in the ministry concerning important lessons of life. His advice to me was to remember to WATCH. W – watch your words; A – watch your actions; T – watch your thoughts; C – watch who you choose for companions; H – always watch your heart. He told me if I would follow that advice it would lead to many peaceful days in this world.
The lessons in 2 Samuel 13 (David and Amnon) also find application to us today. Parents need to take heed to themselves, that they show forth a godly example to the next generation. We all need to walk circumspectly (Eph 5:15), constantly being on guard for the ungodly influence this world may have on us.
As I consider these lessons, I’m more and more thankful for my brothers and sisters in the Church, the friends in the House of my Heavenly Father. What a tremendous blessing they are/have been in my and my family’s life. I often think of the hymn, “House Of The Lord”. In verse three of this precious hymn we find these words about the friends we find in the Church:
You may value the friendships of youth and of age
And select for my comrades the noble and sage
But the friends that most cheer me on life’s rugged road
Are the friends of my Master, the children of God.