February 4th, 2018
2 Samuel 13
Amnon had it all. He was King David’s firstborn son. He grew up never knowing a lack of money or power. With a simple wave of his hand, he could have anything his heart desired. One word from his lips could dictate the fate of someone’s life. He was a prince being trained to become the next ruler over the entire Israelite nation. Yet even with all that privilege, Amnon struggled with a sinful temptation. He lusted after a young woman he could never have – his sister, Tamar. However, he knew this was very wrong, so he constantly worked to keep his flesh under control.
But Amnon had a friend. His name: Jonadab.
Jonadab could see that Amnon was troubled, so he prodded his friend to see what was the matter. When he discovered the shameful secret, Jonadab conjured up a plan for Amnon to abuse his power and give in to sin. He convinced Amnon to succumb to his sick obsession and take advantage of Tamar. These actions took him down a dark path of devastation, deceit, and destruction – a path that eventually led to his murder.
Could it be that this whole tragedy may have been avoided if Amnon had not relied on his friend’s skewed advice?
While we are all responsible for our own actions, we cannot be foolish enough to think that our friends do not sway our decisions. We value their opinions and trust their counsel – especially when we are at our weakest point and feel directionless. So that means you have to always use wisdom on who you surround yourself with and be cautious with who you let speak into your life. Following a careless word of bad advice may not send you to your literal death, but it could be the catalyst of your spiritual death.
And remember that you can never accomplish enough or achieve a high enough status that you are immune to the influence of those around you. For even a king-to-be was impacted by the mere words of someone he confided in.
So analyze the relationships you have in your life and ask yourself: is this a faithful friendship or a fatal friendship? Is their counsel helping me or hurting me?
Pray: “God, help me to use discernment with every relationship I form. I want to always choose friends that bring me closer to You and give me Godly advice. And let me be the same kind of friend to others – a friend who encourages others to stay in Your will.”