2 Samuel 3:2-5 – Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should!

Posted: May 14, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel
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2 Samuel 3:2-5
David’s Sons Born in Hebron

Who says the Bible is not current? Just look at this passage for today, 2 Samuel 3:2-5. Though it is short, it gives us a glimpse into one of David’s flaws. He loved women just a little too much! In this short passage we see that his six sons were by six different women. Whoa! Talk about getting around! David knew that this was against God’s Word but he justified it by the culture in which he lived. In the ancient Middle East, kings could take as many women as they wanted – wives, concubines, whatever. So, does this passage justify the sexual revolution that we have seen in our culture. Does it validate that you can have sex with as many women as you want? Does it validate alternative sexual behaviors since this is clearly anti-law here. Or is there something greater going on here? Is this the seed of the troubles that David will experience in governing later in the Old Testament? Do we see parallels into the ills of our society today because of freedom to have sex with whomever we want? Let us read this passage and then think about that concept.

2 These are the sons who were born to David in Hebron:

The oldest was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel.
The second was Daniel, whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel.
The third was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur.
The fourth was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith.
The fifth was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital.
The sixth was Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, David’s wife.

These sons were all born to David in Hebron.

In this passage, we see that each one of David’s sons were born of a different mother. As we progress through the life of David in the Old Testament, we are going to see that David suffered much heartache because of his many wives. Polygamy was a socially acceptable practice for kings in the ancient Middle East at this time in human history. David’s practices with regard to taking many wives was reflective of the times in which he lived, although God specifically warned against it (see Deuteronomy 17:14-17). Sadly, the numerous sons born to David’s wives caused him great trouble. Rape (2 Samuel 13:14), murder (2 Samuel 13:28) rebellion and civil war (2 Samuel 15:13) and greed (1 Kings 1:5-6) all resulted from the jealous rivalries among the half-brothers, all sons of David. Solomon, one of David’s sons born later after this passage was written, when he ascended to the throne after his father, David, passed away also took many wives (some of whom were pagan women) eventually got Solomon so wracked in sin that he wandered away from God (see 1 Kings 11:3-4).

Just because the culture says it is OK and other people are doing it does not mean that we should join in with the practices that are considered acceptable by the culture. Our first measure as to whether a cultural practice is something we should participate in should be God’s Word. If God’s Word prohibits or warns against the practice directly or by inference, we should stand against the practice and not participate in it. God’s laws are not intended to inhibit us but rather protect us from that which is harmful to us. Many cultural practices today are now considered fashionable and OK though the Bible stands against such things. In order to say such things are OK, you either have to say that the Bible is old-fashioned and out of date and out of step with the times and thus no longer valid and applicable to our times. Alternatively, you have to play academic and theological gymnastics to interpret passages in such a way that support that the social practice is, indeed, “biblical.”

As we can see here in this passage, David probably had a really good time bouncing around from woman to woman. Mel Brooks in his movie, “History of the World”, a hilarious and by today’s standards politically incorrect satire on the history of the western world, coined the phrase, “it’s good to be the king!” every time he would as King Louis of France make a flirtation or sexual advance toward a beautiful woman in his court. I am sure David would have used this phrase when thinking about the women he had sex with to produce these sons. However, it is clear from God’s Word that sex should be confined to one man and one woman in a marriage covenant. The weight of biblical evidence in this regard is heavy. To use this passage as support for sexual freedom is to take it out of context of the biblical narrative of David’s life. It was his willingness to have sex with as many women as possible and sire sons by these women that almost brings down his kingdom. Further, even after all the stuff that happened because of these rivalries born of David’s multiple sex partners permanent crippled David’s kingdom after the civil war that was the culmination of these rivalries. The kingdom of Israel went into maintenance mode after that and was finally split in two within one generation after David’s death.

I think all of us in the church have seen the effects of the sexual revolution on our culture. You sometimes have to have a playbill to know what kids belong to who nowadays. Daddies, wives, and children all with different names. The destructiveness of divorce and remarriage on our culture is tangibly real in crime statistics, drug abuse, and so on. It is clear that though we can have sex with whomever we want (there is nothing stopping us from doing so) but that does not mean it is we can or should.

Let us become a nation that turns back to God because we realize that his prohibitions and warnings against certain behaviors are not mean to hold us back from what we want but rather to protect us from the effects “of eating such fruit”! Let us become a nation where we think long and hard before we marry. Let us become a nation where we work our problems out instead of changing spouses like we change underwear. Let us become a nation that makes our marriages comply with biblical standards. Let us become a nation where we place our marriages above our won personal desires. Let us become a nation that sees the Bible’s guidance as valuable, timeless, and for our protection from our own foolishness.

Amen and Amen.

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