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The Danger of Bad Friendships [Jonadab]

By Matthew Black, Pastor

Text: 2 Samuel 13:1-6

Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 7pm

Series: Life of David


Tabernacle Baptist Church

7020 Barrington Road

Hanover Park, Illinois 60133


Introduction: Open your Bible to the book of 2 Samuel 12. For this evening’s message, we are looking a message entitled: “The Danger of Bad Friendships”. 

As we come to the sordid tale of David’s first born son, Amnon, and his abuse of his half sister Tamar, we are going to find that Amnon was an idolater at heart.  He thought the things of this world could satisfy him.  He sold his soul for a moment of pleasure.

We often love the things of this world rather than the Creator of all things. We have loved the gifts of God rather than the giver of all gifts. 

Lust is a killer.  Until you are satisfied in Christ alone, you will be longing for something more.  The pleasures of this world cannot satisfy.

Last week we looked at how because lust cannot ever satisfy, that it can only create misery.

I.          The Object of lust can never be satisfied.  Verse 1, ““And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her”. This was not love, but lust. Love “seeketh not her own”. Lust seeks her own at all costs.

Lust is insatiable because it is driven primarily by the imagination.  Now to be sure, Tamar was a fair princess. Her name means “palm tree” or “glorious creature”.

It is said that Amnon “loved” Tamar, but of course this is from Amnon’s perspective. Actually, Amnon did not even know Tamar. Most of what drove him concerning Tamar were Tamar’s beauty and Amnon’s perverted imagination.

Amnon wanted something he could not have.  Look at verse 2, “And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her”. 

All that Amnon could do was to fantasize about Tamar and pine for her. It finally got so bad that he got physically sick, he couldn’t eat, he wasn’t sleeping, he was basically just wasting away.

II.       Last week we also considered the Risk of lust.  Lust is so deceptive a force, that a person is willing to risk everything to gain it. 

A.   Amnon gave away his mind and his body to this lust.  He became a complete slave to it.  Look at verse 2, “And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her”. 

B.   Amnon is willing to put his future kingdom on the line.  Remember Amnon is planning to break the moral law and violate his own half-sister.  He is risking the very throne of Israel, since he is David’s first born son.  What a great risk people take for nothing. Be very careful of your own imagination.  We can deceive ourselves into thinking that something on this earth can actually satisfy us and meet all our needs and wants. 

Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

III.     Tonight we are going to see the Friend of lust.  We read in 2 Samuel 13:3-6 that a plot is hatched by Jonadab, Amnon’s cousin. 

A.   Let’s look at the Influence of a bad friend.  Look at verse 3, “But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtle man”.  The word “subtle” means to be scheming, crafty, cunning, or wily.[1] 

There are many people that will have a bad influence on you, and you must avoid them.  We’ve got to be careful who our friends are.  Even relatives, such as Jonadab, can be dangerous.  Spurgeon said, “if you lie down with dogs you will get up with fleas”.  He said, “beware of…those who love filth and roll in it. Dirty dogs will spoil your clothes, and make you as foul as themselves”.[2] 

B.   Second, see the Intentions of a bad friend.  Verses 3-6, “But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtle man. 4  And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister. 5  And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it [watch her] and eat it at her hand.”  It was Jonadab that hatched this plan that brought both Amnon and Tamar to ruin.

C.   Finally see the Injury that a bad friend can cause.  We’ve got enough tendency to dishonesty in our own hearts to fight against and put to death.  A bad friend has the potential of convincing us of something that will harm us or harm others.

In Amnon’s case, it led him to not only watch and lust after Tamar, but the lust grew to such an extent that he raped her.  Look at verse 6, this is the first step in Amnon’s sin.  He acts out on what Jonadab’s plan. Verse 6, “So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.”  Here Amnon is willing to follow Jonadab’s advice and lie to his father, the king. 

You may esteem someone for one reason or another, but there is an easy way to choose friends.  If the Lord does not esteem someone, you ought not to esteem them either.  Out of sympathy or evangelism we may continue in bad friendships, but you must realize, if a person is not God’s friend, he ought not to be a close friend of yours.  Why? Because you will likely do that friend little good, but he or she will do you much harm!  Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

Amnon listened to the counsel of his friend, and it led him to Tamar’s disgrace and his own destruction. 

Conclusion: Stay away from corrupting influences in your life!  Bad friends can lead you astray!  Consider Proverbs 1:10-16, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11  If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12  Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 13  We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14  Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: 15  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.”

There are many influences in a person’s life that can be corrupting. 

Ø       It can be friends.  Be careful who your children’s friends are. You cannot even trust relatives.  Children and young people must be supervised at all times. 

Ø       It can be the TV.

Ø       It can be relatives.

Application:  Be careful!  Who was it that introduced you to sin?  Most of the time it is through friends during unmonitored moments. 

Instead, be a friend to your child.  Be a good example for your children.  How?

1.      Show them how they can be a friend with God.  Let them follow you as you follow Christ.

2.      Show them what it is to be a true born again believer who is filled with the Spirit.  If you continue in sin, it will have an effect on your children. 


[1] James Strong: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order. electronic ed. Ontario : Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996, S. H2450.

[2] Charles Spurgeon. John Ploughman’s Pictures (Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1896), 138.

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