Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Friend Like Jonadab

Sometimes Christians will strive for something God doesn't want them to have. It might be a ruling position in the church, it might be revenge, or it might be admiration. What those people need is a friend like Jonadab.

2 Chronicles 13 tells us that Amnon fell in love with his beautiful half-sister Tamar. He knew that their father, King David, would not allow him to do anything. It seems that Amnon was kept under careful watch because he was next in line to be king. But Amnon had a friend named Jonadab. The Bible says that Jonadab was a "very" subtle man. The Hebrew word for "very" refers to diligence; Jonadab was diligent in his efforts to be a successful sneak.

If God couldn't get Amnon what he wanted, Jonadab could. He came up with a clever plan for Amnon to rape Tamar. The plan succeeded, but now Absalom, Tamar's full brother, wanted revenge.

It took Absalom two years to win King David's trust, but David finally allowed Amnon to go to a feast that Absalom had. There, Absalom had Amnon killed.

But where was Amnon's old buddy Jonadab? It turned out that Jonadab knew about the plot, but he was busy winning King David's confidence, comforting him with assurance that only one of his sons had been killed.

So why hadn't Jonadab warned either Amnon or David about the plot? Well, he was a very subtle man, and he knew how to look after himself. After hurting Tamar, David, Amnon, and Absalom, Jonadab was safe and sound.

Folks, you'll meet people who are good at church plots. They can sometimes deliver leadership positions when God won't. They're skilled at backstabbing and lying. And like Jonadab, they'll usually wind up safe when the people who listened to them get hurt.

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