King David's family is more dysfunctional than most—David's not exactly Ward Cleaver. We see his family being created through rather unusual means: reclaiming a wife (Michal) who had been remarried to someone else, adultery, and murder. Then there's the absolute horror story of Amnon's rape of his sister Tamar, and the mini-saga of Absalom's rebellion (couldn't Absalom have just gotten really into Phish or something, instead of launching a civil war?).

So, in 2 Samuel, families are messy. Like the Russian writer Tolstoy said, "All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." We get to see the unique unhappiness of David's family—though it's also a special family, destined to rule.

Questions About Family

  1. Why exactly is Michal ashamed of David's dance before God? How do you think she thinks someone should approach the deity?
  2. What does God see in David's family? What makes him want to elevate it?
  3. Why does Absalom rebel? How might earlier family conflicts have motivated him?

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