The successful journey of every man on earth hangs comfortably on some factors. One of those factors is influence. We all have been influenced to do all that we do in one way or the other. What is influence? Influence is a power to affect persons or events. This speaks volumes about the people, circumstances and events that affects us to perform in life both positively and negatively. In this circle of influence which includes Mentors, role models, elderly figures, the media, religious leaders and Importantly friends. The choice of what influence a man is also dependent on age and status. In the world of youths and young adults, an indispensable circle of influence can be traced to friendship! The words, actions and beliefs of the people around us make or mar us in life! I hope you know that your friends can intentionally make you do things you won’t by your own accord do without your full support, you will just find yourself doing those things! Have you heard of friends that force their other friends to do their biddings?
The truth is, our friends will always be able to have a say on what we do and the decisions we make. This means, if who you call your friend is bad person without any moral standards, you might unconsciously end up doing bad things with the friend without quickly noticing it. There is a biblical story that describes the power of influence through friendship. This is the story of Amnon, the first son of David and how Jonadab his friend helped him in successfully raping his sister! In this series, we want to analyze the worth, value and the role friendship played in this abominable event that happened under the watch of the greatest King in Israel, David. Let’s journey together again!
In the times of David, the kingdom was under the control of a safe ruler, a leader under the divine authority of God. Still in this Kingdom, the bible began to explain the events that unfolds after the sin of David which led to Psalms 51. The bible opened us up to an event that happened to the children of David particularly, Prince Amnon and Princess Tamar. In 2 Samuel chapter 13, we saw something unimaginable growing in the heart of the first son of David, Amnon. He started to develop infatuations and untamable emotions for his half sister, Tamar. Tamar was the younger sister of Absalom, another son of David born by Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur. How the feelings started we did not know, but one thing was sure, that feeling would eventually lead to nothing but destruction and shame!
What kind of sexual love starts to grow among children of the same Father? Especially, children of David, the anointed King of Israel. Amnon, amidst his infatuation, the effects of his inability to get his half-sister made his countenance weak and pale. There came Jonadab, his good friend. Meeting his friend in a bad mood suggests a displeasure about what his heart desires, so Jonadab offered to know what happened, and as expected dropped the one in a century idea to land Tamar on Amnon’s bed! Remember, the bible did not fail to describe the kind of person Jonadab was. The bible called him a very crafty man. So, a crafty man was the only friend that was available enough to offer Amnon an advice to solve his self-inflicted misery. If the only set of people that can stay with you in times of trouble and distress are the wrong friends, your fall and destruction will be mighty!
There are men like Jonadab in our lives, people that have become so influential in our lives to the extent that their words are magnetic to us. Whatever advice that comes from them is always welcomed with open arms and all smiles without much attention given to the repercussion of that advice either good or bad. An important question we must ask at this point is, who are those friends with magnetic influence over your life? what would be the biblical report on their lives? Will it be good or bad? The bible is always direct and entirely open while introducing characters to us. In the case of Nabal the Carmelite, he was called a fool! So, the people you call friends, are they friends like Jonathan or Jonadab?
Who are those friends with magnetic influence over your life?
Since the only available idea came from Jonadab, Amnon was quick to accept and implement it immediately. Whenever you lack friends that can speak harshly about your faults and correct you without mincing words, then you are not safe. There are a lot of youths that only an advice from a strong friend would have saved them from going ahead with that wicked acts they desired to do, but because all they had around them were bad influence, their destruction came right as expected. So, instead of Jonadab to caution his friend and talk him out of his illusion of infatuation, he led him right into it in a grand style! There is something that keeps happening all through history; shame lingering and looming around the great! The snare of a great man is to fall! When a man is conquered and defeated already, shame runs from them and rather loiters around the great and mighty to bring them down! Amnon went ahead to actualize the devilish plan of Jonadab and everything worked well as planned, so eventually he raped his own half-sister. An abomination happened! Amnon did an embarrassing act that made him unworthy to be called a prince! Then the hatred began to rise from him to the same lady he thought he loved. The bible mentioned that the hatred he had was greater than the love he first professed to Tamar. This of course is the end of infatuation and lust. It is all an illusion. It is not real! Whatever emotions makes you weak and sick is not from God. it is far from true love! Every useless and seemingly untamable flow of emotions must be dealt with and controlled before it leads you to destruction! Learn from Amnon!
Whatever emotions makes you weak and sick is not from God. it is far from true love!
One major factor that energized Amnon to do his bidding was the support and advice of Jonadab, his supposed good friend. He was the agent of destruction in the life of Amnon. Like we’ve explained in the previous episodes of this series, just one bad egg in your basket is enough to lead you to your doom, especially as youths that believes the words of friends more than anyone else! We must all endeavor to run away from friends like Jonadab. This is one very potent biblical picture of bad friendship. You are a product of who stays around you. It was so funny that Jonadab never appeared before Amnon again after he committed the sin. He stayed clear of him. What a friend!
Further study into the book of 2 Samuel revealed how it was this same Jonadab that announced to King David that only Amnon was killed by Absalom, the elder brother of Tamar whom he raped. He further explained to David while Amnon had to die from the hand of Absalom in 2 Samuel 13:32. “Then Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered and said, “let not my lord suppose they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar”. After Jonadab gave Amnon the advice that led to his destruction, he was found before King David announcing the death of the same man. Men can go that far! You won’t be there to be given any apology! No one will tell you sorry because you received the advice of a fool. It is better to stay out of that poisonous friendship today to avoid an inevitable end like Amnon.
Finally, in this episode, we have discussed about the bad picture of friendship to learn from the mistakes of the ancient. Experience is never the best teacher! The Holy Spirit remains the best teacher. If all that you will learn in life will be through experience, then you may not be strong enough to enter God’s best for your life because of the effects that the horrible experiences would have on you. It is rather better to learn by picking lessons from the mistakes of others before falling into the same pit. Be instructed in Jesus Name! in our final episode on My Life and My Friend coming up on Friday, we shall be exploring questions and answers on all that we have learnt on Friendship. Drop your questions in the comment section or through the contact details on our contact page so we can answer the questions in Friday’s post. Thanks for choosing The Fire Place. God bless you!