Read: 2 Samuel 13:1-15
But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab…and Jonadab was a very subtil man. 2 Samuel 13:3
Amnon was probably a respectable member of King David’s family. As David’s son, he had been trained to act like a royal prince. He knew the right way to behave around women; he knew how they should be treated; and he knew it would be wrong to act in an impure way toward them. But, Amnon’s lust grew toward his half-sister Tamar so much that it actually made him sick as he thought about her day after day. He was so enamored with her that he stopped eating and let all of his thoughts be consumed with dreams of Tamar. Either Tamar’s modesty, the rules governing virgins, Amnon’s upbringing, or a combination of those three prevented him from acting out his lustful passion toward Tamar. However, Amnon had a friend, his cousin Jonadab, who was a very subtle man. Jonadab devised a wicked plan whereby Amnon could lure the innocent Tamar into a situation where he could act out his lustful fantasy. Not long after, the good name that Amnon once owned was forever tarnished, and his act ultimately led to his murder. All of it happened because he kept a friend that he should never have been associating with.
It has been said that at this time next year you will be exactly what you are now except for the books that you read and the friends that you keep. Think about how much influence those friends will then have over you. They are literally making you what you will become. They are going to determine if you are useful for God or not. They hold the sway over whether you will be worthless or priceless to God.
Of course, the friends you keep cannot force themselves to be your friends. That means that you are ultimately the one who decides who will be your friends and from whom you will stay away. If you decide to hang around those you know are a bad influence, then it will not be long before you are acting in the same way they do. Many use the excuse that they are only hanging around the bad kids because they are trying to help them. That is a noble goal, but that help should be given from a distance. A bad friend is like a bad apple – it doesn’t take long before the apple next to it is rotten as well. Be careful that you don’t wind up allowing a friend like Jonadab to influence your behavior toward evil. Find those who will uplift you and encourage you to do what is right.
Quote of the day: “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.” - George Washington