Unwillingness to Carry Out Justice (2 Samuel 13:20) - Radical
 Join David Platt for an Inside Look at The Radical Training Center Thursday, June 1 at 11:00 am EDT > > >

Unwillingness to Carry Out Justice (2 Samuel 13:20)

“So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house.”
– 2 Samuel 13:20

As I was thinking through which verse we might pray according to in 2 Samuel 13, I couldn’t help but to escape much like praying through 2 Samuel 12, a horrible reality in this fallen world that is represented here in 2 Samuel 13:20. I know a lot of different people of different ages listen to this podcast and so without going into all the details of what happens in 2 Samuel 13, we see someone in a position of power do something very hurtful to someone else. In all of this, we see an unwillingness to carry out justice according to God’s word.

In this passage, we see an unwillingness to carry out justice according to God’s word.

2 Samuel 13:20 Reminds Us the World is Sinful

So with that summary, I can’t help but to think about people who are listening to this podcast who I know in many different ways may have been hurt by someone else and specifically by someone in a position where they were supposed to be caring for you.

They were supposed to be protecting you. Sometimes in circumstances like this, it seems like justice is not and may never be carried out, but when we read 2 Samuel 13:20 and a chapter like this in 2 Samuel 13, we always need to step back and realize yes, this is a reality in a sinful, fallen world where people hurt one another and specifically people in positions of power abuse that power in ways that are hurtful for other people and they ignore justice and justice seems ignored. But the good news of the Bible when you step out from 2 Samuel 13:20 is that there is one true God who possesses all power and He will bring about justice in the end. He is good. The one who is omnipotent, all-powerful is good and loving and kind and just and merciful.

We need all of these things in him. We need his goodness and his kindness and his justice and his mercy in our lives and in the world around us. So I want to lead us to pray in light of the reality represented here in 2 Samuel 13 and specifically here in 2 Samuel 13:20. God, we pray right now for people who are listening to this who have been hurt in many different ways by other people, in unimaginable ways even by other people or another person and maybe even another person in a position of power or influence over them.

2 Samuel 13:20 Leads Us to Praise God

So God, we praise you, that you, the one who has all power, all authority in all the universe, Jesus, all authority in heaven and earth belong to you. We praise you that you are good, you’re gracious and you are merciful and you are just and you are right and you are righteous in all you do. God, we pray for your help in this sinful world where people who are in positions of power and influence do not always do what is right or good, who hurt others. And we pray for your help in the middle of this hurting world.

We pray over those who have been hurt for your healing. So we pray for your healing power to be put on display. And we pray for your healing power to bind their wounds. You say this in your word, O God. You bind the wounds of the brokenhearted. God, you deliver the oppressed. You help the weak and the hurting.

God, you keep count of our tossings, our tears in a bottle. You are steadfast in your love for us, in your provision for us for everything we need. So God, we pray that over those who are hurting in any way right now. We praise you that one day, your justice will reign even as you taught to pray, Jesus. Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus, we pray come quickly and bring about your justice in this world.

This Verse Leads Us to Pray for the Unreached

We pray so often on this podcast for unreached people in the world. God, we pray for the Hazara of Afghanistan who have experienced such hurt and such pain. God, we pray for them to know the peace and the love and the mercy of Jesus. Jesus, you’re the one we need. You’re the one all the nations need.

We pray that you would bring an end to sin and sorrow and suffering. You promised this. God, until that day, we pray that you would help us. We pray that you would heal us. And we pray that you would fix our eyes on you. God, help us to love others well and to care for others well. Help us just as you tell us in your word in Micah 6 to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with you. And help us to walk in good, helpful, and healing ways for others. God, we pray all of this based on the sobering story in 2 Samuel 13:20. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!