YIELDING to FORBIDDEN PLEASURES has TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES
April 3 Bible Reading: 2 Samuel Chapters 13-15
"After this Absalom the son of David had a lovely sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. Amnon was so distressed over his sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin. And it was improper for Amnon to do anything to her." (2 Sam. 13:1-2)
Soon after the confrontation of Prophet Nathan with King David in which God’s judgment was pronounced on David for committing both adultery and murder (2 Sam. 12:10-12), we see the consequences of David’s sins starting to take effect upon his own children starting with his firstborn son Amnon, who was considered by all in Israel to be their crown prince and heir apparent. The repercussion of David’s sins arose from within his dysfunctional family as the crimes of sexual immorality; rape and murder committed by David’s two oldest sons, which were part of an outworking of David’s own sins of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah (12:9–12). David’s sons would soon follow their father’s example of adultery (Amnon, vv. 1–22) and murder (Absalom, vv. 23–39).
Amnon, the eldest son of David, lusted after Tamar, his own half-sister. He did not see how he could get near her because of her secluded life and her purity. Marriage to a half-sister was forbidden by the Law of Moses (Lev. 18:9, 11; 20:17). However, Amnon’s lust had made him obsessive; his was on a self-destructive course of life. Using trickery (as suggested by David’s nephew Jonadab), Amnon feigned sickness, lured Tamar into his bedroom to nurse him and then forcibly raped her. Then after stealing her virginity (which was a terrible curse in Israel), Amnon also rejected Tamar as his wife, again contrary to the Law of Moses (Deut. 22: 28–29).
After committing this lowly crime of molestation, Amnon then hated Tamar intensely and drove her out of his home. Lust was replaced by hatred, for both are born of violence, and hatred resulted in Tamar’s being ostracized in Israel. For this reason "Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar" (2 Sam. 13:22), and for two years plotted, waited, and then avenged his sister Tamar by killing Amnon through trickery. King David now began to reap the harvest of sowing to the flesh (2 Sam. 12:10; Gal. 6:7–8). Of all the trials of life, the most difficult to bear are those that come from our own family because of our own failures!
This entire episode is described candidly in the New Testament in the following words: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:14-15). In the case of Amnon, he yielded to forbidden pleasures through his lustful desires, which gave birth to the triple sins of incest, rape and sexual immorality. This ultimately brought a premature death for Amnon, who could have become the third king of Israel if only he had restrained himself properly. Like Joseph, he should have fled from temptation knowing fully well that he should not sin and commit such a great wickedness against God Himself (Gen. 39:7-12). Remember this; yielding to forbidden pleasures has tragic consequences!