Saturday, September 14, 2013


Amnon let a sinful desire dominate his life. He became so focused on Tamar, his half-sister, that she was all he thought about. She was all he wanted. He actually thought he was “in love” (II Samuel 13:3b, NLT).

But what does the Bible say about love? “Love is patient and kind. It does not demand its own way” (I Corinthians 13:4a, 5a).

Amnon didn’t know the first thing about love. He simply wanted what he wanted. So as Tamar fought against him with every ounce of her being, “he was stronger than she was” (II Samuel 13:14b) and so “he raped her” (II Samuel 13:14c).

How’d Amnon pull off his evil scheme? By following the advice of “a very crafty friend – his cousin Jonadab” (II Samuel 13:3a).

Interesting how the description of Jonadab is so close to that of someone we meet much earlier in Scripture: “The serpent was more crafty than any” (Genesis 3:1a, NIV). Satan, disguised as a serpent, convinced Adam and Eve to disobey God. And ever since then, he’s been doing the same thing to anyone who’ll listen.

Amnon certainly listened. But once he had given into temptation, Satan had accomplished what he’d set out to do in that instance; so the object of Amnon’s “love” was immediately no longer desirable: “Then suddenly Amnon’s love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her” (II Samuel 13:15, NLT).

I can’t speak from the male viewpoint, but more times than I’d care to count, I’ve talked to a woman who gave into sexual temptation. Believing she was madly in love; believing she was going to have an exciting tryst; believing she was going to get even with her cheating spouse; in every case, these women involved themselves in sinful relationships that, instead of making them feel loved or adventurous, left them feeling empty and dirty.

Amnon had thought his strong desire for Tamar was “love.” In spite of being the king’s son and the probable heir to the throne (since he was David’s eldest), I believe Amnon’s life was an empty one. Searching for fulfillment, Amnon had been, as an old country song reminds us, “looking for love in all the wrong places.” And the more he searched in those “wrong places,” the emptier and angrier he became.

Tamar’s humiliation wasn’t finished.

There is no self-contained sin – it always hurts innocent people.

“Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open.” (authorship unknown)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

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