AMNON AND TAMAR
Copyright © 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. (II Samuel 13:1)
Tamar also was Amnon’s sister by a different mother. David had several wives. Apparently Tamar was King David’s only daughter.
Notice the expression, “fell in love.” There is a difference between “love” and “glandular appetite,” and that difference is the subject of this article.
There are many kinds of love: mother for son, a human for an animal, a couple who are preparing for marriage. Love is self-sacrificing. In the case of marriage, the one holds the other of more importance than himself or herself.
Glandular appetite is a physical desire. It is not self-sacrificing. Its motive is to please itself, to make itself feel good. Its purpose is to reproduce the parents so that God has a population from which to draw His Kingdom.
It appears from history that once a nation of people arrive at an acceptable standard of living, their attention turns to sexual activity. Before long, various sorts of sexual activity begin to occur, all kinds of perversity, until finally God removes that nation from its place of prominence and seeks another people who are more disciplined.
Thus, genuine love and sexual activity have little in common. Sexual activity ordinarily is not intent on bringing peace and joy to the partner but to experience a physical thrill. It is entirely self-centered, although it may accompany the genuine love of marriage.
At the present time, the people of the United States to a great extent are in bondage to glandular lust. Its purpose is not to bring forth children, in so many instances, but to satisfy one’s own cravings. It appears that the demons of sexual lust are multiplying in America until the desire for sexual activity is so overpowering that people are willing to sacrifice their professions, families, and even freedom in order to satisfy their glandular cravings.
The molestation of children is a common occurrence.
It is not unusual in America for a mother, after satisfying her glandular appetite, to have the fetus murdered. The fetus is an inconvenience, and was not the reason for her sexual encounters.
Abortion for no other reason than to remove an inconvenience is an utter abomination to God. God regards it as murder, and the mother as a murderess. In this role she will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, along with the father, unless the father has done all in his power to prevent the abortion.
Many who live in the last days shall be first in the Kingdom of God, Jesus said. This is why there is the current emphasis on abortion and homosexual behavior. Satan is determined to keep children from being born, similar to the actions of King Herod who was afraid of the birth of another King.
Amnon became frustrated to the point of illness on account of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her. (II Samuel 13:2)
The Bible states that Amnon “fell in love” with his sister, Tamar. Amnon referred to Tamar as Absalom’s sister; but Tamar’s father was King David as was true also of Amnon, so Tamar was Amnon’s sister as well as Absalom’s sister.
In no manner did Amnon love Tamar. Amnon loved only Amnon and the way Tamar made Amnon feel. Amnon’s actions proved that.
Tamar may have been attracted to Amnon. The Bible does not say. Tamar evidently was a beautiful young lady. She had her hopes and dreams concerning the day she would be married. Perhaps she had a hope chest containing various items that would be used when she was married. But due to the selfishness of Amnon, her dream of a royal wedding with all the trappings was to be destroyed. No, Amnon did not love Tamar or come anywhere near loving her. Amnon loved the way Tamar made him feel.
You know the story:
So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand.”
David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.” So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down.
She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it. Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat.
“Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him. (II Samuel 13:6-9)
I would guess that Tamar was thrilled to think that Amnon wanted to see her. As I said, she may have been attracted to him. Little did Tamar realize that the scoundrel had no thoughts for her, only the satisfying of his glandular desires. Amnon did not think twice about how his actions would affect Tamar. Amnon was in love with Amnon. As long as Amnon was satisfied, Tamar could go and suffer the consequences. Being a king’s son, Amnon no doubt was thoroughly spoiled.
King David certainly was not in prayer that day or God would have alerted him to the danger.
Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.” (II Samuel 13:10.11)
What a wicked man! He did not love Tamar. He lusted after Tamar. From what I read, I wonder how many people in America, including Christians, know the difference between lust and love? Rape is the opposite of love.
“Don’t, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me. Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. (II Samuel 13:12-14)
Tamar pointed out to Amnon that she would be disgraced. And she was correct about Amnon. King’s son or not, he was a wicked fool. I am not certain he could have married Tamar. I believe Levitical law would not permit marriage between brother and sister.
Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere. (Leviticus 18:9)
Then Amnon, the self-centered wicked fool that he was, after having disgraced Tamar, hated her. You see, he never had loved her in the first place. What a clear illustration this is of the difference between glandular appetite and genuine love.
Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!” (II Samuel 13:15)
What sheer wickedness. It is a wonder that God did not strike Amnon dead at that instant. I would have if I were God! Anyway, Absalom took care of that need two years later.
“No!” she said to him. “Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me.” (II Samuel 13:16)
Tamar behaved herself well throughout this ordeal. Amnon had his servant drive her out of the bedroom and bolt the door. Tamar left Amnon’s house crying and went to live with her brother, Absalom.
Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went. (II Samuel 13:19)
Absalom later had a daughter, and named her “Tamar.”
I wonder whether Americans will ever be able to distinguish between love and glandular appetite. Sexual activity has become a national pastime in our country. The desire for sex, as sexual activity has been named, often leads to crime. There is hardly a day goes by that a school teacher is not jailed because of having had sexual relations with minor children. Prominent politicians have had to retire in disgrace because of inappropriate sexual conduct.
Sex, for no other reason than a personal thrill, has made abortion a major business in America. Physicians who perform abortions earn a great deal of money. I expect when such doctors die, they are going to be greatly distressed when they are treated as murderers before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
How often a young girl is seduced when her boyfriend tells her he will not continue to date her unless she agrees to “have sex” with him. The girl has no idea that this is not a part of love but is nothing more than the desire of the boy to feel good. He may discard her after a while, as Amnon did, particularly if she becomes pregnant. Her boyfriend may insist she have an abortion, causing her to become a murderess. The boy has no intention of accepting the responsibility of becoming a father. He just wanted to have fun!
The girl’s life, as was true of Tamar, will never be the same. What should have been the time when she had settled on a lifelong mate, and had an appropriate wedding, has been sullied if not entirely destroyed.
I think, if it is possible, to stress to the young lady that the boy who asks for a sexual relation apart from formal marriage is contemptible. What else can we say? He wants to use the girl to satisfy his lusts, regardless of the consequences to her. He is despicable, and that is all there is to it.
The family — mother, father, and children — is a God-given institution. Two people of the same gender living together is not what God has in mind. Such a relationship is for the purpose of sexual activity without the problems that always arise in marriage with a person of the opposite sex.
It is true, as the Apostle said, that people who marry have trouble. This is because they both have wills of their own. In the process of keeping the marriage together, each must learn to give way to the other on occasion. If one or the other will never compromise his or her will, then there has not been a true marriage. Once the issue arises of who is boss, the marriage is dead.
In our day in America, after we have done our best to raise our youngster to serve God, he or she may go astray. It happens all the time. Our culture is not conducive to the wholesome development of young people. All we can do is pray, looking continually to Jesus for help with our children. I think if we will do this, then when they are older, they may return to Christ. We cannot do more than this.
If we ourselves are plagued with sexual lust, we should pray that God will send us a wife or husband, or else remove the desire from us. God will answer us if we are totally sincere.
I believe immorality is going to increase in America, no matter who is elected President, until God is compelled to punish our nation severely. God has punished nations in the past, and America is not God’s favorite that He should spare us. In that day, sexual promiscuity will be widespread, and so will venereal diseases, including AIDS. It is a time for continual prayer and drawing close to the Lord Jesus.
The girl or boy who waits for sexual activity until God leads into marriage will please Christ and in the long run will have a happier life.
If we ever become confused about the difference between glandular desire and genuine love for another person, we need to call to mind the story of Amnon and Tamar.
(“Amnon and Tamar”, 3481-1, proofed 20211008)