“Some time later, this happened: Absalom, David’s son, had a sister who
was very attractive. Her name was Tamar. Amnon, also David’s son, was
in love with her. Amnon was obsessed with his sister Tamar to the point
of making himself sick over her. She was a virgin, so he couldn’t see
how he could get his hands on her. Amnon had a good friend, Jonadab,
the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was exceptionally
streetwise. He said to Amnon, ‘Why are you moping around like this, day
after day—you, the son of the king! Tell me what’s eating at you.’
“‘In a word, Tamar,’ said Amnon. ‘My brother Absalom’s sister. I’m in love with her.’
‘Here’s what you do,’ said Jonadab. ‘Go to bed and pretend you’re sick.
When your father comes to visit you, say, ‘Have my sister Tamar come
and prepare some supper for me here where I can watch her and she can
So Amnon took to his bed and acted sick. When the king came to visit,
Amnon said, ‘Would you do me a favor? Have my sister Tamar come and
make some nourishing dumplings here where I can watch her and be fed by
David sent word to Tamar who was home at the time: ‘Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare a meal for him.’
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house. She took dough, kneaded it,
formed it into dumplings, and cooked them while he watched from his
bed. But when she took the cooking pot and served him, he wouldn’t eat.
Amnon said, ‘Clear everyone out of the house,’ and they all cleared
out. Then he said to Tamar, ‘Bring the food into my bedroom, where we
can eat in privacy.’ She took the nourishing dumplings she had prepared
and brought them to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. But when she got
ready to feed him, he grabbed her and said, ‘Come to bed with me,
‘No, brother!’ she said, ‘Don’t hurt me! This kind of thing isn’t done
in Israel! Don’t do this terrible thing! Where could I ever show my
face? And you—you’ll be out on the street in disgrace. Oh, please!
Speak to the king—he’ll let you marry me.’
But he wouldn’t listen. Being much stronger than she, he raped her.
No sooner had Amnon raped her than he hated her—an immense hatred. The
hatred that he felt for her was greater than the love he’d had for her.
‘Get up,’ he said, ‘and get out!’
‘Oh no, brother,’ she said. ‘Please! This is an even worse evil than what you just did to me!’
But he wouldn’t listen to her. He called for his valet. ‘Get rid of
this woman. Get her out of my sight! And lock the door after her.’ The
valet threw her out and locked the door behind her.
She was wearing a long-sleeved gown. (That’s how virgin princesses used
to dress from early adolescence on.) Tamar poured ashes on her head,
then she ripped the long-sleeved gown, held her head in her hands, and
walked away, sobbing as she went.
Her brother Absalom said to her, ‘Has your brother Amnon had his way
with you? Now, my dear sister, let’s keep it quiet—a family matter. He
is, after all, your brother. Don’t take this so hard.’ Tamar lived in
her brother Absalom’s home, bitter and desolate.
King David heard the whole story and was enraged, but he didn’t
discipline Amnon. David doted on him because he was his firstborn.
Absalom quit speaking to Amnon—not a word, whether good or bad—because
he hated him for violating his sister Tamar.”—2 Samuel 13:1-22
OK, as we get back into this story, this is yet another one for the
fellas so ladies, be sure to forward it along. However, let me stress
one point before we proceed. All this weekend, I have been thinking
about 2 Samuel 11:27:
“And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his
house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that
David had done displeased the Lord.” (NKJV)
Please, please, please people, I can’t stress enough that getting
married doesn’t absolve sins or right any wrongs. Only repentance does
(Acts 3:19). The very unfortunate thing about David’s rash and lustful
decision to sleep with Bathsheba and then marry her is that his blood
line paid dearly for his mistakes: his first son died (2 Samuel 12:18).
His son, Amnon raped his brother, Absalom’s sister. Absalom went
gangsta and put a hit on Amnon (2 Samuel 13:28-29). Absalom went to war
with his father, David and was later murdered (2 Samuel 18:14-15). And
Solomon, even with all of his wisdom, was a sex addict (I Kings
11—we’ll get to that later).
Whew! That’s a lot of drama, ain’t it? Well, if you are considering marriage to “fix something”, take heed.
Aside from Amnon’s uncontrollable (only because he let his flesh take
over him) lust for Tamar, another huge problem that he had was his
friend, Jonadab. The Bible says that Jonadab was a clever and
streetwise man. Hmm, I wonder if in modern days, that mean his was a
“pimp” or “thug”. Anyway, when Amnon shared his desire for Tamar, as so
many men do when they are talking with their friends about girls (yes
ladies, we are not the only ones who gossip), Jonadab provided him with
a way to seduce and trap Tamar.
So, here is the first lesson for today: Watch who you keep company
with. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. It is my
personal belief that when God told us to not be yoked with unbelievers
(2 Corinthians 6:14), most definitely that includes people who are not
in a relationship with God; but since we are all made in the image of
him, I also believe that means that you are not to be yoked (to join,
couple, link, or unite) with people who do not believe in you and have
your best interest at heart.
It always tickles me how when some of my male friends share with me
their contemplation of getting married, one of the things that hinders
them are the taunts and teasing from their crew: “Why you wanna be held
down to one woman for the rest of your life?”
Uh, I’ll tell you why. It’s because your friend is ready to step up
into the next level of purpose; the kind that only a wife can get him
to (Proverbs 18:22). Sure, he can continue to live at a sub-par level
like some of you, but why settle for the bittersweet life of
experiencing both the blessing and cursings (James 3:10-12) that come
with doing the dating thing his way, when he can be completely and
eternally fulfilled with the waters that come from his own wife’s
cistern (Proverbs 5:15).
SIDENOTE: Someone asked me this weekend what a cistern was and so I looked it up:
Cistern: a reservoir or receptacle of some natural fluid of the body.
Hmm, OK I am going to tread softer than usual on this, but let me just
say that this is pretty forthright about what sexual rights a married
couple have and so I’m with Noel Jones on this one. When it comes to
sexual activity between a man and his wife, because the Church is not
the building, but the people, and because sex is sacred, keep the
Church out of your bedroom. God, in his Word has made it very clear
what is not lawful and so don’t bound yourself up with other people’s
preferences that are not necessarily his principles. You feel what I’m
trying to say without actually saying it, right? I hope so.
OK. Moving on…
And so, since Amnon let his lust override his common sense, he listened
to Jonadab when he told him to act like he was sick so that Tamar could
come in and nurse him to health. If there is one thing that I am
grateful for at this stage in my life, it’s that I have healthy network
of friends. None of them are going to encourage me to sleep around.
None of them are going to cosign on me compromising my standards or
God’s word just so that I can get anything that I want. And, none of
them are going to rally around a decision that they think is wrong.
Why? Because they love me, but more importantly, they love the Lord.
When a friend tells you or even just encourages you to do something
that is not in the confines of God’s order for your life, they are not
your friend—far from it. Proverbs 27:6 states:
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (NKJV)
And when it comes to sexual indiscretion, James 4:4 takes it even further:
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the
world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the
world makes himself an enemy of God.” (NKJV)
Some of you are wondering why you are not moving along with power in
your life and it is a direct reflection of the friendships that you
have. If anyone is not challenging you to live a life according to God
and his will for your life, they are toxic. The only way that we can do
things to the best of our ability is when we have Christ living within
us (Philippians 4:13).
A good friend knows this. Jonadab did not and it later cost Amnon his
life. Like an idiot, Amnon took Jonadab’s advice and played sick and
even used his father, David, as a part of his plot by telling him to
tell Tamar that he needed her help (verse 6). OK, here’s the second
lesson. If you have to plot to get someone, you don’t need them. Not
only that, but you are putting yourself in the position of judgment:
“He who plots to do evil will be called a schemer. The devising of
foolishness is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to
men.”—-Proverbs 24:8&9 (NKJV)
If God knows the amount of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30), you know
that he’s into the details. So, when it comes time for you to desire
companionship, not only does he care, but he knows how to make it work
out in your favor in a way where you will not have to compromise any of
your/his principles (Romans 8:28).
Aside from the lust that was motivating Amnon, this should have been a
huge warning flag to him. If he couldn’t woo Tamar without using lies
and manipulation, then he didn’t need to pursue her at all. And family,
if when it comes to your romantic interactions, if you cannot
accomplish what you would like with complete and total honesty and
integrity then leave her or him completely alone. I am telling you
this, not only from personal experience but as a godly warning:
“Fear God. Do what he tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will
bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to
its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.”—Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
See, Amnon thought he loved Tamar, but remember God’s order for a
covenant relationship is “God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Man and Woman”. If
he really loved her, he would’ve let his leader show him how to
demonstrate it best—even if that meant leaving her alone for their
long-term protection (yes, sometimes loving someone means leaving them
God, the leader of all men, says that if we love him, we will keep his
commandments (John 14:21). The Bible also says that the person who
keeps God’s commandments, keeps his soul (Proverbs 19:16). When it
comes to courtship, the main commandments to keep in mind are:
(One) Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)
(Seven) Thou shalt not commit adultery (remember, sleeping with someone
you are not married to IS committing adultery because you are with
someone else’s potential mate). (Exodus 20:14)
(Nine)Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor (lie). (Exodus 2:16)
(Ten)Thou shalt not covet. (Exodus 20:12)
If you are doing any of these things to maintain a relationship, male
or female, you are not loving or making love to anyone—you are
actually doing just the opposite. Flesh and blood will not reveal this
to you; only the power of God can (Matthew 16:17). This is why in all
things—especially when it comes to relationships—-you cannot afford
to let your body tell you what to do. No, if you want the benefits of a
spiritual union (covenant courtship and marriage), you must go to the
Creator of it (Galatians 5:16).
Amnon didn’t and as a result, the gift of Tamar’s virginity was stolen.
See, that’s the disgustingly interesting thing about sin: It’s
progressively destructive. As a direct result of moving in lust, Amnon
went from breaking four commandments to six: killing Tamar’s spirit
(Exodus 20:13) and stealing her virtue (Exodus 20:15). This is why God
can say in Romans 13:9 that if you would simply love your neighbor as
yourself, specifying all Ten Commandments wouldn’t even be necessary
because they would naturally become a part of your lifestyle.
A fascinating thing happened right after Amnon raped Tamar, which leads
to the final lesson in this story. 2 Samuel 13:15 says that right after
the act, he found himself hating her and told her to leave. A lot of
women wonder how a man can have sex with them and then kick them to the
curb (literally) and that’s because a lot of men have the heart of
Amnon. If a man really loves you, your safety is more important than
satisfying his flesh.
Amnon’s immediate response was because he felt guilty. When you are not
in Christ (Romans 8:1), that is what happens. Remember, the Enemy comes
to steal (Tamar’s virginity), kill (their spirits) and destroy (their
relationship). (John 10:10). And, while he will do this by any means
necessary, he especially enjoys when he can pimp out one of God’s gifts
(in this case, sex) to accomplish his mission.
Tamar was so distraught as the result of what happened to her that the
Bible says that she ripped her special virginity robe and wept (verse
19). Some of us are wondering why a lot of women are walking around
with chips on their shoulders and clothes barely covering them up and
it’s because they have the heart of Tamar. Video hoes, prostitutes,
technical virgins, strippers, promiscuous girls, scantily-clad club
chicks, porn mag models, etc. are all women who are crying out. They
may have not been raped or sexually abused, but most definitely they
are suffering because they don’t know their value and unfortunately the
very people who are supposed to be covering them (our men) have not
effectively encouraged them to discover their value (Proverbs 3:15).
Again, we are reminded that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Due to Absalom’s anger, Amnon was killed. Wow. Was one night…one
hour…one moment worth the loss of her dignity and his life? I hardly
Homework for today: Get around some good friends. Remember, a friend
loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17) and if they are serving God, a part
of their expression of that love is holding you to godly standards.
If you find yourself plotting, planning and scheming to get someone
attention, please pull back. God cannot bless the spirit of
If you have the heart of Amnon, repent! Love is patient (I Corinthians
13:4) and you should let patience have its perfect work (James 1:4). If
you can’t wait until marriage for sex, you are not in love, you are in
lust and the consequence of lust is damnation and hell (Romans 1).
And for the Tamars of this world, if you have been uncovered by a man
in any way, know that you are still God’s child. God’s favor is
everlasting and although weeping may endure for a night, joy always
comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Don’t give any man so much power
that you lose sight of your identity and power as a woman. You, my
sistah are meant to produce favor in this world (Proverbs 18:22) and so
you are bigger than your past pain. Forgive him (Matthew 6:14) and let
God handle it. Remember, more than the fact that vengeance is God’s
that he will repay you for your suffering (Romans 12:19).
And finally family, please let love rule you. God promised that he
would withhold no good thing from those who live righteously (Psalm
84:11). Let him bless you. He wants to. He really and truly does.
©Shellie R. Warren/2006