King David had a large, dysfunctional family. One of the stories has enough material to fill several episodes of a bad soap opera. It contains two lessons: the first about lust; the second deals with that nagging doubt about whether God listens to us or not.
David’s son Amnon nurtured a lustful passion for his beautiful sister Tamar. Amnon’s friend Jonadab advised him to pretend to be sick, have Tamar come to serve him food, and then rape her (2 Sam. 13:1-6). Two years later, Absalom, their brother, arranged for Amnon to join him at a party, made him drunk, and then had him killed (2 Sam. 13:23-29). Absalom fled to his grandparents’ home and lived there for three years. Finally, Joab, David’s commander-in-chief, persuaded David to allow Absalom to return to Jerusalem, though David ignored him for two more years.
A relatively small movement at the edge of an ocean plate, as it snaps free from tension against another plate, can trigger a tidal wave. In relationships, lust has the equivalent potential to damage lives. In Amnon’s case the wave seemed insignificant to begin with; his lust made him sick.
Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill. (2 Sam. 13:2)
Lust made Amnon vulnerable to deception; he opened himself to foolish and evil advice from Jonadab. Amnon got his way but only by deceit and brute force. Amnon’s relationships with Tamar and Absalom were immediately devastated. Eventually, Absalom murdered Amnon and the tsunami rolled on to destroy Absalom’s relationship with his father, King David.
There are warning signs that we are in danger from lust (sexual or otherwise). When our hearts are set on a particular object or goal, if our minds constantly return to that obsession, exploring every possible way to achieve it, beware. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is the desire in my heart actually stronger than my desire for God’s will?
Will I listen to godly counsel, or am I poised to get my own way no matter what?
Is the Amnon in me getting the upper hand?
At that point, we need to be brutally honest with ourselves (and allow others the same privilege). If a particular lust or desire is so strong that you feel your will is about to snap then it is time to get help right away. Don’t wait.
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