Monday 21 November, 2016

2 Samuel 13:1-22

13 Some time later, David’s son Amnon fell in love with Tamar. She was the beautiful sister of Absalom. He was another one of David’s sons. 2 Amnon wanted his sister Tamar so much that it made him sick. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do what he wanted with her. 3 Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very clever man. 4 He asked Amnon, “You are the king’s son, aren’t you? So why do you look so worn out every morning? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon answered, “I’m in love with Tamar. She’s the sister of my brother Absalom.” 5 “Go to bed,” Jonadab said. “Pretend to be sick. Your father will come to see you. When he does, tell him, ‘I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food right here in front of me where I can watch her. Then she can feed it to me.’ ” 6 So Amnon went to bed. He pretended to be sick. The king came to see him. Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come here. I want to watch her make some special bread. Then she can feed it to me.” 7 David sent a message to Tamar at the palace. He said, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house. Prepare some food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon. He was lying in bed. She got some dough and mixed it. She shaped the bread right there in front of him. And she baked it. 9 Then she took the bread out of the pan and served it to him. But he refused to eat it. “Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10 Then he said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom. Please feed it to me.” So Tamar picked up the bread she had prepared. She brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11 She took it to him so he could eat it. But he grabbed her. He said, “My sister, come to bed with me.” 12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! An evil thing like that should never be done in Israel! Don’t do it! 13 What about me? How could I ever get rid of my shame? And what about you? You would be as foolish as any evil person in Israel. Please speak to the king. He won’t keep me from marrying you.” 14 But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was. So he raped her. 15 Then Amnon hated Tamar very much. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her before. He said to her, “Get up! Get out!” 16 “No!” she said to him. “Don’t send me away. That would be worse than what you have already done to me.” But he refused to listen to her. 17 He sent for his personal servant. He said, “Get this woman out of my sight. Lock the door behind her.” 18 So his servant threw her out. Then he locked the door behind her. Tamar was wearing a beautiful robe. It was the kind of robe the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19 She put ashes on her head. She tore the beautiful robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away. She was weeping out loud as she went. 20 When her brother Absalom saw her, he spoke to her. He said, “Has Amnon, that brother of yours, forced you to go to bed with him? My sister, don’t let it upset you. Don’t let it bother you. He’s your brother.” After that, Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house. She was very lonely. 21 King David heard about everything that had happened. So he became very angry. 22 And Absalom never said a word of any kind to Amnon. He hated Amnon because he had brought shame on his sister Tamar.

Appetites! In my humanness I struggle with my appetite – not just for food – but for things that please my senses. Whether it’s shopping, eating or watching TV – my senses cry out to be fed – to be paid attention – to be satisfied.

Amnon was a man with an appetite for his sister. It consumed him – he thought about her, he watched for her – he talked about her. And then he satisfied his appetite at her expense.

It’s so easy to see the result of unrestrained appetite here and to ask – How could he do this?

But the question I need to ask myself is what appetite am I struggling with?

What has my attention fixated?

What am I going to think about instead?

What am I going to talk about instead?

What am I going to do instead?

God always provides a way out of temptation – but I have to be prepared to let go of what I think I want – to take hold of what I really need.

Jesus help seek You first and Your righteousness – knowing that as I do – everything I need will be given to me by You.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

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