The Wages of Lust is Misery, Part 1
By Matthew Black, Pastor
Text: 2 Samuel 13:1-4
Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 7pm
Series: Life of David
Tabernacle Baptist Church
7020 Barrington Road
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133
Introduction: Open your Bible to the book of 2 Samuel 12. The title of this evening’s message is “The Wages of Lust is Misery”.
As we come to the sordid tale of David’s first born son, Amnon, and his abuse of his half sister Tamar, we have to remember that God does not hide anything about David’s life. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13).
We are going to find that Amnon was an idolater at heart. He thought the things of this world could satisfy him. He sold his soul for a moment of pleasure.
We often love the things of this world rather than the Creator of all things. We have loved the gifts of God rather than the giver of all gifts.
The things we strive for a shadows. God is the substance. If we go after the things of the world as the goal of our life, we will sink in quicksand. God is the Rock that we ought to put our feet upon.
We must seek Christ. We must go to God and take our unworthiness for His worthiness, His sinlessness for our sinfulness that reaches the heavens. Our weakness is obliterated in His fullness. We ask God to take Christ’s glory for our shame, His righteousness for our dead works, which are filthy rags, Christ’s riches for our poverty, and most of all His death for our wasted life!
Amnon did not seek the Lord first in his life. Like many people, he sought the pleasures of this world, and it ended with his destruction. Also, this is not long after David’s fall into sin and repentance. Even though David repented, there were still consequences for sin. Remember the Lord had told David because of his sin: “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife”. David’s first born son and heir to the throne, Amnon, is the first one to take after his father’s sin.
2 Samuel 13:1-29, “And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man. 4 And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister. 5 And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand. 6 So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand. 7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon’s house, and dress him meat. 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes. 9 And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him. 10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. 12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. 13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee. 14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her. 15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone. 16 And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her. 17 Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her. 18 And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her. 19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.”
I. The Object of lust: it can never be satisfied. Verse 1, ““And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her”. Lust is insatiable. It is driven primarily by the deceitful lusts of the heart and the imagination. Now to be sure, Tamar was a fair princess. Her name means “palm tree” or “glorious creature”.
It is said that Amnon “loved” Tamar, but of course this is from Amnon’s perspective. Actually, Amnon did not even know Tamar. Most of what drove him concerning Tamar were Tamar’s beauty and Amnon’s perverted imagination.
A. Lust is not love. Love, by biblical definition, is a total giving of one’s self for another’s good. Love does not seek its own good, but the good of another. Amnon simply wanted to use Tamar for his own self-gratification.
B. Lust can give only temporary satisfaction. Remember, there is pleasure in sin only for “a season”! In other words, lust will never satisfy. Lust is insatiable because it takes the place of God. It promises everything and delivers very little.
C. Lust is enslaving. Lust, when it conceives, never delivers, but instead, always brings spiritual deadness to your soul. James 1:14-15 says, “…every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” In other words, if you give a second thought to enticement, then you are now in the grip of that lust, and it will bring forth sin. Lust is deadly and will deaden your soul.
Amnon wanted something he could not have. Look at verse 2, “And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her”.
Explanation: Amnon has almost no contact with Tamar at all. In that day, the women had their quarters and the men had theirs. There was very little interaction. They didn’t even eat together. And there was even less interaction between the woman who were virgins (those who were of marrying age and single) and the young men. These women were identified by the clothes they wore, and they were off limits. Period!
All that he could do was to fantasize about Tamar and pine for her. It finally got so bad that he got physically sick, he couldn’t eat, he wasn’t sleeping, he was basically just wasting away.
D. Lust is to be avoided at all costs. There is a lure, a temptation that we must flee
Application: If God has said “no” to something, it will never make you happy to pursue it. When God says “no”, stay far away from it.
David said, in Psalm 101:3, “I will set no wicked thing [THING OF BELIAL, THE DEVIL] before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
Paul says in another place to “flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
1 Thessalonians 4:3, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess [CONTROL] his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence [PASSION], even as the Gentiles [THE LOST] which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud [STEAL FROM] his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”
What is fornication? 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says that whatever fornication is,
Ø It should be avoided at all costs. “[A]bstain from fornication”!
Ø It’s something that even the most godly people deal with.
Ø Fornication is “Taking the precious gift of intimacy that is reserved for marriage and squandering it for one’s own self-gratification”. One’s sexual purity is to be reserved for one person on planet earth, the person that God would have you to marry. It is not to be given to anyone but the person you have already vowed your entire life to before God and witnesses.
Ø There is a temptation to squander your purity in fornication.
o Paul told young Pastor Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:22 to “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
o Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife.
Whatever object you lust after, remember it will never satisfy. God did not create you to gratify yourself, but to give yourself to the one you marry. Fornication and lust will destroy your life! The object of all your desires ought to be the will of God!
E. Instead of lusting after anything in this world, seek God’s kingdom. Matthew 6:33, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. So we have seen the object of lust. Whatever object you lust after, remember your lust can never be satisfied. Legitimate desires from God can only be fulfilled God’s way. God gave us intimacy for marriage, and you will only be satisfied in that area if you seek marriage in God’s way!
II. Now let’s consider the Risk of lust. Lust is so deceptive a force, that a person is willing to risk everything to gain it.
A. Amnon gave away his mind and his body to this lust. He became a complete slave to it. Look at verse 2, “And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her”.
B. Amnon is willing to put his future kingdom on the line. Remember Amnon is planning to break the moral law and violate his own half-sister. He is risking the very throne of Israel, since he is David’s first born son. What a great risk people take for nothing. Be very careful of your own imagination. We can deceive ourselves into thinking that something on this earth can actually satisfy us and meet all our needs and wants.
C. There is only One Person who can satisfy a person’s needs: our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Asaph said, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (Psalm 73:25).
1. Esau: Esau sold his birthright and his soul for a bowl of lintel soup (Hebrews 12:16). What did his lust gain him?
2. Judas Iscariot: Judas Iscariot sold the Saviour for 30 pieces of silver! What did his ambition gain him?
3. Lot’s wife: Lot’s wife sold her soul for one more curious look back at Sodom. What did her curiosity gain her?
Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
III. See next the Friend of lust. We read in 2 Samuel 13:3-6 that a plot is hatched by Jonadab, Amnon’s cousin. There are many people that will have a bad influence on you, and you must avoid them. We’ve got to be careful who our friends are. Even relatives, such as Jonadab, can be dangerous. Spurgeon said, “if you lie down with dogs you will get up with fleas”. He said, “beware of…those who love filth and roll in it. Dirty dogs will spoil your clothes, and make you as foul as themselves”.
You may esteem someone for one reason or another, but there is an easy way to choose friends. If the Lord does not esteem someone, you ought not to esteem them either. Out of sympathy or evangelism we may continue in bad friendships, but you must realize, if a person is not God’s friend, he ought not to be a close friend of yours. Why? Because you will likely do that friend little good, but he or she will do you much harm! Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
Amnon listened to the counsel of his friend, and it led him to Tamar’s disgrace and his own destruction.
“But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man. 4 And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister. 5 And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand. 6 So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.”
Stay away from corrupting influences in your life.
Proverbs 1:10-16, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: 15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.”
There are many influences in a person’s life that can be corrupting.
Ø It can be friends. Be careful who your children’s friends are. You cannot even trust relatives. Children and young people must be supervised at all times.
Ø It can be the TV.
Ø It can be relatives.
Application: Be careful! Who was it that introduced you to sin? Most of the time it is through friends during unmonitored moments.
Conclusion: We will continue this next week, but let me close by warning parents:
1. Be a good example for your children. Show them what it is to be a true born again believer who is filled with the Spirit. If you continue in sin, it will have an effect on your children.
Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
2. Let me also encourage you to be satisfied in the Lord. The things of this world will not satisfy you. They will only destroy you if you seek them in the place of God. Lust in its very essence is idolatry.
Psalm 1 is a good summary of the lesson we ought to learn tonight: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” The wages of lust is truly misery!
 Charles Spurgeon. John Ploughman’s Pictures (Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1896), 138.