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Love is No Excuse for Sin

“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 Samuel 13:1

King David had many sons, from several different wives (in direct violation of God’s one man for one woman precept) and his eldest son was Amnon. Amnon fell in love with his half-sister Tamar. At this point in history it was common practice for royalty to marry their sibling to keep the royal bloodline pure, but this practice was also condemned by the law – specifically the Laws of God provided to Israel through Moses. So, there was already sin in Amnon’s “love” for his half-sister Tamar. Quite frankly it was pure lust, “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. 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. 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. Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.” 2 Samuel 13:11-14

First, Amnon is guilty of the sin of lust and covetousness, and then he commits the heinous crime of rape. He knew that if he asked his father the king for Tamar’s hand in marriage that the king would give her to him, because Amnon was the loved and cherished first born son of King David. Tamar even shared this with Amnon, but his lust and disregard for God and His precepts lead Amnon to rape his half-sister. Love cannot excuse sin. “My love for her was so strong that I just had to have her,” is unacceptable. But, the folly of sin was not over yet. After he raped her, “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.” 2 Sanuel 13:15 Amnon is the lust filled rapist that turned his back on God and he ends up hating Tamar for the sins he committed. The problem is that the sins of rape, fornication, adultery and homosexuality are steeped in the sins of lust and covetousness. Passionate love (eros) that leads to sexual intimacy outside of marriage, like fornication, rape, adultery, and homosexuality are all sins against God. Conversely, passionate love in marriage is praised and honored by God. Amnon knew this, but lusted after and raped his half-sister anyway.

The folly doesn’t end there either. Rape was a capital offence according to the laws that governed Israel. King David failed to have his son Amnon put to death in accordance with the law, so Tamar’s brother Absalom took it upon himself (two years after the rape) to take the law into his own hands. He killed his half-brother Amnon and fled.

This example from scripture clearly shows that love is no excuse to sin, because sin begets more sin, which begets more sin. We must break the cycle of sin. The only way to do that is to obey God and his precepts, and with all your heart, try to avoid sin – as if your life depended on it.

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