It is no sin to be attracted to the opposite sex. But innocent attraction can soon become infatuation that leads to mental obsession. David saw that Bathsheba was very beautiful, but he didn’t look for God’s way of escape and stepped over a moral boundary when he sent someone to find out about her (2 Samuel 11:2). David’s weakness may have contributed to his son’s obsession with “the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David” (vs. 1). Solomon warned in Proverbs 6:25-26, “Do not lust in your heart after beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.” The sexual fantasy in Ammon’s mind had been played out so many times that he was physically sick.
It is no sin to be tempted, and when we are tempted, God provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). But we miss that opportunity when we continue to entertain lustful thoughts in our mind. James says, “But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (1:14-15). Ammon had probably carried on a sexual affair with Tamar for some time in his own mind. Obsessive thoughts scream for expression. So Ammon and his friend Jonadab concocted a plan to get Tamar into Ammon’s bed.
Once a plan to fulfill the demands of lust is set in motion, it can seldom be stopped. Ammon had lost control, and where there is no self-control all reason is gone. Ammon’s sexual obsession had reduced him to a loaf of bread – powerless to stop the runaway train of his desires. Tamar tried to reason with Ammon, but he was “like one of the wicked fools of Israel” (vs. 13). Ammon violated her with no regard for the damage it would do to either of them. “Then Ammon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her” (vs. 15).
People in bondage hate the sin that controls them. After consuming their fill, alcoholics throw the bottle against the wall in disgust, only to buy another when the cravings return. Lust cannot be satisfied. The more you feed it, the more it grows. In early development, one can be sexually stimulated by a sensual look or simple touch. The rush of a lustful thought or sexual encounter leads to a euphoric experience that doesn’t last. A sense of guilt and shame follows, but inwardly there is the desire to have that euphoric experience again. Every repeated exposure leads to greater sexual degradation in order to reach that same euphoric experience. The downward spiral of guilt and shame leads to greater bondage, sickness, and death.
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