Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heart Guard!

Love vs. lust, lust vs. love--the subject of novels, movies, songs, and stories--and the topic of today's passages of scripture in this historical journey through God's Word.

The promise that The Lord made to David after he confessed his sin with Bathsheba comes to fruition in 2 Samuel chapters 13 through 15. David's son Amnon fell in lust (he claimed it was love) with his half sister, and with the help of his cousin Jonadab, he devised a scheme that would ensure the opportunity to be alone with her.

The plan included lies and deceit that culminated with the rape of David's beautiful virgin daughter Tamar, after which, Amnon totally rejected her.

If this story was made into a movie, I think the big takeaway (for young women at least) would have to be a reminder to beware of the young man who flatters you, showers you with attention, treats you with kindness and does all the right things to get you to notice him.

Rare is the fellow who hasn't confused lust with love. Amnon told his cousin that he loved Tamar, but if he had truly been in love with her he would never have forced himself on her sexually or treated her with such contempt after the rape. He was like thousands of other young men who want sex because they are in lust--and Tamar's life was altered dramatically as a result of his selfishness.

If you read the entire passage, you will discover that Absalom, another of Tamar's brothers, killed Amnon, and then also turned against his father, David. The numerous tragedies of these stories all point back to a time when David made a choice to turn his back on God and follow his own lust.

God's Word does not conceal ugly details or difficult passages, and it is through these stories that we can learn so much about what not to do. God does not give us boundaries in order to rob our joy or steal our fun--he gives us boundaries in order to protect and guard our hearts--and I pray that we all gratefully allow Him to do just that.

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