CONSEQUENCES OF SEX OUTSIDE GOD’S DESIGN PT. 1
I have four grandchildren: three single grandsons ages 21, 19, almost 17 and a married granddaughter. There is a deep burden in my heart and spirit that, as guardians of our children and grandchildren, we have a grave responsibility to make certain they know the consequences of their actions before their Heavenly Father. They are our legacy. They carry our name. More importantly, they carry His Name and they should walk righteously before Him.
Often sex is a taboo subject, but I’ve since come to realize that it is imperative that we talk about it. Within God’s design it is an exquisite gift a married man and woman give to each other to express their absolute devotion. Outside of God’s design, it breaks God’s heart. The Bible begins with God uniting Adam and Eve into “ one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) and ends with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and His Bride, the Church (Revelation 19:6-9). Marriage was instituted by God and He has a holy purpose for it. To depart from His laws and design is to sin against Him and puts us in a perilous position. In order to stay safe and be holy in His sight we must understand His plans for us and realize His laws are there to protect us.
Throughout this study I will concentrate on King David, a “ man after God’s own heart.” Reading the entire account of David’s life it becomes clear that, in spite of his sins of lust and adultery and murder, he was also a humble, teachable, repentant man. This is the broken man who pleaded with his God after the sins associated with Bathsheba:
Psalm 51:7, 10(NKJV)
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
This kind of father would have taught his children to uphold God’s laws because he loved and honored his God. It was the individual choice of each son to decide if God’s design for his life would prevail or if the sin of lust and its consequences would dominate. The choice always goes to each man involved.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A PARENT’S LACK OF DISCIPLINE
2 Samuel 13:1-21 relates the story of three of King David’s children. Amnon is heir to the throne of King David; he’s the eldest son. What he feels for his half-sister, Tamar, is obviously not true love but lust. He devises an elaborate scheme to get alone with Tamar. In a moment – a tragic turning point in history – he rapes Tamar. In so doing his love for her turns to disgust and hate. He can not tolerate even looking at her anymore. What becomes of Tamar? She is an outcast of society – she is the victim, the innocent one who suffers and thus must live in seclusion with her brother, Absalom, for the rest of her days.
What happens to Amnon, the one who committed the crime, for his offense? Nothing. He continues in a place of authority, seemingly untouched by his sin.
What did the Bible say should have happened to him for his crime?
Leviticus 18:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.
Leviticus 20:17 New International Version (NIV)
17 “‘If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They are to be publicly removed from their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible.
Amnon should have been exiled. Tamar became an outcast, but Amnon did not. If he had been, the tragic events that followed from here on out would never have happened! The destruction that came to David’s household would not have occurred.
Let’s pause for a minute here and reflect again on God’s beautiful sweetness of sexual relations in the holiness of marriage: the joy that is experienced, the tenderness, the fulfillment, the rightness. This kind of relationship is the gift a married man and woman give each other when they enjoy each other God’s way. On the other hand, look at the outcome of Amnon’s lust. So far we have trickery, rape, disgrace of an innocent victim…and we have just begun. This “dirty snowball” will only get larger and pick up speed as it destroys even more people in its destructive wake.
How does this “dirty snowball” play out in this story? Tamar’s brother, Absalom, harbored hatred and revenge in his heart toward Amnon and hatched a plot to revenge his sister’s honor. 2 Samuel 13:20-32 details how Amnon was killed by Absalom. Even though Absalom wasn’t the actual killer, he was the one who gave the order. It would be the same as when Al Capone ordered his “henchmen” to kill people. Capone would still be accused of murder. Absalom caused his servants – “henchmen” – to become murderers out of obedience to himself. Heartbreakingly, Absalom’s sins multiplied because now he caused other men to become murderers.
Sadly, didn’t this “dirty snowfall” start rolling down the hill long before this particular incident with Amnon? Weren’t the sins of lust and murder already in David’s family by his lusting after Bathsheba and the subsequent “arranged murder” by David of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah?
However, parental errors did not stop with only the one son, Amnon. King David’s unbiblical attitude toward discipline continued with yet another son, Absalom. Absalom, after having his brother, Amnon, killed, flees the country for three years so that he may be outside the hand of the law. Yet, during this time his father, dismissing the crime Absalom has committed, longs for fellowship with this vengeful and sinful son.
2 Samuel 13:39 New Living Translation (NLT)
39 King David, now reconciled to Amnon’s death, longed to be reunited with his son Absalom.
This is not holy thinking – David is longing for fellowship with a murderer. David needed to put Absalom to open shame and exile him at the very least (look above at Lev 20:17). One advantage of using the Bible as your guide it that it keeps your emotions out of your actions. Biblically, Absalom was also subject to execution because he was responsible for Amnon’s death.
Genesis 9:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed…
While King David allows Absalom to return to his own land, David will not permit Absalom to present himself at court. The father keeps the son at a distance for what he feels are wise reasons but which, ultimately, infuriate Absalom and further deteriorate the father-son relationship even more.
2 Samuel 14:24 New International Version (NIV)
Matthew Henry Commentary
But, though [King David] allowed [Absalom] to return to his own house, David forbid him from coming to the court, and would not see him himself. (This may have been for) Absalom’s greater humiliation. (David) had reason to think that (Absalom) was not truly penitent; he therefore put him under this mark of his displeasure, that he might be awakened to a sight of his sin and to sorrow for it, and might make his peace with God, upon the first notice of which, no doubt, David would be pleased to receive him again into his favour.
Next we have an account of Absalom. Nothing is said of his wisdom and piety. Though he was the son of such a devout father, we read nothing of his devotion. Parents cannot give grace to their children, though they give them ever so good an education. All that is here said of him is, That he was a very handsome man; there was not his equal in all Israel for beauty, (v. 25), a poor commendation for a man that had nothing else in him of value.
Unforgiven, unrepentant sin carries with it the deepest of consequences and Absalom is not yet finished bringing damage to his father’s name. Absalom now plots to incite rebellion against his father, King David. Incredibly, look at the place where Absalom declares that he has usurped his father’s throne:
2 Samuel 16:20-22 New International Version (NIV)
20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?”
21 Ahithophel answered, “Sleep with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel
22… upon the top of the house. The fact that the very roof on which David was walking when he secretly conceived his great sin (of lusting after Bathsheba) was the public scene of its punishment, and the nature of the punishment, corresponds to the nature of the sin, as Nathan had foretold. See 2 Samuel 12:11-12. (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)
It had been prophesied against King David – in 2Samuel 12:11-12, see below – that God would punish him for the sin of lust and adultery (and murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah) and here —in 2Samuel 16:20-22, see above — we have the fulfillment of that prophecy. Sin has a long and ugly trail.
2 Samuel 12:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”(prophecy fulfilled).
This entire series of tragedies began with the sin of lust. In today’s world that is such a common occurrence. Yet, look where it led. Bathsheba and David committed adultery by being unfaithful in their marriage vows. Uriah, Bathsheba’s faithful husband was treacherously murdered. Years later as the sin of lust lingered over the palace, Amnon raped his sister, an innocent victim, who was cast into seclusion for the rest of her days. In retaliation, Absalom killed his brother, Amnon. This action so angered their father, the initial sinner, that he expelled Absalom from the country. Yet, this same father, who was so twisted as to what was right and wrong, allowed Absalom, this unrepentant murderer, back into court and they kissed in fellowship (2Samuel 14:33). In payment for this kindness the son organized a rebellion against the father and drove him from his throne.
All this evil from one “small sin of lust.” This is a Biblical example of the consequence of sex outside of God’s design. It is not to be treated lightly. King David was a “ man after God’s own heart” but he had a weakness, an entryway for the enemy to rule in him. Look at the damage it did to so many people’s lives.
Kirkpatrick, A. F. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. University Press, 1957.
Matthew Henrys Commentary on the Whole Bible: Joshua to Esther-Volume 2. Hendrickson Publishers, 1998.