13. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOVE AND LUST.
II Samuel 13:4,14 - "And he said to him, 'Why are you, the king's son, becoming thinner day after day? Will you not tell me?' Amnon said to him, 'I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister'...However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her."
Amnon knew what he wanted to do with his half-sister was wrong but pursued the clever advice of his wicked friend. Love seeks what is in the best interest of the other person; lust seeks its own interest (i.e., selfish pleasure). Amnon did not love Tamar; he merely lusted for her body. Genuine love is incompatible with rape. Once he had used her, he had no more use for her. Those who don't know the difference between love and lust will surely make a mess of their lives.
14. WHEN SIN IS TOLERATED, IT OFTEN LEADS TO MORE PROBLEMS.
II Samuel 13:21,32 - "But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry...Then Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David's brother, answered and said, 'Let not my lord suppose they have killed all the young men, the king's sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this had been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar."
Most of David's problems were rooted in his family. Polygamy certainly bore bitter fruit in David's family as did his own adultery (cf. 12:10,11). David's toleration of Amnon raping Tamar led to her desolation. It later led to Amnon's death, Absalom's exile, his rebellion against his father David, and ultimately to Absalom's death. How might David's history have differed had he handled Tamar's rape differently? How might his history have differed had he never invited Bathsheba into his bed? Could it be the case that his own sexual sin stopped him from punishing Amnon? Though we cannot answer these questions definitively, we can know for certain that when sin is tolerated it will lead to more problems (cf. I Cor. 5:6,7).
15. A LOVING PARENT IS WILLING TO DO ANYTHING FOR A CHILD.
II Samuel 18:33 - "Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he wept, he said thus: 'O my son Absalom--my son, my son Absalom--if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!'"
Loving parents would rather die for their children than learn of the demise of their own offspring. David is heartbroken, knowing he helped create the destruction in his family (cf. 12:10,11).
16. SUCCESS & VICTORY ARE A MATTER OF ATTITUDE.
II Samuel 19:2,3 - "So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people. For the people heard it said that day: 'The king is grieved for his son.' And the people stole back into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle."
Had Absalom not been a son, his rebellion being crushed would have brought satisfaction and peace to David. But, David was conflicted. On one hand, there is relief; but there is also grief, too. Joab rebuked him promptly. Those who fought for David were shamed that they won, based on his behavior. In our lives, success and victory are more dependent on the mind than anything else. We can turn victories into defeat and vice versa if we will to do so. Attitude is so important in every aspect of life (cf. Prov. 23:7).