Pastor James J. Barker

Text: II SAMUEL 13:1-21


1.     My message this morning is entitled, “The Folly of Sin,” and is based upon the story of Amnon and his half-sister Tamar.  I use the word “folly” because it aptly describes this tragic story (cf. 13:12, 13).

2.     Second Samuel 11 deals with David’s great sin.  He committed adultery with Bath-sheba, and then he had her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed.

3.     The next chapter, II Samuel 12, deals with David’s repentance.  God forgave David’s sin (II Sam. 12:13), but David had to suffer the consequences of his sins.  This is seen vividly in II Samuel 13.

4.     “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

5.     Sin is like an ugly, festering sore that has to be lanced.  It can be very ugly and very messy.  And so it was with David.  And so it was with Amnon.  And so it was with Absalom, and with many others that we read about in the Bible, and many people that we encounter in life.

6.     When Nathan told David the parable of the rich man who stole the poor man’s lamb, the Bible says “David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man,” and David demanded that “he restore the lamb fourfold” (II Sam. 12:5-7).

7.     David’s words of judgment fell upon his own head:

(1) The baby David conceived with Bath-sheba died.

(2) David’s son Absalom killed his half-brother Amnon

(3) David’s general Joab killed Absalom during the battle of Mount Ephraim

(4) David’s son Adonijah was slain for attempting to usurp the throne from King Solomon.

8.     Sin comes with a very expensive price tag.  The problem is that people are so blinded by sin that they overlook the price tag. 

9.     You can go out shopping and quickly get into debt if you ignore the price tags.  But is far more serious if you ignore the expensive price tag on sin.

  3. THE SHAME & DISGRACE OF SIN (13:16-19)
  4. THE DISCLOSURE OF SIN (13:20, 21)
  5. THE UGLY FRUIT OF SIN (13:22-39)


1.     Sin always develops slowly before it comes to fruition. A young person doesn’t go overnight from being an obedient child who loves to go to Sunday School into a criminal.  No, it is a gradual process – neglecting to read the Bible, associating with the wrong friends, other harmful influences such as the public school and rap music and worldly movies and so on.

2.     Absalom is mentioned first in II Samuel 13 because he is very prominent in the latter part of the chapter, and then through the next six chapters.

3.     Tamar and Absalom were very close because they had the same mother and the same father (David).  Amnon was their half-brother.  David was Amnon’s father but he had a different mother (13:1, 2).

4.     David had too many wives and this caused a lot of turmoil for him.  Here we see the chickens are coming home to roost.

5.     Amnon, David’s firstborn son (and heir to the throne), conceived an illicit passion for his half-sister Tamar.  It was “hard for him to do any thing to her” (13:2) because she was a virgin and parents were very protective of their virgin daughters in those days.

6.     Tamar was “fair,” i.e., she was attractive; she was very pretty.  But it was wrong for Amnon to dwell on that because she was his sister.  But Amnon deliberately and willfully pined over his sister, knowing all the time it was wrong (cf. Matt. 5:27, 28).

7.     This made him “vexed” and sick (13:2) because of his frustration.  If Amnon would have gotten right with God, God would have taken away his lustful thoughts, and his frustrations, and all of his confused emotions.

8.     But Amnon kept thinking about Tamar.  He was obsessed with her, and the Bible says it even affected his health and his appetite.  He appeared “lean” to his cousin Jonadab (13:4).

9.     As we consider the gradual development of Amnon’s sin, I want to emphasize two big problems: the wrong friend and the wrong advice.

10.He had a close friend named Jonadab, who was also his cousin (13:3).  We’re told that “Jonadab was a very subtil man” (13:3).

11.When I read that Jonadab was a very “subtil” man, I think of the devil.  Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field…”

12.So Jonadab was very subtil; he was crafty; he was dangerous; and he was devilish.  It is not wise to associate with people like that!  “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Cor. 15:33).

13.But Amnon and Jonadab were both carnal and so Jonadab’s wicked scheme appealed to Amnon (13:4-8).

14.As we consider the development of sin, we must remember that before a sinner commits his transgression, God puts many obstacles along his way.  Amnon’s last big obstacle was the other relatives and friends that were in his house.  He demanded that they all leave so he could be alone with his half-sister Tamar (13:9, 10).

15.Amnon’s conscience was telling him he was wrong.   There was still time to stop.  But Amnon lusted after his beautiful sister, and with his mind and body consumed with unlawful passion, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come lie with me, my sister” (13:11).

16.When Tamar said, “Nay, my brother, do not force (rape) me” (13:12), there was still time for Amnon to repent.  He could have asked Tamar for forgiveness.  He could have prayed and asked God to forgive him.

17.Tamar said to Amnon, “No such thing ought to be done in Israel” (13:12).  God gave Israel the law.  God expected them to be different from the heathen.  God wanted them to be pure and holy (cf. Leviticus 20:17).

18.Tamar cried out, “Amnon – don’t be a fool” (cf. 13:12, 13).

19.In other words, a fool casts off all restraint.  A fool has no self-control.  A fool has no sense of decency. A fool cannot discern right from wrong. A fool has no fear of God.

20.In desperation, Tamar urged Amnon to speak to the king (13:13b). I believe Tamar knew that King David would never allow such a thing, but she was desperate; she was scared.  Amnon was overpowering her and she could not stop him.

21.Amnon would not listen to her anguished cries.  The Bible says, “Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice…” (13:14).

22.We see here the development of sin.  Now let us look at the deceitfulness of sin.



1.     That Amnon’s passion for Tamar was nothing but animal lust is shown by the shabby way he treated her after he finished his detestable act of incest (13:15).

2.     Here we see Amnon’s “love” was not true love.  The Bible says love is kind.  Love doth not behave itself unseemly. Love seeketh not her own, and thinketh no evil.

3.     Amnon’s base conduct in throwing Tamar out of his house was more reprehensible than when he raped her (13:15, 16).

4.     Hebrews 3:13 warns of being “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  This describes Amnon.

5.     True love would never violate another person just to satisfy selfish appetites. True love would never persuade someone to disobey the law of God. 

6.     This is the deceitfulness of sin.  Amnon thought he loved Tamar but he really did not love her.  And now he wanted her out of his life immediately.  He didn’t even want to look at her.

7.     Amnon even had his servant put Tamar out and bolt the door after her (13:17).  The word “woman” (13:17) is in italics in the KJV.  Amnon was literally saying, “Put this out!” like you would tell a servant to put out a dirty pile of trash.

8.     Amnon was deceived by sin.  He confused lust with love, and his lust turned quickly to hatred (13:15).  He could no longer look at Tamar because she a reminder of his horrible sin.



1.     It is shocking to see the brutal and scornful way Amnon treated Tamar after he finished raping her.  He used her and abused her and then threw her out like yesterday’s trash.

2.     William Newell said, “Lust, gratified, nauseates.”

3.     Sexual sins cause great emotional damage.  People think it is good fun to listen to filthy pigs like Howard Stern and to watch dirty movies, but they do not realize they are giving the devil a big foothold.

4.     There are many women who are under psychiatric care because of years of promiscuity and abortions and broken marriages, and all of the other ruins and rubble of the sexual revolution.

5.     By the way, the so-called “sexual revolution” is really nothing new.  Sodom and Gomorrah experimented with the sexual revolution 4,000 years ago!

6.     Tamar used to wear a beautiful garment, symbolizing not only that she was a princess but a clean, pure virgin (13:18).

7.     But Amnon stole her virginity, and Tamar in her agony and distress, put ashes on her head, and rent her beautiful garment of divers colours (13:19).

8.     She laid her hand upon her head and could not keep from crying (13:19).  Poor Tamar.

9.     Oh, the shame and disgrace of sin!  Oh, the folly of sin!  Oh, the deceitfulness of sin! 


IV.    THE DISCLOSURE OF SIN (13:20, 21)

1.     There was one Scripture I preach often and will continue to preach often, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23).

2.     Absalom saw his sister crying.  He saw the ashes on her head.  He saw her beautiful garment torn and tattered (13:20).

3.     And soon King David would find out, and undoubtedly others as well (13:21).  Though David “was very wroth” (13:21), there is no indication in the Bible that he ever punished Amnon.

4.     I believe if King David would have punished his son Amnon, Amnon might not have been killed by Absalom.

5.     David was an indulgent father who raised some rotten sons.  One thing that I have observed over the years is that too many parents (even some Christian parents) are too lax with their children.

6.     Parents – children need a good whipping now and then.  “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).

7.     “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13, 14). 

8.     Maybe if David would have beat Amnon with his rod he could have delivered his soul from hell.

9.     There are too many slacker fathers, worldly moms, and rebellious children in our churches today.  Parents, be careful – you could be raising another Amnon.

10.Furthermore, I believe the reason King David did not punish Amnon was because his own sin was so fresh in everyone’s mind.  He was compromised by his own scandalous behaviour. 


V.    THE UGLY FRUIT OF SIN (13:22-29) 

1.     Time will not allow me to expound the latter portion of II Samuel 13.  Verse 22 tells us, “And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.”

2.     Absalom hated Amnon and waited for the right time to avenge her rape.  Finally “after two full years” Absalom got his revenge (13:23-29).



1.     I trust that this exposition has reminded us once again of the folly of sin.

2.     Do not play around with sin or you may get burned.

3.     Be careful who you associate with. I heard of a young girl whose father was very careful about whom she associated with.  To make his point, he took a dead coal from his fireplace, and said to his daughter, “Take this.  I promise you will not get burnt.”

4.     She took the coal.  Her father was right – it did not burn her.  However her hand was all dirty and blackened, as was her beautiful white dress.

5.     Annoyed, she said to her father, “One cannot be too careful in handling coals!” 

6.     Her father replied, “Yes, that is right because even if coals do not burn you they will make you dirty and soiled.”

7.     Maybe there are some here who have been soiled by sin.  The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). 

8.     If you are not saved, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7).

Pastor James J. Barker
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