An heir to the kingdom, taboo desire, violence, disgrace, revenge. Sin plays out a devastating story that leaves a woman broken, a son murdered, and a family fractured and mourning. Sin does that. It destroys. Despite what anyone may try to reason in the midst of a transgression, it never affects only one person.
It seemed a mere 39 verses in a very big book, but spanned a number of years. I read the chapter several times, gripped by how a life and a choice can go so desperately wrong. Amnon, a king’s son and heir to the throne, may not have been so reckless ordinarily, yet he orchestrated events that would wreck lives–including his own. The beginnings of sin, right there at the start of the chapter:
In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. 2 Samuel 13:1
In the course of time, these thoughts led to action and dire consequences. He was consumed, so much so that others noticed. How can a life and a choice go so desperately wrong? Big things (rape, infidelity, addiction, anger, eating disorders), don’t they start with little things–a thought left untamed, a feeling unchecked? Unhappiness, emptiness, frustration, boredom or even curiosity? A mind wanders, meandering at first, down a path best left untraveled. A very Principle of the Path lesson. In the course of time, thoughts lead somewhere. A reminder to me that wherever I set my feet (and thoughts), I will surely reach (some kind of) a destination.
From the archives … originally published September 17, 2010.