In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.
2 Amnon became frustrated to the point of illness on account of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her.
3 Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 2 Sam 13:1-3 NIV
These four had royal blood, from the richest and most powerful family on earth at the time. They were under the roof of a globally recognized servant of God with god fearing priests and worshippers. There was nothing they lacked in any sense; yet, they failed. Two of them were princes and heirs to the throne, but died young and unmourned, leaving no children.
Amnon – Destroyed by obsessive compulsive drive (OCD).
One day Amnon noticed this pressure on his soul and will; he must have sex with his step sister or die. He called it love, and did not know where this pressure was coming from and could not resist it. Soon this pressure diminished all the opportunities and privileges around him. He lost appetite and interest on whatever else. This soon became noticed by his close friend and confidant who then suggested how he could satisfy this urge.
The victim of his beastly urge warned him-
Don't, my brother!" she said to him. "Don't force me. Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don't do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel.
2 Sam 13:12-13 NIV
What about you, Amnon? That was the least thing he wanted to consider then. That urge had come to destroy him, but he lacked sufficient will power to reason then. He was obsessed. In other words, he was mad. This madness was driving him by a compelling force to ruin his future and the destiny attached.
This can be the story a lot of young people. Once any young person comes under this influence, he does not want to see those that he knew could dissuade him from the path he has made up his mind to follow. At such time the youth begins to withdraw from his parents, guardians and teachers. The person the young person wants to listen to, is fellow youths that he knows would not stop him but encourage him on the path to self-destruction.
At times this comes as sexual urge; for girls it could be at a likely time to get pregnant. It could be urging for a particular fashion lifestyle. In the case of the prodigal son in the bible, it was urge to leave home and live independent. It could come as pressure to test alcohol or rape. The more fatal case is to attempt suicide. In Nigeria within the year 2013 more than four university under graduates committed suicide in four different cities. They all cited that they were fed up with life. All of them were below twenty four years and their parents were still living.
After taking this self destructive step, they always recover, but then the irreparable harm is done. In Amnon’s case -
But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, "Get up and get out!"
2 Sam 13:14-15 NIV
He thought he loved her, now he has done the irreparable damage to the girl and more to himself, he discovered he never loved her; he was only mad, which madness he could not resist until he had ruined his chance to the throne and earned himself a life time enemy in his step-brother Absalom which resulted in his death.
He died as a rapist, guilty of incest, self-condemned prince unfit for the throne. In Tamar’s words, he had become like one of the wicked fools of the land of Israel. Foolish could be excused but wicked was deserving of death. His father could not kill him because he was his son but judgment came through his offended step-brother.
Counsel- When young people come under such pressure, let they run to a more matured person and confess their condition. If Amnon had spoken to his father, mother, the priest or teacher about this; none of them would have made the satanic suggestion Jonadab made. It is not also wise to try to handle this alone. It was Amnon’s effort to handle this alone that resulted in his losing weight which brought in Jonadab.
The best person to talk to in such case is a pastor, or where available a youth counselor. Youths who have learnt to pray have an edge in such matter. But just like Amnon, most youths see praying as old fashioned, hence, do not join their parents in prayer. When such youth come under such problem he is helpless.
It is necessary to make mention that such pressure could be hereditary. In the case of Amnon, his father David had succumbed to such pressure earlier and committed adultery with Uriah’s wife. In this also parents should not be shy to confess their weaknesses before their children, and warn them of such pitfalls. Most parents boast before their children as perfect people, who have made no mistakes in life. When the children find themselves under pressure, they see themselves as never do-wells, considering their challenges only peculiar to them. That could be why Amnon kept his pressure to himself. If he ever saw that his father had faced such problems, he would have reached out to him for help.
Parents should open up to their children in such a way as to help them avoid the pitfalls to which they were victims.
Extract from a book by Emma N J Nwosu