Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 13

True love or mere emotion?

2 Samuel 13:15

Amnon had told Jonadab that he loved Tamar (13:4). We may ask what kind of love that was.

It was clearly not true love that lasts always (1 Corinthians 13:13; Song of Solomon 8:6-7). Amnon’s love for Tamar disappeared in a moment. As soon as he had satisfied his desire for sex with her, he hated her. That hate was even more powerful than the feeling of love had been. It made him angry even to see her. He was truly desperate to send her away.

So, what Amnon believed to be love, was in reality just an emotion, a powerful feeling. True love would have given him a desire to help Tamar, even without any personal benefit (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). True love is a desire to give, and not to get (Acts 20:35). It is a desire to show kindness to another person, and not to benefit from that person’s kindness (Luke 14:12-14).

On the other hand our emotions - and especially our wrong emotions - change quickly. They come from our wrong desires for things that God has not given to us (Exodus 20:17; 1 John 2:15-17). We selfishly try to control other people to gain what we desire (James 5:1-6). In that way, we truly can gain the things in this world, but lose our relationship with God (Mark 8:36).

Amnon never really loved Tamar. He loved himself only, as his selfish and wicked behaviour proves.

Next part: Tamar urges Amnon not to send her away (2 Samuel 13:16)


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