One might argue that the death of the baby conceived in adultery by David and Bathsheba was God’s punishment for the murder of Uriah, not necessarily for the sin of adultery.  Sexual sins carry built in consequences. Some have argued that sexual sin is passed on from generation to generation and there seems to be some evidence to support this. That might be what we encounter in 2 Samuel Chapter 13 with the story of Amnon and Tamar.

Amnon sexually molests his half sister, Tamar, and goes on with his life as if nothing had happened. David, the father, the one responsible for family discipline and as King, corporate discipline, does not act to punish Amnon. The Dead Sea Scrolls add a phrase in the Greek Translation at the end of verse 21 that says “when David heard of all these things, he was very angry.” The phrase added in the Dead Sea Scroll is “But he would not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, since he was his firstborn.”

The failure to deal with this great sin devastated David’s family. Never again was thier harmony and unity in his family. Absalom, Tamar’s full brother, hated Amnon and eventually murdered him for molesting his sister. Absalom, himself, would sleep with his father’s wives and attempt to supplant his father as king.

Reports today show that as many as 34% of women have been sexually abused as children. Yet, much of that goes unreported, unconfessed and unpunished. Dysfunctional relationships within the families are almost always the result until these sins are confessed and dealt with. David could have avoided the destruction of his family had he confronted this sin in the way he had confronted Goliath. But, this giant, defeated David.

When Paul instructs Christians about living together in harmony, he focuses particular attention on avoiding sexual sin. He writes to the Ephesians in Chapter 5 verse 3,  “Let there be no sexual immorality (or)… impurity…among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.”