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Bible Q

What stories in the Bible talk about lust?

There are probably a few stories in the Bible that talks about lust. One well known example is from the life of David, when he lusted after Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah (the record is in 2 Samuel 11). At the end of 2 Samuel 11 the following comment is made about David’s actions:

…the thing that David had done displeased the LORD. [2Sam.11:27]

In the following chapter, Nathan the prophet comes to rebuke David for his sin. He says that David has ‘despised the word of the LORD’ and done ‘what is evil in his sight’ (2Sam.11:9). Clearly, David’s actions upset God.

Another story that talks about lust is in 2 Sam. 13. Here Amnon, one of David’s sons, lusts after his half-sister, Tamar. He is so obsessed with her that he rapes her. It is a terrible account of what can happen when someone does not control their lusts.

The closeness of this chapter (2 Sam. 13) with the ones recounting David’s sin against Bathsheba (ch. 11-12)  perhaps demonstrate another terrible effect of David’s sin: perhaps it lead to others following his bad example.

Of course, lust doesn’t have to be sexual. John describes an ungodly attitude as on focused on ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life‘ (1 John 2:16, NKJV), which, in turn, seems to be a good description on Eve’s thoughts in Eden, when she ‘saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise‘ (Gen. 3:6) — so our lusts can be whenever we crave something.

Finally, lust doesn’t have to be negative (although it is in the three examples given above). In Psalm 73, Asaph says that God is the being he desires the most, more than anyone else on earth (Ps. 73:25) — this is the best kind of lust, a desire for God.

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