Theme: THE DANGER OF HYPOCRISY
Text: “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” – Romans 12:9, 10.
Comment: The word “dissimulation” according to www.dictionary.com, an online dictionary, means “to disguise or conceal under a false appearance”. Another similar definition says it is “concealment of one’s thoughts, or character; pretence”. These definitions sit properly with the wicked scheme of Amnon who made himself sick because he wanted to have carnal knowledge of his beautiful half-sister, Tamar. He told his friend Jonadab, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister”. Even though, he concealed his incestuous (and therefore iniquitous) intention from his father and sister, his real motive became manifest after he had humbled her. Thereafter, he drove Tamar away from his house saying, “Arise, be gone”. (2 Samuel 13:1-15) Humiliated, she poured ashes on her head in mourning, tore her virginity garments and wept bitterly. When her brother Absalom met her she disclosed everything to him. He immediately determined to avenge this travesty. During a feast he held to which he deceived his father to allow his brothers to attend, he ordered his servants to kill Amnon. Absalom himself fled into exile. (2 Samuel 13:1-38) The hypocritical character of Amnon and Absalom thus led to grievous consequences. Eliphaz the Temanite stated, “For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.” – Job 15:34, 35.