An Innocent Victim: Tamar

Today’s story runs a little tough for me as a write, so bear with me. I cannot compare what happened to me to what happens in this story, but some parts of it are very real to me. I hope this helps someone else who may be going through the same thing.

King David had many children by different wives. In 2 Samuel 13, his firstborn son, Amnon is in a real pickle. His lust for his half sister, Tamar was getting the best of him. He wanted her, but he didn’t want to marry her. His lust for her drove him crazy. She was so beautiful. He was so tormented by her beauty, and she was a virgin, which would cause huge problems. Well, Amnon had a cousin who planned for him how to work it all out….Amnon would feign being sick. When his father, King David, would come looking for him, he would tell his father he was very ill and would he please send his sister, Tamar to care for him and cook for him. When David learns his firstborn is sick, he immediately sends for Tamar per his son’s request. It was not uncommon for a female family member to care for a sick family member. So following her father’s request, she went to Amnon to care for him.

While there, she did as he asked and made him some bread, which he refused to eat. Instead he sent away all who was in his house, and asked Tamar to feed him in his bedroom. And when she went in there, he told her to lie with him. When she refused, he raped her. It didn’t matter that he was the heir to the throne and could take her as his wife…no he didn’t want that. He just wanted to fill a carnal desire within him. When he was through with her, he hated her more than he had ever lusted for her. He sent a servant to kick her out of his house. Her natural brother, Absalom, found her with her with ashes on her head and her robe torn. Instead of defending her, Absalom told her to be quiet about it. King David found out about it and was furious, but did nothing about it.

Okay, I am stepping out of the story for a moment here. Do you feel Tamar’s pain as much as I do right now? The men she entrusted most with her life have all betrayed her, keeping such a foul secret and ruining her life. She is ruined! Her father….that would have been the biggest betryal to me if my father knew and did nothing about it. I would expect my dad to go out with guns blazing to protect me and my reputation….hers did nothing. What about the fact that big brothers should look out for and protect their little sisters? One brother raped her and the other one told her, “Be quiet now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” DON’T TAKE THIS TO HEART? Yeah, little sis, shake it off. Don’t let it bother you. WHAT? You’ve got to be kidding me right? Besides the fact that her virginity was TAKEN from her by FORCE, the bible tells us she lived in Absalom’s house “a desolate woman”. She’s got some major emotional wounds here as well as the fact that she is living with a sin that isn’t her fault! Merriam-Webster defines desolate in the following manner “joyless, disconsolate, and sorrowful ” She not only lost her virginity that day, she lost her trust in her family that day. Maybe even her God. Why did God allow this to happen? Don’t we all think this at some time or another? The bible tells us that Absalom never said anything at all to Amnon, but that he hated him for what he did to Tamar. Two years later, Absalom did indeed have his brother Amnon murdered, but what is that to say for Tamar? We lose her after this point. No more mention of her.

Isn’t that sometimes so true in our own society. Rape and incest get swept under the rug, but does the innocent victim ever overcome the hurt and pain? It is possible through the blood of Jesus Christ. Praise God that I was never raped, but I was made highly uncomfortable by a family member when I was a preteen. I was always very uncomfortable when I was alone in a room with him….I made a point of NEVER being alone with him. I honestly believed that if I told anyone in my family about things he attempted with me (mostly fondling…I never let it get further) that it would be my word against his. How fair is that? A young girl going though puberty’s word not taken over a relative. Maybe I was wrong back then. Maybe something would have come of it. To this day, my husband is the only one who really knows. I don’t ever see this relative anymore. He’s not part of the family anymore, but I don’t think I have ever forgiven him. That is something that is very hard to do, but something that I need to do. When we left Tamar in the story, she was desolate. Down, depressed, desolate. We aren’t told what ever became of this young beauty. Life was probably never the same for her again. Who do you trust? Who would want a woman used and thrown out like an old worn out sneaker?

Jesus does.

Dear one, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you. But I do know a Savior that loves you and wants to help you to heal. He is the great Physician. The great Healer. I know you probably don’t trust anyone, but God is trustworthy. His Son paid the ultimate sacrifice for you. Cast all your cares on him. He cares for you. He wants to listen to your hurt and he wants to make you whole again. Jesus paid it all for you. Give Him the heavy yoke that you carry. His is much lighter. He will help you carry the load. I am praying for you, dear sisters.

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