2 Samuel 13
Tamar was Absalom’s sister, David’s daughter. She was a beautiful virgin with a strong personality, obedient to her calling with a servant heart. Amnon, Absalom’s brother, falls in ‘love’ with her.
This story shows the problems in David’s family which are a fulfilment of the prophecy given to David after he had committed lust, adultery and murder with Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 12:11. Instead of asking his father David if he could marry Tamar, Amnon cannot wait, a sure sign that it is lust, and not love, that is his motivating force. Amnon sets a trap for her on the advice of his cousin. She falls into it from a motive of caring for his needs when he is sick. Her maternal instinct over-powered her discernment. He sought her sympathy and played on it to get what he wanted.
Amnon brutally raped his sister, destroying her present and her future and ruining her chances of a good marriage. He assassinated her character and left her a bleeding, trembling wreck. Having lost her virginity and destroyed her integrity and self-esteem with no means of any restoration of relationships. Having had his way with her, contrary to her begging pleas for mercy, he walks away and leaves her. Worse still he does not want any more to do with her. “He hated her with a greater intensity than with which he had loved her before..” 2 Samuel 13:15 proving the point that it was lust that drove him to such drastic action.
Being unwanted as far as Tamar was concerned was worse than the rape as it destroyed her self esteem and value, 2 Samuel 13:17. Tamar sat on his doorstep crying, full of fears and regrets. She took her beautiful long coat which represented her virginity and her future and which she would give to her husband one day and tore it up, 2 Samuel 13:18-19. This was no longer any use to her, she was a deserted, used woman, cast out by society and her own family. Her brother Absalom came to her rescue and she stayed with him a ‘desolate woman’ 2 Samuel 13:20. Absalom who cared for her for two years really hated his brother Amnon. David had enough time to deal with the problem and discipline Amnon within his own family, making him take responsibility for his actions. David was weak and indecisive in his fatherly duties so Absalom then went and took the law into his own hands and set Amnon up to be killed, 2 Samuel 13:28. Absalom lost respect for his father over his handling of these incidents and this fuelled his own personal desires to take the position of king, 2 Samuel 15. Absalom nearly succeeded destroying David but God stepped in and saved David but he lost his precious son, hung in a tree.
Lessons from Tamar
Tamar was a victim but also a survivor and we can learn so much from the fact that God has put her story in the Bible.
1. Beware of the father’s sin being repeated by the children
2. Don’t get involved with a man who makes himself ill with desire, he will not be any good with the pressure of life.
3. Love is a giving force, while lust is a selfish compulsion centralised on gratification.
4. Keep your maternal instincts under control, men who behave like babies do not make good husbands
5. Always use discernment in EVERY situation.
6. Never be on your own with a man unless you know his intentions are pure (this is 1010BC. sound familiar?)
7. Men lose respect for women who they persuade to give them their body. The woman also loses respect for herself.
Many men seek women’s sympathy to get their own way and if women are not careful they become very vulnerable to different types of abuse and manipulation. The more helpless men act the more maternal a woman can be as women are nurturers, and want to love and provide inner strength for weak people, be they babies or men. All too often this is taken advantage of by men responding from a spirit of lust. This is deception which is emotional rape, and can have as far reaching consequences as physical rape.
Many women have suffered the terribly degrading trauma of rape, and sexual abuse. Someone who has been there can really understand and help you go through the various stages of healing and recovery, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. For those who have not been through this trial, but have had various experiences, which seem to have happened out of the blue, we need to know how to win through and how to be an overcomer. Maybe the situation was no fault of our own but has brought our life to a stand still with no opportunity for restoration.
Just because we are Christians does not mean that we are exempt from any such attack. This is directly from Satan, just like with Amnon and Tamar it shows how badly the enemy wants to violate God’s children. He is planning and plotting for our destruction. Satan lusts after God’s children. He craves for you with an animalistic passion and awaits every opportunity to attack, Luke 22:31-32; John 17:15. But like with every plan of his we can be overcomers.
“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne……Revelation 3:21
1. Allow Christ to come into the dark places of your life, He will heal you and set you free, Isaiah 61:1-3; Mark 1:41; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 4:15.
2. Do not turn away from God but go running to Him, like a child. When we become secure in our relationship with God we will allow the past to fall off us, Psalm 34:17-19; 2 Corinthians 6:16
3. Forgiveness, this is not an emotional experience but in obedience to the Word and as a direct example of Jesus at the Cross, Ephesians 3:16; Luke 23:34
4. Pray for our enemies, Psalm 55:22-23; Jeremiah 15:21
5. Love those who hate you, and that is definitely helped by praying first, Romans 12:21
6. Fill your mind with good things, Philippians 2:5
7. Fill your life with valuable activity, John 10:10; Psalm 31:15
8. Do not allow loneliness to be so powerful that all sense and discernment goes, Micah 7:7-10
9. Have friends with men and women who can be trusted, like a brotherly relationship under God, Deuteronomy 31:6
10. Your worth is not in your sexual ability, get your worth from what God says about you, Psalm 73:25-26
11. Dress with decency 1 Timothy 2:9
12. No fear.2 Timothy 1:7; Psalm 121:7-8; Psalm 140:1-4; Proverbs 1:33
13. Joy will return, Psalm 30:5b
Today abuse and rape are such common subjects that although we are shocked when it comes close to home, we do not rise up against the real perpetrator of the crime, Satan himself. As people looking on to the abused person the only reaction has to be public compassion and much private prayer. If we are the abused the only answer to complete recovery has to be God’s way, as shown above, however hard some of these points may seem. We can put up all sorts of barriers and good faces but God wants to heal from the inside out. He wants to ‘grant (consolation and joy) to those who mourn – to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem), of beauty instead of ashes, oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment (expressive) of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit – that they may be called oaks of righteousness (lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God), the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified’ Isaiah 61:2-3. Doesn’t that sound like a pretty good exchange when you feel so filthy, guilty, angry, unloved and rejected.
We have to constantly encourage ourselves that there is life after abuse and although I will never be the same, I can learn from it. I can use my experience to help others who are fighting their way through the ‘wild woods’ and all their ghosts without Jesus. I can make sure that they find Him and grow in the fruit of His Holy Spirit.
No.15 – Tamar – ruined by rape. Challenge Questions
- Read the notes about ‘Tamar’. What do you feel about her? What do you think about Amnon ? What about Absalom?
- Read the list ‘Overcoming’. What points do you need to apply to any difficult situation in your life and what does the Bible say?
- Why do you think that the incidences of rape and incest have increased so much today?
- How can the Church help females who have been abused today? What word of encouragement could you give?
Read Esther Chapter 1-4.
- Describe the wealth of King Xerxes. (Esther 1:2-11)
- Who had her own banquet? (Esther 1:9) What was the request from the King that she refused? (Esther 1:11) What was his reaction? (Esther 1:12-19)
- What was Esther’s family situation? (Esther 2:5-10)
- What rituals of preperation did Esther have to go through before being chosen as queen? (Esther 2:8-18)
- What did Mordecai refuse to do and what was Haman’s planned result? (Esther 3:2-11)
- When the edict for the annihalation of the Jews went out, what was the response from Mordecai and others? (Esther 4:1-3)
- What was Esther’s initial response to the problem? (Esther 4:9-11)
- How did Mordecai challenge her to take her responsibility? (Esther 4:12-14)
- What did Esther decide to do and what help did she want? (Esther 4:15-17)
Read Esther 5:1-8; Esther 7:1-10; Esther 8:1-8; Esther 8:14-17.
- After prayer what does Esther do? How do you think she feels? What response does she get?
- What happens at the second dinner to Haman? What tactic does he use when in trouble? (Esther 7:1-10)
- What does the King give Esther? (Esther 8:1) Again Esther appeals to the King, what is she asking for? (Esther 8:3-6)
- What response did Esther receive, and what was the result for the Jews? (Esther 8:7-8; Esther 8:14-17)
- Sum up the life of Esther saying what encouraged you most.