We’ve caught up to the sermons. If you missed Pastor Sten’s message from yesterday regarding David and his family, I hope you’ll give it a listen.
Chapter 13 is one of the most tragic stories in the Bible. Some people are shocked that it’s even in the Bible. But I appreciate that the Bible doesn’t shy away from our dark side. When it talks about rape, we are forced to think about it.
Let me point out just a couple notable moments.
Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill. 13:1
Sin happens when you become fixated on something or someone. Years ago a pastor of mine preached that, “You think about it, and you think about it, and you think about… and then you do it.” It’s a simple truth.
It’s important to intercept your thought process when you see that pattern develop. The apostle Paul talked about taking your thoughts captive… taking control of them. It’s as if your brain falls in a rut and you can’t stop think about something. So you have to actively change things up to get your mind out of the rut: change your environment, go talk to someone, do something to keep the record from skipping in your mind. What’s your plan for when that happens?
Tamar summarized the impact of sexual sin when she said to Amnon:
Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. 13:13
Rape is often hidden in our culture. It’s not talked about. And when a woman does come forth, she’s often blamed, not believed. But in the Jewish culture a woman communicated and celebrated her virginity with her clothing.
She was wearing an ornate robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. 2 Samuel 13:18,19
Tamar was too honest to cover up what had happened by continuing to wear the robe. But then she was “damaged goods:” disgraced and untouchable in the eyes of the people.
The disgust that Amnon showed for Tamar was actually for himself. To see her only reminded him of what he had done and that he was a “wicked fool.”
I’m shocked at how many people have been sexually assaulted. If you are one, I hope you will share it with a trusted friend or counselor so you can bring healing and closure to that event/s.We have a ministry at Cedarbrook called, “Mending the Soul” to help you work through it.
God doesn’t want you to live in disgrace. There is healing for it. God wants to restore you and remove your shame.
If you are a perpetrator, I hope you will seek help as well and not keep it hidden. There is shame on both sides, for different reasons, and it needs to be dealt with. God wants to restore you as well, but you need to own what you’ve done.
All of us should be able to offer people a safe place to reveal their secrets in order to comfort and encourage them.
Today I’ll give you a few prayers to choose from:
Prayer: Father, help me to find the help I need to bring healing to my past. Show me the people that I can trust. Help me find the courage I need to not stay in hiding any longer. Please take away my shame like only you can.
Prayer: Father, help me to be a safe person for hurting people to turn to. Though I haven’t suffered their pain, help me to listen well and show them the acceptance they need.
Prayer: Father, when my brain is in the rut of thinking about sin, alert me to it and help me to take the necessary step to get out of the rut. I don’t want to sin. Don’t let my bad habits keep me trapped in it.