Monday, May 7, 2012
Welcome to Day 127 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
2 Samuel 13, “And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11 But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.” 12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. 13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
15 Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!””
v 28 “Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.” 29 So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered.”
2 Samuel 14, Absalom returns to Jerusalem after two years… This is not going to end well. It begins with deception…
Matthew 24:32, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
It’s difficult for me to focus on the New Testament when I know there are multiple opportunities (four Gospels) to touch on different topics, when the Old Testament is a timeline unveiling before us, and the stories are so compelling. Today is no exception…
What a tragic story of a young man (Amnon) raping his (half) sister (Tamar), despising and discarding her immediately after. Then Absalom kills Amnon. So now, King David has a son that raped one of his daughters, then another son kills the son (his half-brother) who raped Tamar.
While speaking over the weekend, I quoted from Matthew 5, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” We all get rained on… But no one ever would expect this. Such a tragic story. It’s like something one would see in a made-for-tv movie. So sad, so tragic, and it’s only going to go downhill from here. (If you know how it plays out over the next few chapters… with the pending death of Absalom, and David’s reaction to it.)
As a father, one would never expect one of your sons to rape one of your daughters. Nothing can prepare you for something like that. The shame and disgrace brought upon your family by such a calculated and thoughtless act of brutality can not be measured. How does a family ever recover from such an occurrence?
And poor Tamar, no longer able to wear the robe that indicated she was (still) a virgin. v 20, “And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman.”
Some of the situations we go through in life are heart-wrenching. Sexual abuse has to be at the top of that list.
How does a young woman ever recover from being abused by her own brother, or worse… her own father?
Statistics show that one in four people (both male and female) have been sexually abused. Can you believe that? One out of every four…
Often those victims go on to live lives of promiscuity that only leads to more hurt and shame, loneliness and broken marriages, multiple kids from multiple fathers. And abusers often grow to become abusers themselves.
Only the grace of God can lift a person out of these circumstances and restore one to wholeness.
Lord, I pray right now for every person reading this who has suffered abuse and is living under a cloud of pain. Please draw close to them, heal their hearts. Show them the path to healing and wholeness… In Jesus’ name.
P.S. If you are a victim of sexual abuse, here is a great book… Click on the book image or HERE to order the book.