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The Tragedy of Sexual Abuse

November 15, 2018

David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare food for him.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, where he was lying down. 2 Samuel 13:7-8

Tamar was a godly woman. We see this in what she does. She comes to her sick brother in order to serve him. But shame was heaped on her in three ways.

1. She was betrayed.
“David sent home to Tamar…” (13:7).

Tamar lived under the protection of the king, and the king sent her to her brother’s house—a place where she had every right to feel she would be safe. She trusted Amnon, but she was betrayed by the very person she came to serve.

2. She was violated.
“[Amnon] took hold of her and said to her, ‘Come, lie with me, my sister’” (13:11).

Again, we see the godliness of Tamar in what she says. “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel… As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel” (13:12-13). Tamar seeks Amnon’s good, as well as her own. But Amnon would not listen, and we read these tragic words: “Being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her” (13:14).

3. She was excluded.
“Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred… Amnon said to her, ‘Get up! Go!’” (13:15).

Notice how quickly Amnon’s lust turns to loathing—in a moment. Tamar is thrown out like a piece of trash, and the door is bolted behind her.

As you reflect on this story, use it to strengthen your loathing of sin and increase your compassion for all who have suffered because of it.

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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