It seems in every generation we could hear folk commenting on how things have changed, and how that things which are accepted today would never have been tolerated in their ancestor’s day. Although our Scripture verses are lengthy today, I believe that we might question ourselves on whether we would have reacted to Tamar’s misfortune like her brother and father did, or whether we might have responded differently. Think about your reactions to things accepted today my friends…
DATE POSTED Friday, 2021-12-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BY: Ed Algreen
SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Samuel 13:11-13; 20-21
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: THE OFFENSE: 11 ….. he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me!” 12 She answered, “No! Please don’t force me! This sort of thing isn’t done in Israel. It’s too disgusting! 13 Think of me. I’ll be disgraced forever! And think of yourself. Everyone in Israel will say you’re nothing but trash! Just ask the king, and he will let you marry me.”
THE FAMILY RESPONSE: 20 Tamar’s brother Absalom said to her, “How could Amnon have done such a terrible thing to you! But since he’s your brother, don’t tell anyone what happened. Just try not to think about it.” Tamar soon moved into Absalom’s house, but she was always sad and lonely. 21 When David heard what had happened to Tamar, he was very angry. But Amnon was his oldest son and also his favorite, and David would not do anything to make Amnon unhappy.
APPLICATION: Three real-life individuals are included in this story today. Let’s be reminded of who they were, and how they acted. Perhaps we might try placing ourselves in their ‘shoes’, and decide how we might have reacted:
1. AMNON – The eldest and favorite son of David. It sounds like he was spoiled, as he was allowed to go after what he wanted and not receive the severe repercussions that we see in so many other Old Testament stories. He wanted relations with his step sister and it seems like he didn’t care how anyone was impacted by his actions;
2. TAMAR – The beautiful daughter of David; sister of Absolom; stepsister of Amnon. As in most Old Testament family structures, she was subject to the rule of her dad, and any other men who had reason to rule over her. But Tamar was a daughter of our God and deserved the respect that is due to any other human being;
3. ABSOLOM – The son of David, and also the blood brother of Tamar.
It appears like Amnon was used to having his own way, regardless of who got run over in the process. He fell in love, or perhaps seriously lusted after his stepsister, Tamar. Following through on a suggestion by his friend, Amnon lured Tamar into his bedroom under false pretenses, and proceeded to force himself on her, even after she tried to reason with him. I hope that none of us meditating on this devotional today ever experienced such an incident in our family. But if you are anything like me, then you would have become very angry with Amnon for such a move on his stepsister. Out hearts would be deeply moved for Tamar as we stop to imagine what she must have felt inside as she lost her dignity because of the selfish desires of her stepbrother. But as I meditated on this I realized that we have similar atrocities occurring today, and I’m afraid that our hearts may have become hardened to what is going on around us. In a job I once held, I learned of Human Trafficking; Human organ reaping and selling; Prostitution of young girls, boys and adults; and many other hideous crimes. To hear about these things probably makes most respectable humans angry inside, but what if similar crimes were happening in our very neighborhoods? Do we just accept them as ‘normal’ for the times we’re in, or do we work with the authorities even if it may endanger our own lives in dealing with the unfortunate crimes? What if one of your siblings, or children, were a part of the crime ring? Are you willing to stand for right, and order, even if it meant seeing your relative imprisoned or possibly shot during a raid? Remember, we are the righteousness of God. Are you truly righteous, or just when it’s convenient?
BLESSING(S) NOTED: David and Absolom were faced with a challenging situation that tested their credibility and their stance as a righteous person. We are faced with similar challenges every day. May we always stand for the same things that God stands for and approves of.
PRAYER: Lord, if we are righteous just as You are, then I wonder how far we are willing to go in showing Your power in and through every decision we make? Was David’s response to the bad decision by Amnon one that aligned with Your will? We have a ton of questions Lord! But yet we know that Your ways are perfect, and we know that You always have our best interest at heart. Please teach us to be so engrossed in all that You teach, all that You command and all that You desire of us. May we always seek to do Your will for Your glory, even in circumstance where it may hurt us in our human form. Please teach us Your ways so that we may be more like You oh Lord. AMEN!