Tamar – Betrayed by all; so Why live on?
So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing a richly ornamented robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.
Her brother Absalom said to her, "Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet now, my sister; he is your brother. Don't take this thing to heart." And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house, a desolate woman. 2 Sam 13:18-20 NIV
Most people believe that bad things only happen to bad people. It appears that Tamar was of this opinion. Immediately this happened to her, the first question was “what did I do wrong? I was good to everybody, obeyed my parents and loved my brothers and sisters. I did my best to help everybody and avoided every appearance of sin; that’s why I wear this special robe meant for virgins”.
Of a truth Tamar was right to feel betrayed. It looked like her whole family conspired against her. She was raped by her step-brother right under her father’s roof. She fell into that trouble because she obeyed her father and he did nothing to Amnon after his wicked act. Perhaps she hoped that her brother Absalom will step out immediately to avenge her but the way he spoke to her suggested that he did not see it as too bad an incident. Even after,
Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad 2 Sam 13:22NIV
All these were what other people had done to Tamar, but what did she do to herself?
Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.
It is like Tamar did more harm to herself than her supposed enemies did to her. Her enemies meant to ruin her life; they only took one step each but Tamar packed-up herself. She put a conclusive end to her whole existence. It is true she was hurt, betrayed and abandoned. But that was only an incident in her life. There was no reason for Tamar to help her enemies to terminate her own life.
And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house, a desolate woman.
Hear this; bad things happen to everybody. The difference between the overcomer and the defeated is what they do at the point of a bad incident. Joseph the son of Jacob found himself in the same condition; his father sent him to send food to his brothers who left home many days with the sheep. He went to care for them and bring back news for his father; but his brothers took him and sold him out to Ishmaelite traders. That resulted in many years of horrible experiences as a slave and latter prisoner. That was what the enemy did to Joseph, but Joseph put his life together in all this. He continued to express his spiritual gifts even in the prison. That opened door for him to appear before the king. You know the rest of the story; he became the prime minister of Egypt and all his enemies bowed down before him. This resulted because he did not pack up his entire life because of one incident.
Hagar, Abraham’s concubine tried to pack up her life because she was thrown out of home by a couple she had trusted and allowed herself to be used as a baby making machine. She and Her baby were thrown out of home. Her worries blinded her to the supply of water by her side. She was ready to let her son die.
When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
Gen 21:15-19 NIV
Did you read that? Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. Water was not her problem contrary to her views; she had closed her eyes by her concentration on an incident that happened “yesterday”. She refused to see anything else. Thanks be to God who had mercy on her and opened her eyes.
Everybody knew Tamar was raped; even if every other person believed she was immoral, there will always be somebody who will accept her as she was. Rehab was a pronounced prostitute yet was mentioned in the genealogy of Christ.
Counsel: There are many ills that befall young people which are not their making: some suffer like Jabez, the father abandons the mother or may deny the responsibility for the pregnancy. That will mean suffering for what one does not understand. One may be falsely accused or even go to jail for a crime one knows nothing about. One may be carrying disease he inherited from the carelessness of parents. One may just fall out of favor in a family of many children, especially a polygamous family.Don’t pack up your life because of one incident. Pick up the pieces of your life. Who knows, there may be a throne waiting for you ahead. Follow the example of Jabez (1 Chron. 4:9-10), turn your back on every other thing or person and cry out to God. The God who answered Jabez will answer you. extract from a book by Emma N J nwosu www.pnurnigeria.org