Rape, Incest, Shame and Desolation

he raped her…(2 Samuel 13:14)

The story of Amnon and Tamar is littered with incest, the misuse of power and pure selfishness. Their story shows the true condition of an unsanctified human heart.
 
Both Tamar and Amnon are the children of King David, with different mothers. Amnon quickly fell in “lust” with his beautiful sister Tamar. Amnon believed it to be love, but his actions and he how treated Tamar proved quite different. He consults with a gentleman who encourages him to fake being sick, so that Tamar may care for him. Then he plots to propose his desire to have sex with her.
 
Tamar vehemently refuses Amnon’s urging for her to come to bed with him. However, Amnon doesn’t care and so the Bible says, “because he was stronger than her, he rapes her,” leaving her a desolate woman who cannot marry or have children. By law, he is now supposed to marry her, but he refuses. The Bible says after he rapes her he hates her with a burning passion and tells her to get out of his presence.
 
This is the true condition of the human heart. It is purely selfish, greedy and desirous of power. Amnon’s desires were birthed out of an unhealthy need for power. Yet, he proved himself a puny coward. Any person who takes advantage of another proves themselves not powerful, but purely craven.
 
I have often wondered when Tamar experienced redemption as she remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house the remainder of her days. The wrong done to her echoed over her the rest of her life. It wasn’t her fault.  I’m so sorry if this is your story.   For those who have experienced the tragedy and callousness of rape or some other kind of oppression, their shame is quick to echo over their hearts the rest of their lives. Could it be that their role is not to be desolate, but instead an advocate? A champion and voice for those who have experienced similar injustice?
 
The truth is that because of the waywardness of the human heart we will experience grave injustices in our lives. We must be willing to see past our problem and into our purpose, through it. Shame is a tool of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy our ability to care for those who have walked the same journey as us. Shame silences an individual ridden by oppression, injustice, and abuse. If the enemy of our souls can silence us, he can shame us. If he can shame us, he can keep us stuck in the past. When we break the silence we set free the shame he whispers into our souls. Our perceived failures become our greatest purpose. Becoming a message in our hearts instead of a burden to carry in desolation.
 
Someone should have given Tamar a platform. A platform to share her story. A platform so that others could say, “me too,” so that they could find healing for their souls.
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Many women and men hide in the shame of what has been done to them. Abuse of all forms, sexual, physical, emotional, verbal and the like seek to steal their dignity. Their desire is to hold the same power over them for the rest of their lives as the one who inflicted the burden upon them to begin with. However, the afflicted must recognize that they have the power to break their own silence, set boundaries against those who have or are hurting them and no longer live in a place of shame. When the silence is broken restoration and healing can begin.
 
I can’t help but think that someone reading this post has or is experiencing some type of wrong done to them in the shadows. They fear they won’t be believed. If they break the silence, will it make things worse? Will they be supported? Will they be loved or will their hearts be filled with further shame? These lies grip the heart placing them in a prison of silence inflicted upon them by the father of lies.
 
However, breaking the silence helps not just them to be restored, but the one who has mistreated them as well. It gives them an opportunity to be faced with the sure reality of their selfishness and through the restorative power of Christ sets them free to find liberation from their own shame.
 
Jesus, help us. We live in a broken world. There are many who are hurting. There are many who have stayed silent in their oppression. They are afraid. They have shame. They don’t know what to do. Please Lord, help us to see the hurting. Help us to care for them and restore back their dignity lost through the whispers of shame over their hearts. Jesus, give us the grace to care for people as you would care for them. Grow our hearts in our depth of love for one another, in Jesus name, Amen.

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