Friday, March 21, 2014

Book 2 - Day 12 Tamar, King David's Daughter

Heartache is about to strike the house of King David.  A man after God’s own heart, David is not immune to the repercussions of sin.  For David’s sons, the sins of the father have not gone unnoticed.  After striking Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, in battle, the Lord has brought this murderous sin to David’s attention.  Full of repentance and grief, David writes one of the most beautiful Psalms in the Bible, Psalm 51, “Wash me clean and I will be whiter than snow.”
 David’s heart may have been repentant, but if the lessons of God’s wrath and judgment are not taught to the children, the same sinful, repetitious patterns may continue.  A good example is Adam, Eve and Cain.  Adam and Eve were subject to the punish and just judgment of God, but why would they not express these convictions and repentant hearts to their son Cain? He was a prideful, arrogant and a jealous boy.  Cain was disrespectful for we can see his flippant attitude when responding to the Lord’s question, “Where is your brother Abel?” Cain responds, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper or guardian?”(Genesis 3:9)
 Witnessing his father’s actions of “taking what he wants”, Amnon, David’s eldest son burns for his half sister Tamar.  So consumed with his desire and total lack of self-control, Tamar torments his thoughts daily and is noticed by a “good friend” Jonadab.  “Why are you, the king’s son, so miserable every morning? Won’t you tell me?”
 Amnon replied, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” (2 Samuel 13:4).  Amnon is confused.  Love and infatuation or lust are two completely different emotions for after Amnon rapes Tamar, he casts her aside as is filled with hatred (2 Samuel 13:15). Under the pretense of illness, Amnon requests her presence to make him “feel better”. The servant and sweet sister she was, “took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his presence, and baked them.” The Lord gives this young man time to think about what he is going to do.  This preparation and baking take time, but instead of a conviction growing in Amnon’s heart, he feels sin crouching at his door.  Lust, sexual arousal and desire mixed to form a deadly reaction. 
God spoke to Cain about his own heart filled with jealousy, hatred and revenge, “If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7).  With the acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  The Apostle Paul writes to the Galatians the fruit, actions, guidance and counsel we have with the Holy Spirit as “our master”, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25).
 Many women have the pain, shame, humiliation and embarrassment of rape.  God’s reaction and command for rape is undeniable, “If the man encounters the engaged woman in the open country, and he seizes and rapes her, only the man who raped her must die.” (Deuteronomy 22:25).  God does not cast the victim aside. Our Lord also does not allow the rapist to walk free and unpunished.  Your question may be, “Why does God allow this to happen?”

            In my first One a Day book, I write about the “Afflicted, Battered and Bruised.” This is an excerpt from that chapter, “There are numerous biblical accounts of women who were afflicted, used, enslaved, hurt, rebuked, mistreated and raped. I’ve read these accounts and thought to myself, “Why Lord? I do not understand.” I have family members and friends who were either raped, molested by trusted adults, abused sexually, physically assaulted by boyfriends, verbally abused, neglected and rejected by husbands.  I’ve listened, cried, loved and prayed for those closest to me.  The hurt is real, so painful there are no words to describe or are spoken.  Just tears, just anguish, just pain from a broken heart and spirit.
            “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I wonder if the woman raped from dusk till dawn had ever heard that verse. I wonder if the little girl given to men for their depraved pleasure has heard of the Living God’s promise. Has the molested, beaten and neglected know that Jesus Christ loves them and will never leave them? You may ask where is God? Where does the healing begin? Why is this happening to me?
            My sweet sister in Christ, whose heart is so tender, so broken, I understand the very mention of memories, a look, touch, smell can send a quick flinch or chill, and the healing for unanswered questions or forgiveness seems unattainable or out of reach.  But, there is hope in Jesus Christ.  I pray you do not believe for one second the selfish, depraved and sinful mind of man is the portrait of God.  I pray you do not believe the evil in the world is an exact replica of God.  That is a lie. If one’s pain can bring ten, hundreds, thousands or even millions to a life of healing, a relationship with Christ and Heaven’s door open for them, then what the enemy uses for harm, God uses for good.
 The woman raped to death in the book of Judges 19 is an example of the same rape existing today in sex trafficking and brothels around the world.  Where in the mind does one man think he can take another and use them for his sick pleasure, taking the innocent from a small child, manipulating them into sexual abuse and beating them into submission and fear?  The enemy has tried to destroy the heart and spirit of a woman since the Garden of Eden.  Eve, innocent and manipulated, Satan will stop at nothing to destroy what God’s deems as beautiful.  Why has the devil set out on a destructive rampage to kill, destroy and shame women since the beginning? Why would he hate us so much?
            Woman was the final creation of God.  I once heard John and Stacey Elderidge explain it as woman was created not as an afterthought, but as a final crowning of God’s masterpiece.  I believe she is beautiful, giving life to God’s children and able to give man such pleasure.  She is warm, soft, enticing and has a heart to love.  Satan was considered the most beautiful angel, but when God made woman, He trumped this prideful angel with a soft curves, a gentle spirit, a miraculous life giving womb and the desire of her husband.  Satan does not hold a candle to a woman of God; her beauty has surpassed his and the devil will hold at nothing to destroy this innocent and beauty God created and formed in the womb. 
            To hold the memories, to hate, to let your life succumb to bitterness, and cursing God allows the enemy to stick the final dagger in for his victory and succession in your life and family’s.  But there is One who understands your pain.  One who suffered the hurt of rejection, abuse, beating and suffocation for all mankind.  He was rejected by His people; He was bruised for our transgressions, whipped for all to see (Isaiah 53).  He suffered as no other person has ever suffered.  Christ came down, in the form of a man, and suffered to understand our pain, hurt, tears and shame.  He knows how you feel. 
            Jesus suffered the cat of nine tails ripping apart His flesh, but uttered no word. He was beaten and mocked for another’s pleasure.  He was rejected, cursed, and hung an excruciating death on the cross, not for man’s pleasure, but to save man’s soul.  He understands physical pain.  Christ understands your rejection, abandonment, and asked the same question, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus experienced something no one else has ever, total separation from God.  Christ, selflessly, suffered.  The Living God, where no other religion can claim, came down to this sinful earth, and walked to understand how you feel.  Suffered to understand the human heart, pain and hurt Satan attempts to destroy us with.  Yes, Jesus of Nazareth knows how you feel.”
            The Lord gave me those words to write for the women who have experienced such hardship, humility, shame and discard.  Our came to the “in-valids”, the socially discarded, the ones who need a doctor to love them, care for them and restore them.  God is our vindicator, our restoration, our reviver and our everything.  Allow him to restore what has been broken.  Allow him to repair the pain and shame you have experienced at the hands of someone else.  Allow him to court and woo you gently taking the pain and suffering, memories and nightmares, using those tears for good. 
            Amnon did not get away with Tamar’s rape.  Sadly, David’s lack of punishment, his lack of teaching and training his children and reminding them of God’s judgment brings more heartache.  Absalom, filled with rage and hatred toward his brother, avenges Tamar’s honor and kills Amnon.  This reminds me of stories I have heard or watched on the news of someone’s daughter raped and the father, filled with hatred revenge, kills the rapist. Now, he himself is in jail, leaving the family with a harmed daughter and no father.  We can not take justice into our own hands. 
            Woman, we need to lay this at the alter.  We need to cast our care upon the cross and believe, hope and pray.  Pray for the restoration of our minds and spirit.  Pray for the forgiveness only the Lord can give and pray for the soul of the rapist used by Satan to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).

Let us Pray and CONFESS the Word of God:

            I come to you in Jesus name and give my heart to you.  I am hurt and broken.  I feel no one understands; I feel isolated and alone.  I feel I am in a dark pit of anger and bitterness (Psalm 40).  I want out! I know you make all things clean (John 15:3).  I know you give beauty for ashes, to bind up the broken hearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release form darkness, the oil of gladness instead of mourning (Isaiah 61:1-3).  I know you can turn what the enemy has tried to destroy and use it for good (Genesis 50:20)   I believe my testimony, the test that I have walked and suffered through, will glorify you.  I pray for the peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7).  I pray I can diminish and you increase with the portion you have given me to enhance your kingdom (John 27-30).  I pray I know you and the power of your resurrection.  I know many have doubted including John the Baptist when locked and thrown in prison for fulfilling your plan, asking “Are you the Messiah?” (Luke 7:20).  If I have been a Christian and this tragedy has happened to me, I pray I never curse you and fall into the trap of walking away from my faith (Job 2:9-10)
            I pray I am filled with the fruits of the spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23).  I pray I am diligent in studying your word, memorizing scripture for when the enemy comes to steal kill and destroy, I use the Word of God, get behind me Satan, for you are concerned with the things of this world and I am concerned with the things from above (John 10:10, Matthew 16:23) Help me to bless those who have hurt me.  Forgive those who used me, and love those who have rejected me (Ephesians 4:19, 5:1).  Forgive them Lord for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).  As it is written, I believe I have all spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:3), and I believe I am an adopted daughter of Christ (Ephesians 1:5-6).  A princess of the Most High, clean and restored, loved and revered as a woman of God.
            I pray I am unashamed of the Gospel and plant this seed for you (Ephesians 6:19).  I pray I can help bring healing to those who have suffered as I have suffered.  May I be a blessing in the church, using my gifts and talents for your glory (Ephesians 3:20-21).  I pray you increase my faith and I abound more and more in love.  I pray to be a prisoner of Christ and ambassador in chains for you (Ephesians 6:20). I know whether I am abasing or abounding, you have given me all strength for all situations (Philippians 4:11-13). 
            Thank you for dying on the cross.  Thank you for knowing exactly how I feel, my hurt, my shame, my pain and my suffering.  Thank you for giving me an example to follow.  Thank you for your precious love that has carried me through painful memories, fearful dreams or nightmares, heal my heart, renew my mind in Christ Jesus (Romans 12:2).  I am a new creature in Christ; the old had passed away including my past.  I press on toward the goal and prize awaiting me (Philippians 3:13-14).  I will continue to prepare my heart and mind for action (1 Peter 1:13).  I pray to encourage others along through my own healing process. If I backslide, push me forward.  If I fall down again in sadness, why me and painful memories, life me up to stand firm with the Gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15), preparing my mind daily with the Armor of the Lord.
            Thank you for turning evil into good and I am confident the plan and purpose you have for me will be completed in the end (Philippians 1:6).  I believe my life has purpose, a plan set for me, not for evil, but good (Jeremiah 1:5).  I believe this is my season, a time I can never get back, help me to use this time wisely, growing daily in the Lord with spiritual meat, lacking no good thing (James 1:4).  If I am faced with my past, if I am faced with the very ones who painful hurt me, help me to love them as you love them.  Show me this mystery, filled with the Holy Spirit to love them as Christ loved the church (Colossians 1:27). 
            Praise be to God the Father of Jesus Christ.  Praise be to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Thank you for your Word and the women in the bible I can learn from.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen.

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