God Has Healing for the Sexually Abused and Violated
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
Now Absalom, David’s son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David’s son loved her. And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her…But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. (2 Samuel 13:1-3,14, ESV)
I enjoy a good book. I love all kinds of genres: faith-based books, poetry, historical books, books on self-improvement, mental health, and for the last few years I have been reading my way through the biography section of the library, reading biographies and autobiographies of people long ago and living today. I really appreciate a biographical book that is well written and honest. My feeling is that by the time you determine to write a book about your life or let someone else do so, you should also be ready and willing to tell it with transparency and truth.
The Bible might be considered the first “Tell-All” Book written. From the very beginning, starting with Genesis 3 we read how sin introduced pain and suffering into the human condition. Early on we read about sibling rivalry, the first murder, jealously, greed, incest, rape idolatry…it’s clear God is not going to sugar-coat the impact sin has on His creation but reveals the good and bad of humanity.
The story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13 is one of those heartbreaking stories. Tamar is one of king David’s daughters. Beautiful, young, pure, full of life and hope, raped by her half-brother. Amnon’s lust for Tamar played out in a brutal way that damaged her sexually, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. After she was sexually assaulted, because of cultural and beliefs Tamar was not able to marry or have a family. She lived out the rest of her life as a desolate woman in her brother Absalom’s house (13:20). For more than two years Absalom hunted his brother Amnon down until he eventually killed him. What a tragic end to a tragic situation.
How can being sexually violated or raped fit into God’s plan of salvation for his people? It is not God’s plan for anyone, but like every other wounding and place where sin has broken us God has a plan for us that includes going forward, being healed, restored, and made whole. God can take human brokenness and carve something good from it. Tamar may have lived at a time and in a cultural where being sexually assaulted meant she could not enjoy life going forward. Thank God most of the world and cultures have moved beyond that thought and know it’s not the end of someone’s story or need determine their future.
While the Bible is filled with pain and tragedy it is also filled from beginning to end with examples of God’s faithfulness and power to redeem and restore. In Him even victims of sexual assault can experience wholeness as God uses others to reaffirm and reassure them of His love and help them experience His grace and care.
Praying 2 Samuel 13:1-3, 14
God what a comforting word for those who have suffered and been wounded by sexual abuse and violated. Thank You for the promise to stay with the hurting to help them on their road to recovery and even cause life to be full and fulfilling. Use Your people to minister to them and stay with them on their journey to wholeness. Amen
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, rape or violated in any way, ask God the grant you the strength you need to seek help and embark on a journey of healing.