Transformation Garden - May. 1, 2011

 


14. “Not heeding her (Tamar’s) plea, he (Amnon) overpowered her; he shamed her and had relations with her.

15. Then Amnon conceived an intense hatred for her, which far surpassed the love he had had for her. ‘Get up and leave,’ he said to her.

16. She replied, ‘No, brother, because to drive me out would be far worse than the first injury you have done me.’ He would not listen to her,

17. but called the youth who was his attendant and said, ‘Put her outside, away from me, and bar the door after her.’”

II Samuel 13: 14-17
Amplified Bible

EXPLORATION

“When Good Confronts Evil”

“If you cannot hate evil, you cannot love good.”
Struthers Burt

Has there ever been an experience in my life when I felt I was “hated” because I was behaving in an honorable and good manner?

In what ways have I seen evil try to destroy what is good in me?

“The blessed person is not him (she) who simply declines the evil, but he (she) who does what is good.”
Symeon

INSPIRATION

“Let us never forget, there is no evil power which is stronger than God’s power.”
Dorothy Valcárcel

Tamar came to her brother’s room, thinking she was there to be a caregiver to her sibling, Amnon.

Hearing from her father, the king, that her brother was sick, Tamar’s mission was to see he was getting enough food to eat. But just think what a terrifying moment it must have been when, upon entering Amnon’s room, Tamar realized she had been set up – a sexual pawn in her brother’s hands.

After taking what he thought he couldn’t live without and raping Tamar, Amnon, rather than cherishing his sister, discarded her like yesterday’s garbage. In his eyes, she was nothing but used trash. He didn’t want her around anymore. Why? Because every time the evil-hearted Amnon would see his kind sister Tamar in the future, he would be reminded of his terrible act. His behavior would be like a neon sign flashing in his face. So he called his attendant and told him to remove Tamar. He wanted her gone for good.

With such evil in him, it is a wonder to me that Amnon didn’t try and kill Tamar. Instead, he just kicked her to the curb as he got on with his life.

Tragically, I’ve seen this same scenario played out in the lives of women, repeatedly. Used, abused, and tossed. Way too frequently this same situation has developed when a teen girl is pressured to do something she doesn’t want or a woman thinks the only way to keep her “prince charming” is to give in to his demands, whatever they may be. There are still “Amnons” in this world and there are precious “Tamars” who have had their self-worth ripped in shreds by the evil done to them.

As I read the story about Tamar again, I thought about Jesus and the woman caught in adultery who was brought to Him. Here’s how this daughter of God’s story is told by the Apostle John:

But the Scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in front, and then said to Him, ‘Now, Master, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. According to the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women to death. Now, what do You say about it?’”
John 8: 1-20

Talk about being dumped on the scrap heap. The “holy men” wanted no less than death for this woman. Like Tamar, she was tossed on the rubbish pile of life – all because she was “caught in the act.” Whether it was Tamar’s rape or this woman’s affair, theses women were looked upon as tainted. There was a blight on them. And to those who had been their accusers and users, whether Amnon or Scribes and Pharisees, heaven’s response was a message of forgiveness and hope to the women they abused. For evil ones, who so stridently brought accusations against the victims of their own lust, God’s Son had this to say, “Your sins be forgiven.” When good confronts evil something amazingly wonderful happens. This truth is explained in the words of F. F. Bruce, “The truth of Christ’s supremacy over all the powers in the universe is one which modern man sorely needs to learn…To be united to Christ by faith is to throw off the thralldom (enslavement) of hostile powers, to enjoy perfect freedom, to gain the mastery over the dominion of evil – because Christ’s victory is ours.”

In each of our lives, there are times when the evil tries to destroy us. But we have God on our side. As C. H. Spurgeon notes, “Every renewed heart is anxious to be free from even a speck of evil.” This is what happens when with an open heart we allow heaven’s love to take away the shame of our past and the hurt of our present and replace it with God’s hope for our future. As John W. Wenham penned, “At the heart of the story stands the cross of Christ where evil did its worst and met its match.”

“My child, flee from every evil and everything that resembleth it.”
Didache

AFFIRMATION

“Almighty and everlasting God,
You hate nothing that You have made,and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent.
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that, lamenting our sins and acknowledging our
wretchedness, we may receive from You,
the God of all mercy, perfect forgiveness and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen”

Thomas Cranmer

Your friend,
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P.S. Just to let you know, Transformation Garden is now on FACEBOOK. Please come and see us and share the garden with your friends. The Daily Devotional is posted everyday, Monday through Friday on Facebook, too. 

My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You may also call Transformation Garden at 602-368-1245. 

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

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