Palm Tree

Tamar Revisited and Restored

This summary and perspective of 2 Samuel 13th chapter may trigger memories for some survivors or others who were directly impacted by an abusive situation. Read with caution. 

One of the most prolific biblical accounts in the Bible is that of Tamar, the daughter of King David, sister of Absalom, and half-sister of Amnon. Don’t let the title scare you. It is not our plan to rewrite scripture, but it is our plan to share the loving grace of a heavenly Father who is greater than traditional culture since the resurrection of Christ. 

Tamar (whose name means date palm), was just another excuse to add fuel to the fire that had been burning for some time. Let me summarize the obvious then show you how the ending could have been a new beginning if it hadn’t been for the culture in the ancient times of Israel. To familiarize some readers with this historical story, we at STILL THE KING’S DAUGHTER strongly suggest you stop reading and click to read the biblical account for yourself before going further.   (NIV – II Samuel 13:1-14)

The writer details what Tamar was wearing – an ornate robe; the robe of many colors that is worn by the sons and daughters of kings and rich families like Jacob gave to Joseph. It was the robe that virgin daughters of kings and wealthy fathers wore. Signifying the death of her virginity, she defaced herself in ashes, and tore off her colorful garment leaving the doorway distraught, depressed, shamed, and rejected. She mourned for the innocence lost.

According to ancient culture, Tamar moved into her brother Absalom’s home as a desolate woman. A woman who is considered damaged goods because she is no longer a virgin. She lived as abandoned by society and her family. She lived in obscurity, disconsolate, isolated, sorrowful, emotionally abandoned, devoid of comfort and hopeless. But what would have happened if she had options?  that did not depend on the culture of the community.

What would her lot have been if she could have talked to someone and had the support of her family? What options would she have in today’s society as a woman scorned because of the sin, shame and rejection caused by that of another? The situation is still the same. Rape, incest, molestation, sexual abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, is still happening today. What would happen if we could rewrite by re-righting Tamar’s ending?  If she had the support of a knowledgeable community, supportive family she could talk to, a church leader or mental health therapist, or a counselor, what would be the odds that her development into a well-rounded adult woman who has the tools, and God’s grace to take her through each day prospering in her health and her soul. What about her mind? Would she have an opportunity to change her perspective from a negative outlook to a positive outlook? How would Tamar receive justice from the court system, the penal system, and the local law enforcement? And what about her colorful coat? Although she had ripped it, she was still the king’s daughter.  The coat – what she wore did not define who she was. She was still the king’s daughter. She still had her father’s image, bloodline, inheritance.

The Tamars of today are survivors who have an opportunity to rewrite and re-right their story everyday by taking advantage of their position as a child of a heavenly Father who loves them unconditionally and who grace is sufficient to take the through their healing journey,  Sure, the struggle is real, but so is grace. Some thorns are not going to leave. Some things like rejection and shame are only going to leave by fasting and prayer. Survive to thrive by moving forward as the daughter of the Most High God and empathize with her as you both walk together.  Tamar’s name means date palm, a palm tree that bears the dates. Palm trees are strong, unbreakable, rooted deep and grow in areas where water is traceable. Let Tamar’s name be your testimony as still the daughter of a king who will endure by the grace, He extends to stand firm and continue to bear fruit until Jesus comes to harvest the crop.  Now put your colorful robe on and rest in knowing you are Still The King’s Daughter.

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