Tamar sister of Absalom, the misleading beauty

It was in Africa.  An unkown woman  entered the church one Sunday morning. She was a mixed race light-skinned great beauty, looking like Sade Adu. You may know how a majority of Black people  in every corner of the earth fetishise light skin. In addition to beauty privilege, this lady was able to enjoy light skin privilege . We did everything to keep her in the church. The following days, all the men, even married ones, wanted to be her councelors. She had barely stammered that she was being handed the microphone for a solo performance during the services. God granted her beauty and the church privileges.  She would have been wrong not to enjoy it.

If beauty assures you some kind of privilege, unfortunately it also comes with problems. Our biblical passage reveals two of them. 

Click here to read the biblical text

1) The worst thing about being pretty is that Beauty has no filter. It attracts even bad boys and undesirable men.  Beautiful Tamar learned it at her expense.

Her beauty is the reason why her half brother Amnon noticed her.

He fell in love because she was beautiful.

He forgot about the laws of the Lord because she was prettyLeviticus 18: 9 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere”.

He forgot that he had no right to have sex with her outside marriage, because she was beautiful.

Amnon forsook wisdom, because tamar was pretty. Love makes you blind, they say.

Yes, beauty puts you on a pedestal. A good boy may think he does not deserve you.

But the pedestal is not high enough to discourage the unworthy. He sees you as a challenge.

Beautiful women, are you proud to turn heads ? Beware the Amnon around you.

He could be hidden in a  father, a stepfather, a friend, a teacher, a trainer etc. Are you  in such a situation ? Tamar faced this a long time before you. And you will learn from her.

2) Another hard truth to know when you are pretty is that beauty is deceptive.

A beautiful face can hide an ugly heart , and beauty always withers.

But above all these, beauty is deceptive also because it can blur the real feelings and cover the true motivations behind an action.

Let’s go back to this church in Africa. To their leaders. They granted the ‘high ministry’ of solo singer to this woman who did not pass all the steps of the selection process (spiritual and artistic) imposed on the other singers. They acted this way not because she was called or a great singer, but because she was gorgeous and they wanted her favour.  

What happened after the rape ? Amnon hated Tamar. “so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her.”

What a shock to realize that it was not about love but about lust. Even Amnon thought it was love.

 He trampled the vineyard. He forced the door. He stole the precious treasure. And then he walked over it. 

Amnon used to call Tamar “My sister”. After the rape she became “this woman”…a stranger.

There is a difference between lust and love. “You shall know them by their fruits” says the Lord.  Lust and love bear different fruits.

The fruits of love : 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The fruits of lust James 1:15

Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.

So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. (1 Samuel 13Verse 20)

Tamar has been defiled, then despised. She was not even worthy to become Amnon’s wife. It was just a desire for sex, a question of pride and male domination.

Tamar fell into the trap. She resisted Amnon. She lost. But she fell in battle.A warrior ! 

What about you ? Did you fall during the negotiation time, proud that your beauty had turned your Amnon’s head ?

Beauty is like flakes in the eyes. It can make you take for ‘love’ what is just carnal lust.

Many women find power in their beauty. There is a remnant who only open their eyes to the vanity of their beauty once they have been used and broken.

 

           

Are you looking for true love ? Start searching for people who would want you not just for your physical beauty. 

Ami Rougé for theamijournal.com


biblical text

2 Samuel 13: 1-20  (KJV)

1And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.

And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her.

But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.

And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.

And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.

So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.

Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon’s house, and dress him meat.

So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.

And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him.

10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.

11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.

12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.

13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.

14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.

16 And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her.

17 Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.

18 And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.

19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.

20 And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.

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