Text: 2 Samuel 13:1-29
When King David heard, he was very angry. And though Absalom never spoke to Amnon about this, he hated [him] deeply (vv21-22).
The TV show American Greed catalogs stories of scams and schemes that leave trails of broken dreams and shattered lives in their wake. Although the perpetrators are often caught, their victims are rarely compensated for the losses suffered. The measure of justice meted out by the courts does little to restore those who were preyed upon. The hopelessness expressed by some tends to leave viewers wondering whether there is any true justice in the world.
Tamar, daughter of David and sister to Absalom might also have wondered about justice. Her half-brother, Amnon, feigned illness to get her alone with him. Then, he assaulted and threw her out, without any regard for her feelings (2 Samuel 13:1-17). Destitute and grieving over her half-brother’s callous treatment, “Tamar lived as a desolate woman in her brother Absalom’s house” (v20).
Absalom kept silent, but he burned with rage and hated Amnon deeply (v22). Although King David was very angry when he found out what happened (v21), he did nothing about it. And so, two years later, Absalom devised a scheme to punish Amnon and obtain a measure of justice for his sister (vv23-29). But Absalom’s actions had dire consequences. First, he fled into exile for three years (vv37-38), and then endured an additional two years of banishment from the king’s presence (14:28). Eventually, he initiated a rebellion against his father (ch.15), which ultimately resulted in his death (18:14-15).
Tamar isn’t mentioned again, and it is easy to overlook her voice and pain as all attention focuses on the tragic drama played out between her brothers and father. But though we may forget, God never would. The God who sees has the capacity to heal our pain, restore us and right all wrongs. May we invite Him into the places of our deepest hurt today.
Read Psalm 94 for a glimpse into the emotions inspired by societal injustice, and an example for how best to handle these feelings.
What is your typical response to the injustice you’ve experienced? How does your response measure up to what the Bible teaches?