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Why rape is so heinously wrong

Your Family Matters with PASTOR CHANDA
THURSDAY, July 13, 2017: I was reading in the Bible this morning the story of Amnon and Tamar. It is a very sad story.

I was not reading it for the first time but each time I do so it fills me with grief. It reminds me again and again as to why rape is so heinously wrong.
In case you are a stranger to this story, it is found in 2 Samuel, chapter 13. Amnon and Tamar were children of King David but born from different mothers since their father was a polygamist. On one sad occasion, Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar.
How did it happen? Well, the Bible says that Amnon “loved” Tamar and badly wanted to have sex with her.
There were too many people around the palace compound for him to find the right occasion to do so. He needed a way to bring her into his own house.
A friend told him how to do it. So, he pretended to be sick and asked his father, King David, if his sister Tamar could come to his house and cook for him and feed him.
The king obliged and sent Tamar there. While she was in his house, Amnon raped her.
A number of details in the story show how heinously wrong rape is. The very first is that its definition of love is wrong.
True love is when you want to do something for the good of someone else. What Amnon felt for Tamar was lust. He reduced her to a loaf of bread.
There is a very big difference between love and lust. The former is self-giving while the latter is selfish.
The former is like a shovel (you dig into the soil and push away from yourself) while the latter is like a hoe (you dig into the soil and pull towards yourself).
Rape also involves sneaking upon the unwary the way in which a lion sneaks upon its prey. That is what Amnon did. He isolated Tamar from everyone else and then pounced on her.
In the case of most women, this is done at night when they are alone in bed sleeping.
Many women are raped by men they trust. They are lured into privacy thinking it is business as usual, only to find themselves overpowered and sexually abused.
People who do such things reduce themselves to being wild animals that mercilessly destroy others.
Tamar had pleaded with Amnon, saying, “No, my brother, do not violate me… do not do this outrageous thing. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel…” (v.12,13). Yet, Amnon still raped her.
The fact that Tamar did not willingly give herself—body and soul—to Amnon made him to hate her.
We read, “Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her” (v.15).
Sex is meant to sweetly seal a lifelong covenant relationship between a man and a woman in marriage.
We abuse that gift of God when people who are not married enjoy it, even if it is consensual. The abuse is worse when one person gets it by force. It is ugly!
Rape is wrong because it scars the raped person for life. Being raped is traumatic. The wounds ran deep.
It is worse than thieves entering your home in the middle of the night and taking away your belongings while they leave you tied up, bruised, and beaten.
That is why the Bible ends this episode by saying; “Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went” (v.19).
How else could she respond to this heinous act done against her?
A person who rapes someone else enters their body and violates them. The trauma lasts a lifetime.
It causes the person who is raped to fail to enjoy sex even after they are married. They feel as if members of the opposite sex are brutish beasts that prey on them.
There are many other reasons why rape is heinously wrong. Let me give one more.
It engulfs more people into a cycle of hatred, especially those who truly love the raped person. That is how this story ended. Absalom, Tamar’s brother, finally murdered Amnon!
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