Tamar was instructed to remain silent about her rape.
Absalom, her brother remained silent about Tamar’s rape by their half-brother Amnon.
King David remained silent about the rape of his daughter Tamar by his son Amnon. When Absalom murdered Amnon for his deed against Tamar, King David was silent…yet again.
Silence will destroy…
In the “thick” of this familial tragedy, everyone was looking for solace and justice to be done for Tamar. However, as a father and king, David did not move to action to discipline his son Amnon for his deed against his sister.
In this moment, Absalom, Tamar’s brother took on the role of daddy to Tamar. He comforted her the best way he knew how by bringing her into his home under his protection. He commanded Tamar, “…But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother, do not take this thing to heart” (Samuel 13:20 NKJV). The Bible goes on to say that Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. We never learn more of Tamar’s life – her book was closed and we were left with silence…
The Bible goes on to say that Absalom too, remained silent, “And Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon neither good nor bad” (2 Samuel 13:22 NKJV). The heart is often troubled when it doesn’t have the opportunity to “cry out” in the facet of emotions that humans experience and display. Sometimes we need to cry out our anger, despair, and trails alongside our joys, triumphs, and victories.
Tears flow for all of the emotions and are the beginnings of healing and accepting of what is. A heart puffed up with pain, must be relieved or hate, bitterness, and evil will build up and eventually break through. And because of this, Absalom’s silence turned to hate, “For Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar” (2 Samuel 13:22 NKJV).
Absalom waited patiently for his father, King David to take action but he didn’t, so Absalom took matters into his own hands by murdering Amnon and fleeing to Geshur for 3 years.
King David woke up from his silence and cried out in despair.
After this 2nd incident of familial tragedy, King David longed to go to Absalom. For he had been comforted concerning Amnon, because he was dead (2 Samuel 13:39 NKJV). King David longed for his son, but he did not move to action to bring his son back into his loving fold.
After a series of events, King David is convinced to send for Absalom. Absalom returns home, most assuredly with the hope of recovering, reconnecting, and nurturing his relationship with his family and father.
Yet, all hope was lost because once again King David remained silent.
Absalom remained back home for two years and did not see his father’s face in all this time. He longed to see his daddy and maybe to be loved with correction and given words of affirmation that he mattered and that he was loved.
Absalom had his own family by now, three daughters, and his name was praised like no other in Israel for his beautiful appearance and stature. He captured the hearts of others but not the eyes and heart of the one who mattered.
After beckoning to his father multiple times through Joab, the captain of King David’s army, Absalom was finally granted his wish to see his father. He bowed before the King and the King kissed Absalom.
What was in that kiss? It was indeed forgiveness, but Absalom needed more. By now, King David was old and Absalom had grown a heart of resentment toward his father for not being there and not taking action when his immediate family, not the kingdom needed his help.
Absalom had actually decided in his heart that he would show his father that he mattered, that he was appreciated and that his actions wouldn’t go unnoticed. Absalom’s lack of healing led him to folly. He made up his heart and mind to gather people and chariots under his bosom and declare himself King.
In this treasonous act, King David fled. His men went to battle against Absalom and his followers. King David commanded his men, “…Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom” (2 Samuel 18:5 NKJV). David loved his son dearly but lost hope in recovering, reconnecting, and nurturing his relationship with Absalom.
During battle in the woods, Absalom’s neck was caught in a bough of a Terebinth tree and his mule continued on, thus Absalom was hanged. News of Absalom’s hanging from a Terebinth tree reached Joab. He quickly ran to the body of Absalom, discovered he was still clinging to life and took three spears and thrust it through Absalom’s heart.
The punctured heart bled, and cried out for justice. Absalom’s cry reached King David. He heard of the death of his son and cried out, in grief, “Oh my son Absalom – my son Absalom – if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son” (2 Samuel 18:33 NKJV)!
His crying was quickly silenced when Joab told him he was a disgrace for crying out for a traitor and not for those who risked and lost their lives in battle for his sake.
Sometimes, I wonder why God has left such stories with us. This whole scene derived from David’s act of disobedience with Bathsheba. David was told that his house would be divided and the sword would be amongst his family and that other men would go into his wife, which Absalom fulfilled.
Has your son or daughter gone wayward because of your silence? Your silence to correct because you had enough. Because you feel you’ve exhausted all your resources? Have your sons and daughters gone wayward because you failed to tell the truth about your faults and experiences or have you remained silent about the things that haunt your family from generation to generation?
Silence destroys… Seek comfort in breaking the silence and seeking action for change. Don’t remain stale and wither away. Don’t allow your posterity to suffer in the silence you created.