2 Samuel 13:8-10 "When Tamar arrived at Amnon’s house, she went to the place where he was lying down so he could watch her mix some dough. Then she baked his favorite dish for him. But when she set the serving tray before him, he refused to eat. 'Everyone get out of here,' Amnon told his servants. So they all left. Then he said to Tamar, 'Now bring the food into my bedroom and feed it to me here.' So Tamar took his favorite dish to him."
Resources say that it would have been normal for the king’s daughter to have been trained in the domestics. Some sources indicate that there is a hint that Tamar may have been trained in medicinal remedies.
“The cakes were a kind of pancake, fitted to tempt the appetite of a sickly person. The picture is a very interesting one: the palace parcelled out into separate dwellings; the king kindly visiting all; the girls on friendly terms with their brothers, yet not allowed to go to their rooms without special permission; and finally Tamar's skill in cookery – an accomplishment by no means despised in an Oriental menage, or thought unworthy of a king's daughter.” (1)
An interesting article by Rlaine Neunfeldt states, “In relation to the food prepared by Tamar, the arisen suspect is that this was not simply food but was a special one used as healing ritual or recovering from some disease.” (2)
Amnon’s feigned illness highlights the diabolical deception that partial truth brings. First, in verses one and four, Amnon asserts his ‘love’ for his sister. This word ‘love,’ according to Strong’s, encompasses all types of love: a human love that includes family, friend, lover, or even a human love for God. It also implicates human appetites for objects such as food, drink, sleep, even wisdom. It’s meaning is varied and wide.(3) Secondly, in verses one through ten Amnon maintains his ‘sickness.’ The word, ‘sick’ also carries a broad meaning, “to be or become sick, be or become diseased, be or become grieved, be or become sorry…to be weak”(4)
Oh my! This illuminates the truth that partial truth is not truth at all. If fact, it’s more deadly than absence of truth! I get a knot in my gut as I think of how demonic partial truth can be. It can be traced all the way back to the beginning of mankind. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2: 16-17 KJV)
In the very next chapter, chapter three of Genesis, ‘the serpent’ tells a partial truth. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (KJV Genesis 3:1-5)
The serpent influences Eve by restating the first part of God’s instructions with a subtle questioning of God’s intent. The Message Bible gives us insight to their conversation, “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” He baited Eve with the temptation to believe that God had indeed withheld something from her. She answered as if to clarify what God had said, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’”
There’s no record of God saying not to touch it. I know this is no laughing matter but I have to smile a bit at Eve’s addendum. Maybe this is the root to our female propensity to supplement and insert our own notations! However, this could have set Eve up for the fall of the ages. Presumably, Eve had to hold the fruit to eat it. When she took hold, she didn’t die! If death did not come from touching it, it’s conceivable to deduce that death would not come from eating it! Of course, we know, that God meant spiritual death, which was worse than physical death.
My gracious ladies! Are you as convicted as I about unwarranted chatter! It reminds me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:37, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” NIV
What impressions come to your mind when you evaluate your everyday conversations?
Several year ago, the Lord dealt with me about this issue of partial truth. It is something that comes so naturally to us as women. I am a woman and I'm glad to be a woman. I greatly admire the female gender. I love that I am called to minister to women. And since I am a woman, I can say with confidence that I have observed this trend not only in myself but in other women, as well. I am convinced we have this tendency without the conscientiousness of it.
If you are married, then you understand the husband and wife relationship is where faith and character will be tried the fiercest. My hubby takes the brunt of my ‘upset-ness!’ I would find myself hurt or upset over something. Instead of addressing the real issue, I would blame something minor for my anger. I would share partial truth. Perhaps I was too embarrassed to admit why I was really upset and my pride prevented me, or perhaps there were wounds were so deep that the pain was avoided. Perhaps, I didn’t even know why I was upset. However, as I began to notice my responses, I began to see that I wasn’t being truthful. Subsequently, I began to ask myself, “Why am I so upset?” And many times, as I went through the issues of my heart, I would detect it. “That’s it!” When ‘it’ was discovered, I could then find the grace to address my anger or hurt feelings and move toward peace of mind once again.
This approach, however, will put you at a more vulnerable position and you’ll need a little dose of courage to put it to practice. But, it’s such a healthier place than hiding behind a false front. I must concede that I have not completely conquered this tendency but I am much more able to express the ‘whys’ behind my emotions.
I am convinced this tendency is experienced in our all our relationships: in our friendships, our working relationships, even in the relationships with our children. This ‘partial truth’ scheme hinders us from fully addressing our own issues.
What is your emotional language aptitude? To help express emotions, search online for ‘emotional language.’ It’s amazing how many words that can more adequately express your emotions other than ‘upset’, ‘angry,’ or ‘happy.’ I found a great little chart at http://www.sba.pdx.edu/faculty/mblake/448/FeelingsList.pdf Once you identify what your emotion is, please write it here…
Next, if your emotion is negative, search for a scripture that would be its antidote.
What is the scripture?
Once you find the scripture, read it aloud. Personalize the scripture by inserting your name. Rx:Take as needed.
I do want to clarify. We are to strive to be truthful about ourselves! Please do not misunderstand this point and use it as an opportunity to lash out at someone else by demanding the truth from them or by projecting upon them your perceptions of their true feelings! Let God deal with them. This is about you getting whole. “You” is the only person you can control.
This partial truth scheme can also be used to excuse oneself from responsibility. For example, it seems that people will use a headache as the reason for excusing themselves from a particular duty or event when in fact, the headache is just an excuse, not the real reason. I have wondered if using such an ailment as a crutch could actually induce sickness and would hinder one from getting free from the ailment. If you need to rest, just say so.
Have you ever not wanted to participate in something but blamed your absence on something else? What was the real reason you didn’t participate?
But when she set the serving tray before him, he refused to eat. “Everyone get out of here,” Amnon told his servants. So they all left. Then he said to Tamar, “Now bring the food into my bedroom and feed it to me here.” So Tamar took his favorite dish to him.
Tamar’s willingness to offer help and comfort to her brother makes the violent betrayal even more bitter. We are made, by God, with a desire to be needed, to be wanted, to be touched and to be loved. Tamar’s abuser manipulated all those natural tendencies by requesting her help. I can only imagine Tamar’s delight when she heard her eldest brother requested her presence and her cooking; that the prince, next in line to the throne, saw something in her of great value and virtue.
In all of us is the God-placed desire to be noticed and to be loved for who we are, especially within the confines of the family. The abuser takes that need and so twists it that the abused, many times, will grow to hate her innate need for love. She will view it as an enemy to be destroyed. She will begin to live her live as if to stifle what is normal. And many times, she will endeavor to live dead.
Ressources for devo 5
1- Pulpit Commentary http://pulpit.biblecommenter.com/2_samuel/13.htm
2- Sexual violence and power The case of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13:1-22 by Rlaine Neunfeldt http://www.isedet.edu.ar/journal/violence.pdf
3- Online Strong’s http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H157&t=KJV
4- online Strong’s http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H157&t=KJV