2 Sam 13 As we read this tragedy we are confronted with the sin of David being replicated in his firstborn son Amnon but more so is the innocence of his daughter Tamar. How many of our daughters have had to face similar circumstances and only hear the silence of those who should stand up and call sin sin. How many have heard their brothers say “be quiet; don’t take it so seriously.” We want to scream, cry and join our hearts with Tamar whose virginity was slain. We want to not let her voice go unnoticed as she cries out from the grave; learn from my naiveté and my trusting innocence when I should have seen and stopped the charade in its tracks. Girls take heed!
Tamar was raped plain and simple and she was silenced. Her voice cries out from the pages of scripture. Scripture says keep away from sexual immorality but our culture says it won’t happen to you. Scripture says possess your own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion but our culture says just be silent. Tamar was caught in a catch 22 situation and her father was too naïve to think his only son would take sexual advantage of his sister. Fathers, listen and put hedges of protection around your daughters.
What can we learn from Tamar? Satan is diabolical and crafty and uses men like Jonadab and Amnon so we must be wise and discerning. Tamar is saying don’t be foolish; sin is about to happen. Tamar is crying out from the grave; listen to me; learn from me. No means no.
Tamar cries out: Fathers; put hedges of protection around your daughters; rebuke the sin and the sinner. Daughters, when you sense danger leave because Satan is more powerful than you are!
The Parade is over and Jesus is in the Temple once again and is teaching, as he has so often, about the kingdom of heaven through parables. We remember that Jesus told the disciples that he would be using that approach: “I speak to them in parables: Although they see they do not see, and although they hear they do not hear nor do they understand” thus fulfilling Isaiah’s 6:9-10 prophecy. Although this was Jesus’ method the Pharisees and chief priests knew not only was he directing his teaching at them but also they understood the implications of his teaching. That is why they wanted to arrest him as we found out in chapter 21.
Jesus spoke to them again in lest any should say they never understood. He has just told them that they were rejecting Him as the Chosen One and now He will emphasize it in greater detail through an illustration that they could all relate to which is a method that we must learn to utilize as well. Start with a common every day thought and use it as a spring board to the truth you want the audience to grasp. In this parable the listeners would have grasped the importance of the wedding banquet in their first century culture, but more importantly they would have been astounded that the king would invite any to his son’s banquet! This was thus not just any banquet–it was for his son! In that culture one received an invite and then when the banquet was ready the ‘king’ would send for them. Try to picture you receiving an invite to a head of state’s home for dinner. You receive it in advance and when the time is ready your limo arrives to pick you up. But, notice the responses of the invitees. They would NOT come! They were indifferent and turned their back even when he sent a second gracious summons! No wonder the king was furious! He had spared no expense nor the preparation.
What are we to learn? The king is God and He has a banquet prepared for Jesus, His Beloved Son. He has spared no expense; he sent his only son so that no one would perish but have eternal life. All have been invited to come and celebrate! Yet there were some then and some today who say no or some who are just too busy. In Matt 8 we read that many said they would go but they had many excuses as to why “not now.” When he sent out the disciples he gave them orders to shake the dust off their shoes if the message they brought was ignored or rejected. We meet these same people today in the marketplace; in our workplace and even in our families. They are more concerned about their now than their eternal destiny. Felix said the same thing to Paul in Acts 24.
What about the intruder in the banquet? Who is he? And why is he even there? He is there because the invitation was to both good and bad but even with that there are rules of decorum to be followed and he chose to not do that. How often have we heard that the “I am the Way, The Truth, The Life” just doesn’t cut it for me? I will come to Jesus in my way. Note the consequence! Bound and sent packing to outer darkness. There will be some that will face this in the day of judgment.
Beloved, God has a plan and it includes you. He has issued His invitation and He has sent this message to you. What will you do with it? Will you come and celebrate or are you just too busy to do it now? Remember the intruder when this crosses your mind.