19 September 2014

Tamar: Think Again

Genesis 38

You call me a whore
but what are you?
Why must it be the woman
who takes all the blame?
You can say I seduced you -
who forced you to give in?
Who asked me to bed?
It wasn't me.

You call me a whore
but what are you?
Why does the man
always get away?
You suffer no consequences -
I have to bear them all:
scorn, hatred, death penalty
and the child you gave to me.

You call me a whore
but what are you?
Don't you know it takes two?
It's always all right
for you to do -
have you never thought
what your actions might mean?

You call me a whore.
Think again.
For it was you
who made me one.
It is not I,
it is you who must change.


[25. November 2012]

Tamar was the wife of Judah's son Er. After he died she was given to his brother Onan, so that he'd provide children for her. If I understood correctly that was a way to provide security for widows back then. They'd stay in the family and be cared for. But Onan only wanted to sleep with her and didn't want her to have children that wouldn't count as his own. Then Onan died - then Judah freaked out and decided to send Tamar away instead of give her to his third son. Tamar ended up tricking Judah by sitting by the roadside like a prostitute (he didn't recognise her) - ended up pregnant and just when Judah wanted to have her sentenced to death because of it, she proved to him that he was the one who had made her pregnant.

It's a complicated story! I think it shows something about the hypocrisy of men - and how God is on the side of those who are wronged. Tamar had a very strange way of fighting for her rights - one I don't think should be copied! But it showed Judah how wrong his choices were.

Thing is: I heard that today in America, most men want to marry a virgin. BUT they would also like to sleep around before getting married. What do you think ends up happening? There won't be any more virgins to go around at that rate.

Women often get the blame. It's just so much easier to trace back to a woman that she's been sleeping around, especially if she gets pregnant. Then it's just obvious. But the man never gets in trouble.

Don't be a man like Judah. Think about the consequences of your actions.

Picture by Horace Vernet.

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