Deception

I started working in downtown San Diego a few months before my 18th birthday. I developed a routine of parking in the same spot everyday and walking as quickly as I could to get to work on time. One day, when I arrived, there was a distressed looking man standing near the curb outside my building. As I entered, he followed close behind me as if he was in a hurry. After the elevator doors closed, he told me there was a man injured on the floor below us and he needed my help to move him to safety. I told him I was late and didn’t have time, but he pleaded with me until I changed my mind. Once we were in the stairwell, he pulled  out a knife and pointed it at my side as he ordered me to get in the closet and take off my pants.

Proverbs 2:11-12 indicates that understanding can deliver us from the way of an evil man, “from the man that speaketh froward things.” The Hebrew word translated froward, tahpûkâh (tah – poo – kaw´) means a perversity or fraud (8419). Tahpukah is derived from the word haphak (haw – fak´) which indicates reflexive action including changing your mind or turning one’s back.

The man that spoke to me in the elevator was a serial rapist that had already abducted and raped several women in the area surrounding my work location. His objective was to get me to abandon my plan to go straight into the office so that I could help him do a good deed. In the moment when I decided to turn my back on my responsibility to my employer, I became a victim of his evil plot and was unable to escape what was about to happen to me, being raped at knifepoint.

Consent

On the night I was raped, when I was 14, I was spending the night at my friend Bernadette’s house. After I arrived, I found out Bernadette’s mom had gone out for the night and her boyfriend Tom was taking care of her eight children. Tom was a drug dealer and that night one of his sellers came over for a visit. The two of them went into the bedroom and shut the door so they could try out Tom’s new product in private. I was invited to join them and in spite of my reservations, I did.

The book of Proverbs contains advice from Solomon, the wisest man that has ever lived. In his warnings against violence, Solomon said, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10). The Hebrew word translated as entice, pâthâh (paw – thaw´) in a sinister way, means to delude or deceive. Pathah is also translated as persuade, allure, and flatter (6601). The Hebrew verb that is translated as consent has to do with a person’s will. Abah “basically represents the inclination which leads towards action, rather than the volition which immediately precedes it” (14). To consent to something means that you are willing to do it, you are not being forced.

The invitation I received to join Tom’s private party was enticing. Because I had never smoked marijuana, I thought Tom was right when he encouraged me to at least try it. There couldn’t be any harm in taking one little puff. I didn’t know that Tom had something completely different in mind when he invited me into his bedroom. After I took one puff, I blacked out and didn’t regain consciousness until I was on the bed, half naked, with Tom on top of me, forcing me to have sexual intercourse with him.

Born again

I was a virgin when I was raped at the age of 14. Afterward, I knew I had lost something, that it had been taken from me violently, by force, but I didn’t know what it was until many years later. Virginity is more than a type of innocence. It is like a royal robe that identifies us as God’s children, creatures that have been created in his image. Rape is much like the original sin that caused the earth to bring forth thorns and thistles. It takes away the beauty that once existed and replaces it with pain and sorrow.

Psalm 119:126 states, “It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.” The Hebrew word translated work in this verse is the same word translated make in Genesis 1:26 where it states, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” God did not stop working after he made the heavens and earth. God’s work of redemption is ongoing and is evidenced by the transformation of people’s lives. It says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are past away; behold, all things are become new.”

One of the things that happened to me when I became a Christian was that my virginity was restored. By that, I do not mean that my body was restored to its previous condition, but that my mind and heart were transformed into the image of Christ. My royal robe was returned to me and I was once again an innocent child of God. God’s work of redemption made it possible for me to recover what had been taken from me and to live as if I had not been raped.

Actions & Consequences

If sin were a disease, it would be feared and dreaded more than any other because of the pain and suffering it causes those who contract it. Sin is a killer and like cancer, it often spreads so quickly, that by the time it is detected, it’s too late to do anything about it. Sin is both hereditary and contagious. You have to be careful to not get too close to someone infected with it and be aware that you may be predisposed toward a certain type of sin because of the sins of your parents.

“And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister” (2 Samuel 13:4). Amnon’s confession of love to his friend Jonadab was understood to mean that he wanted to have sexual relations with his brother’s sister, Tamar. In response, Jonadab lays out a plan for Amnon to rape her. These two men were not only related to each other, they were both related to king David, the father of the woman Amnon was planning to rape.

David’s sin with Bath-sheba had caused his family to become infected with sin. In the same way that David had given in to his lust for Bath-sheba, Amnon decided he was going to have sex with Tamar. What was different about Amnon’s situation was that Tamar was a virgin and unlikely to agree to have sex with him outside of marriage.

Amnon’s friend Jonadab is described as being very subtil. The Hebrew word for subtil, chakam actually means wise (2450). Jonadab’s plan was not some sinister plot, but a well thought out means of obtaining what Amnon wanted, a private encounter with Tamar. Most likely, the intent was to have sex secretly, so that if anyone found out, Amnon could deny it.

“And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel; do not thou this folly” (2 Samuel 13:12). The word translated folly, “nebalah is most often used as a word for serious sin. It signifies ‘disregarding God’s will'” (5039). In other words, Amnon knew what God’s will for him was regarding Tamar and he decided to do the opposite. Jonadab was an accessory to his crime, and together, the two of them planned to deceive king David and trap his daughter Tamar, so that Amnon could have sex with her.

Rather than keeping it a secret, Tamar displayed her shame openly after Amnon raped her. “And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying” (2 Samuel 13:19). The word used to describe Tamar’s condition afterward, desolate or shamem in Hebrew means ruined (8076), but the root word shâmêm (shaw – mame´) means to stun or intransitively to grow numb (8074). Tamar was traumatized by what happened to her and most likely suffered from what we know today as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the rest of her life.