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TWR Canada Women of Hope Blog

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  • Jun16Fri

    He Will Call Us Hephzibah

    June 16, 2017 by TWR Canada Women's Ministry Team
    Filed Under:
    Violence, Women of the Bible
    There are two daughters in the Old Testament, lesser known women of the Bible perhaps, who suffered a great injustice: Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob (Genesis 34); and Tamar, the only daughter of David (2 Samuel 13). Under different circumstances, both of these women were raped. Men forced their will upon them and the women were powerless to stop what happened.

    The Bible doesn’t tell us any part of the story from Dinah’s point of view; however, Tamar cautioned her attacker (her half-brother, Amnon), “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing!” Such a thing was not done in Israel!

    There is no word for rape in the ancient Hebrew, but translators often use the English word "rape" in certain contexts for the Hebrew word anah: meaning to afflict, oppress, humble. Rape was so detestable to God, the ancient Hebrews didn’t have a word for it. It is a thing which cannot be undone.

    Both Dinah and Tamar suffer greatly; neither of their fathers call out the abuser’s sin or responded in any great way as to bring healing or restoration to their daughters. God seems silent.

    Why bring up these difficult stories? Where is the hope?

    This month, in the TWR Canada Women of Hope Prayer Calendar, we’ve been praying for women who have suffered rape and other forms of violence. These women are powerless to stop the abuse and violence, and it can seem as though God remains silent.

    However, we know from the story of Hagar that our God is the God Who Sees. He sees our pain and the wrongs done to us. Christ instructed us to leave the vengeance to God, but we are not without hope.

    Hephzibah was godly King Hezekiah’s wife, but Hephzibah was also a symbolic name for the city of Zion in the Old Testament. In Isaiah 62:4, God speaks of the cities of Jerusalem and Zion and says their names are Forsaken and Desolate, but that He will redeem them. Isn’t that how you feel when you’ve been a victim of violence: forsaken and desolate? But God will redeem these cities and give them new names: Hephzibah and Beulah.

    Hephzibah means “My delight is in you” and Beulah means “married.” Not only does God find delight in you, no matter how desolate or broken or forsaken you feel, but you are not alone. You have a special place in His plan, that of a beloved bride.

    Join us this month in praying for women who feel desolate or broken, that instead they would know that God delights in them, will redeem them, and they’re never alone.