Now she had on a robe of many colors, for the king’s virgin daughters wore such apparel. And his servant put her out and bolted the door behind her. Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly. - 2 Samuel 13:18-19
Tamar was wearing her robe of many colors when the rape happened. It identified her special position; a princess, the daughter of King David. After being raped Tamar tore her robe and placed ashes on her head. The tearing of clothing was a common practice in the Jewish culture and signified intense emotion and the ruin Tamar felt. She felt degraded, as worthless as a slave. She may even have to face banishment.
This might remind you of Joseph, who also had a coat of many colors. He was Jacob’s favorite son and had a special place in his father’s heart. However, Jacob’s favoritism caused his brothers to be very jealous. One day they took him and placed him in a pit. His brothers ripped and smeared his coat with blood in an attempt to fool their father into thinking he had been eaten by a wild beast––but his brothers had decided to sell him into slavery––Joseph experienced much grief (Genesis 37).
There are abrupt situations in life, which can cause us immediate grief. We may become hurt by someone else’s sin or receive bad news of a tragic death. Whatever the case, we must find comfort in the cross of Christ. Life can make us bitter but Christ can make us better.
God can give beauty for ashes and He has clothed us with His royal apparel––For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:1-3, 10).
There is nothing that so makes us acquainted with Christ Himself as sorrow.
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