Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Uroboros: Symbol of Sin

A man seduces a woman.  Upon completion of the act, he is filled with a revulsion for her and chases her out his life.

A woman seduces a man.  She may even lead him to believe she cares deeply for him.  But when the stench of what she's doing reaches her nostrils, she consumes her prey and moves on.


The above two scenarios are playing themselves out in the lives of those around us all the time.

In Scripture, we see a man seducing a woman - indeed raping a woman.  The woman is his half-sister.  He has his way with her, then despises her and exiles her and his shame from his life.

In fact, his hatred for her was greater than the love he had felt for her. So Amnon told her, “Get out of here!”
“No, my brother!” she said. “Sending me away would be worse than the wrong you’ve already done.”  (2 Sam. 13:15-16)

But he sends her away, and her father learns of it - learns of the rape and the expulsion.

What does her father do about it?


The young lady is named Tamar.  Both she and her assailant, Amnon, are children of King David.   A scandal in the family, to say the least.

But this Tamar suffers an injustice similar to that suffered by Judah's daughter-in-law Tamar back in Genesis.  

In both cases, the fathers neglect their duties.  Like the bishops of the modern Church when faced with the sex scandal, they hush things up and cover the sin, rather than addressing the ugliness, demanding justice and setting things aright.

In David's case, his decision to opt for a cover-up rather than for justice has a result similar to what the modern Church has experienced.

In both cases, hell is to pay.

For David, his own son Absalom steps into the breach and begins a revolt, the effects of which reach beyond Absalom's original intention and become hard to quench - which is the kind of thing we're also seeing in the Church today.   The chickens, in other words, always come home to roost.

For this is another element of sin:

  • Sin is incestuous (as it is quite literally in the Scriptural example I give).  It feeds upon itself.  It hides its own deeds in a darkness that spreads and consumes it.  It is a serpent that eats its own tail.  It leads to the self-consuming nothingness of the abyss.

But to hide a sin is to stuff a snake within a snake - and a violent purging inevitably results.

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