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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Abuse destroys lives

The Christian community needs to be very careful when quoting scriptures and twisting them to excuse abuse. 


God does not permit destruction of His creations.  That includes everything mental, spiritual, intellectual, social, moral, marriage, children, pastors, grandparents and even our enemies ----all are protected from that deep down evil that encourages us to abuse.  There are reasons to extend proper punishment or to fight a war in order to protect freedom.....but the Christian must be very careful that our reasons for judgements do notcross the line into abuse.  If they do, you could lose your soul.  God does not tolerate abuse.

Some examples of God's anger against abuse include the story of Abigail  - I Samuel 25:3-44.  You must read this glowing example of good vs. evil in marriage.  In this story, Abigail was married to wicked man - Nabal.  He was cruel and mean.  King David and his men were in the desert and around Nabal's servants as they watched their flocks.  King David ordered his men to guard this man's property.  When feasting time arrived, David sent some of his soldiers to ask Nabal to share food and wine with them.  Nabal fussed and refused.  When David's men told David of the selfish and mean nature of this man, David ordered his men to get their swords.  They were going to destroy him and take his property. 

Verse 14...."One of the servants told Nabal's wife Abigail: "David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing.  Night and day they were a wall around us all the time we were herding our sheep near them.  Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him."

Verse 18... Abigail lost no time. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.  Then she told her servants, "Go on ahead; I'll follow you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

David met Abigail and begged for forgiveness not only for her husband but for all involved in the problem.  Because of her kindness and understanding David praised her and promised not to harm anyone.  
Some pastors have used this scripture to insist that somehow a victim can help to save the life of the abuser.  But....they miss the final point of this scripture.  God did not allow Nabal to continue in his sin.  Verse 36-38   When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing until daybreak.  Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone.  About ten days later, the LORD struck Nabal and he died.

Did you get that???  Good vs. evil in marriage.  God supports the good by "striking dead" the evil!  That's a clear picture of how God feels about "any" abuse!  Nabal was a jerk who withheld compassion and love from those around him.  We can only guess how he treated Abigail.  But...the Bible doesn't say that he hit her.  All we know is that he was a total jerk and a very selfish man.  So....God struck him dead! 

The story didn't stop there.  When David found out about her loss, he asked Abigail to return to him and become his wife.  For the rest of her life she would live in luxury and would be protected.

If we take the time to look behind the story you'll find that God is never pleased with selfishness or a heart that chooses to hurt others.  It doesn't matter if it's through the anger of the sword or the refusal to provide food - God will not tolerate a mean and cruel heart.  That's not to say that any of us can be perfect.  Do we all slip and occasionally say something mean or say something hurtful to a loved one.  I think everyone on the planet has done that.  But....what this scripture is talking about is a man (or woman) whose heart is cruel.  A person who desires or loves to be mean.  Someone who finds pleasure out of hurting others.

Another quick example is that of Lazarus - Luke 16: 19-31  In this story "a beggar named Lazarus was covered with sores and sat by a rich man's gate.  he longed to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.  "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'  "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony."
I think we should ask the question...."Why was the rich man in agony (obviously Hell)?  As you read this entire passage, think about the motive and the state of the heart behind the rich man's requests.  Was he in hell because he walked by poor Lazarus day after day and did not have compassion for him?  That's the only thing that's alluded to in the scriptures.  There's nothing about the rich man being mean or physically abusing Lazaras.  All he did do was ignore him.  He just didn't care.  All the scriptures say is that Lazarus "longed to eat what fell from the rich man's table."  All he wanted was scraps and apparently the rich man wasn't kind enough to offer that to the beggar.  This story is about the continued selfishness of the rich man.  After all the pampering in his life - even from Hell he was not concerned about Lazarus.  Even from Hell he was demanding and unconcerned.  He wanted poor Lazarus to leave the comfort of heaven to bring him some water.  And when Abraham said "no"....this selfish rich man wanted Lazarus to go back to earth to talk to his brothers. 
What selfishness!  What an evil heart! 
That's where abuse begins.  Evil in the heart will always be manifested in abuse to others.  Evil and selfishness will destroy the lives around them.  Abuse is not limited to bruises and broken arms.  Sometimes the worst abuse of all is the destruction of dreams, the loss of self-esteem or the loss of purpose.  What could Abigail accomplished had she not spent years of her life with Nabal?  What could Lazaras have accomplish if the rich man had stopped and helped him?  What could they have done together?  What purpose did God have for both of them?
Not only is it our duty to speak out against selfish and abusive people, but it is our responsibility to make sure they do not destroy the lives they encounter. 

It is the duty of every Christian to fight to rid our churches and our homes of the destruction of abuse!  Our churches and participants must be the friend of the victim not the promoters of abuse!

God loves you,


1 comment:

Fadeke said...

Thank u Debbie.I wonder why many people get disturbed only when they hear of physical abuse.Most of the time victims are expected to endure as long as bruises and broken limbs are not involved.

Let it be known that most of the people we counsel to endure are already dead emotionally,self esteem long dead and personality destroyed.