Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pastor's Ponderings, February 20, 2018

Our God Can Resolve and Heal Sexual Assault

The #metoo movement has led to many highly respected leaders in their respective fields to being exposed for shameful behavior.  Angela Wright-Shannon, a writer in the February 19, 2018, Huffington Post accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of a history inappropriate conduct.  It seems that even women are not exempt from bad behavior since California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia was accused of harassment.  A highly popular sport like swimming is in the spotlight for accusations of decades of tolerance for sexual assault and multiple cover-ups.  It is like finding one roach and thousands tumble out of the woodwork.

In the Bible, King David, a man after God’s own heart, impregnated a married woman and had her husband killed (2 Samuel 12:9).  The prophet Nathan pronounced his terrible punishment that destruction and rebellion would stay in his house (2 Samuel 12:10).  The Bible is very clear that while we may hide our dastardly deeds, our God sees everything. Often He will expose them to the light so that we receive back what we have given out (Luke 8:17, Galatians 6:7).  Many of us have done things that we would not like exposed on the front page of the New York Times or have our neighbors opine on the Five o’clock News, “But she was such a nice lady.  I never would have thought she would have done that.”

What should we do if we have sinned?  Like David, we must repent, go to God and ask for forgiveness (Psalm 51:1-4).  Then we must go to our victims if accessible and ask for their forgiveness and make restitution for our deeds.  It is so much better to make peace with our brethren on this side of eternity rather than dealing with our sins at the Day of Judgment.  Many victims of harassment simply want an admittance of guilt and acknowledgement of their pain. Others may deservedly ask for more than just words. The legal system may even get involved.

Nevertheless, our God is able to wash us, sanctify us and justify us (1 Corinthians 6:11).  We may never have the status that we enjoyed when we were inflicting pain on our victims, but it is important for us to know that our God can make everything right with the victim and the victimizer.  He can heal the broken hearted, the abused, and the abusers.  Turn it over to Jesus and let Him work it out (Philippians 2:13)!

2 Samuel 12:9-10
New International Version (NIV)
 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

Luke 8:17
New International Version (NIV)
17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

Galatians 6:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Psalm 51:1-4
New International Version (NIV)
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge

1 Corinthians 6:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Philippians 2:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose

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