Category: Leaving abuse

Saul’s narcissism and rage

In our previous post, we looked at some of King Saul's blame-shifting tactics, and now we come to consider Saul's narcissism and rage. When Saul's desires were frustrated, he lashed out at others. In the story of Israel's war with the Philistines at this time, Samuel...

The Paraclete

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains where does my help come from?” Two of the most powerful tools of abusers are to isolate, and to confuse. Or, really, to disrupt our capacity to hear from others, from our innermost self, and from...

Why didn’t Jesus help Lazarus sooner?

Why didn't Jesus help Lazarus sooner? We have been looking over the last few days at the story of Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and Jesus. We've looked at the shock of Jesus not turning up in time to help, and at his deep respect for boundaries. So far, the focus has largely...

Enduring with God through severe disagreement

Those who have been in any abusive relationships might have some exquisitely painful issues in relating to God. It can be extremely complicated, and the last relationship one might want to have complications in. A number of abuse tactics involve the abuser trying to...

Hannah and the Sons of Eli

We aren’t given much detail about the background of Hannah’s story, but it seems most likely her and her family were at Shiloh to celebrate the Passover. It is common to associate the Passover with freedom from slavery, but less common to think about slavery in terms...

Who is affected by abuse?

When we slow down and look at what is happening in Hannah’s relationships, it becomes clear how much she is suffering. But what about other people in her family? We know kids are vulnerable to domestic violence. Just watching it makes them victims of child abuse....

Are abusers aware of their behaviour?

Are abusers aware of what they are doing? Overlapping with the question of whether abusers are deliberate is: are they aware? Aware of what they are doing? Aware of the harm it causes? Knowing the answer to those questions might make a profound difference in what a...

May Yahweh answer you when you are in distress

May Yahweh answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Psalm...

Boundaries and safe behaviour

Creating a healthy community requires the practice of boundaries and safe behaviour. If you have been following along in this series and can recall Psalm 120, this pilgrimage was a journey away from a place of danger. The psalmist wrote:

“I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war,”

Although the Songs of Ascents had other meanings and purposes, the evil behaviour they describe is abuse. In the same way, the slavery the Hebrews experienced in Egypt was abuse.

How good and pleasant it is

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

As we come near to the end of our series on the Songs of Ascents, I feel for those who are still trapped in abuse, or who are in the early stages of escaping. We have, in the space of a few weeks, travelled from danger to sanctuary. Life is not that simple for victims of any significant trauma, let alone victims of abuse.

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