Category: Sexual Abuse

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Jesus talked about the difference between good and bad people with directness and clarity we don’t often hear repeated. He certainly never claimed we could be perfect. He died, willingly, knowing that was the depth of our need for God’s help. But at the same time, Jesus was very clear about standards of behaviour that we could follow, despite our imperfect ethics. He continually reinforced how critical it was for us to follow those standards, for the sake of others.

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Jesus made it abundantly clear that good shepherds cherish their sheep, while wolves are intent on doing harm. And there is a sense in which we are all called to be shepherds.
We all have a responsibility to care for the humans around us, and those responsibilities are reflected in our daily communication and interactions as well as in larger ways. Even children can learn to be increasingly kind and respectful of others.

What does it mean to cherish someone?

What does it mean to cherish someone?

What does it mean to cherish someone? It’s a word that is often used in wedding vows, but it is relevant in all our relationships.

When Paul and Timothy wrote to the Colossians, they praised them for the love they held for all people, and that sense of holding love is like cherishing.

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

"Sons of Belial" is a Hebrew term that can help us find stories of abuse in the Bible. There are many examples of abuse in the Bible, but as mentioned previously, the Bible doesn’t categorise abuse in the same way we do now. It refers to abusive behaviours as specific...

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Yesterday we started looking at Hophni and Phinehas’s behaviour with the women who served at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Was it sexual assault? The strong power imbalance made consent unlikely. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Hophni and Phinehas...

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault?

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault?

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault? The writer of 1 Samuel tells us: Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.1 Samuel...

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Today we start a series looking at Eli, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

When we read 1 and 2 Samuel, and look for what it has to say to us about abuse, we are flooded with stories and examples. This makes sense because what we now categorise broadly as abuse is a grouping of different harmful or toxic behaviours: different sins.

Am I losing my faith? (Depression)

Am I losing my faith? (Depression)

At the start of this series on turmoil, we looked at some of the difficulties people might experience in relating to God when they are suffering from trauma. Is it ok to be angry with God? To question him, to disagree with him, to doubt him, or something else? The...

Hannah and the Sons of Eli

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?

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....

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