“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.”1
Honestly this psalm brought tears to my eyes just now. I hate that so many people are suffering so much from people who deliberately hurt them. This is my prayer for those people: may God answer you in your distress!
Just as a catchup for those who might have missed it: When God asked Moses to go and set the Hebrews free from the slavery and abuse they were suffering, Moses found the whole project impossible to believe. When he asked God, “who shall I say sent me?”2, God gave him this name, Yahweh. It’s an answer to Moses’ despair. It describes who God is – he is able, and he cares.
It is such a fitting name to use for God during tough times. Just as the Hebrews suffered and longed to be free, millions of people today suffer.
It took a miracle, well, many miracles, to get the Hebrews out of slavery. (And in that slavery were many forms of abuse.) But while this psalmist cries out to God to help those who are in distress, and does that with passion, they also say,
“May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.”
I want to be part of that help. I’m guessing you’d agree. The whole mission behind The Abigail Project is to be an answer to that prayer. This is our calling and longing, and we are eager for others to stand with us in it. We work to support the Christian community in building and strengthening safe places: places of sanctuary. But outside that place of sanctuary, are people who are being deeply harmed. It’s not safe. They need our help.
I can think of so many abuse victims who are deeply exhausted, caring for others. Especially those who are single mums or dads, doing everything they can to keep their kids safe. Or those who have not yet escaped an abusive home. Or those who are fighting abuse in the church or workplace: whistle-blowers, policy advocates, caring friends. There are so many scenarios I will leave people out. Those people well know the experience of making sacrifices and burnt offerings. These words resonate deeply. The psalm describes their life! It comes at a cost and I am full of admiration for those who continue to stand their ground. Truly,
“May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.”
Let’s not let it be only God who remembers. Will you pray this psalm with us? And ask – what part can you play?
If you know someone in danger, or are in danger yourself, one step might be to call 1800 RESPECT. They can listen, and help you work out what, if anything, to do next.
If you would like to stand with us in our mission, we would be so grateful. We will only succeed as people stand with us.