WHAT CHARMING BETRAYERS DESERVE ACCORDING TO THE PSALM OF KING DAVID, NUMBER 55

WHAT CHARMING BETRAYERS DESERVE ACCORDING TO THE PSALM OF KING DAVID, NUMBER 55

Australia is now grappling with a national crisis — the violent abuse of women by men. Every four days in Australia a woman is being murdered [Source]. The sad probability is that she was murdered by “a current or former intimate partner” [Source]. But added to this alarming statistic is the even greater and more horrifying statistic of number of women who are experiencing abuse – physical; sexual; verbal; financial; psychological – daily. In fact, it is so prevalent that most people working in this arena know that most domestic abuse incidents in Australia are not reported. Abuse is oppression. And since the Bible is so clear and consistent in its condemnation of oppression of the vulnerable you would naturally assume that this national crisis was being thundered and denounced as a great evil from the majority of pulpits around our country at the moment. This assumption is further reinforced by the guesstimate that one-in-four women in every Australian church is regularly abused in some way by a man. But I suspect that it is not.

WHY WOMEN REALLY REALLY MATTER AND WHY SATAN REALLY REALLY HATES THEM

WHY WOMEN REALLY REALLY MATTER AND WHY SATAN REALLY REALLY HATES THEM

When the Evil One entered the Garden of Eden, he did not try to directly corrupt the man. He went straight to the one upon whom the entire divine plan for mankind depended – the woman. But God immediately instigated His plan of redemption and put women right in the centre of it! As you read through Scripture you will see this pattern – Satan attacks key women, God redeems these women and uses the attack against them as an opportunity to further His plan of redemption despite Satan’s attack against them! When Satan attacked Eve with his insidious deception, God redeemed this attack by announcing that He would send the Redeemer as “seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 16:20). God ordained that a young woman named Tamar would be one of the women through whom the family line of the coming Redeemer would come. When Satan had orchestrated Tamar’s husband, Er, to be sexually deviant so that this would not happen (Gen. 38:7), God orchestrated for His plan of redemption to be furthered through Tamar and her link to the tribe of Judah anyway (Matt. 1:3). When a young chosen girl, Rahab, was chosen by God to be in the family-line of the Messiah-Redeemer, she too was attacked by Satan at a very young age. She was robbed of her of dignity and purity and against all hope doomed to be childless. But God chose to rescue her out of these wicked schemes of Satan and the men Satan had manipulated to abuse her. God orchestrated a dramatic military rescue plan and brought her into the family of God as the wife of a godly Hebrew man, Boaz, and she was able to become the Great-Grandmother of King David and thereby continue the family-line of the coming Redeemer (Matt. 1:5a). Her only child, Boaz, her son, reached his senior years and had not yet married. Satan had made life difficult for Boaz and his countrymen by orchestrating a drought and a famine. Satan’s scheme looked like it would bring God’s plan of redemption to a halt. But God once again used Satan’s attack and sovereignly orchestrated it as a means to redeem both Boaz and a young Moabite girl, Ruth (Matt. 1:5b) through whom He ensured that the family-line of the Redeemer remained unbroken. And when David corrupted the heart of the LORD’s favourite servants with lust for an already married woman, God eventually orchestrated for her who had been the wife of Uriah to be the chosen woman in the line of the coming Redeemer (Matt. 1:7).

THE UPSTREAM VISION, Part 2

THE UPSTREAM VISION, Part 2

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SCARED, SCARRED, SACRED

SCARED, SCARRED, SACRED

The gospel offers hope and healing for those who have been violated — those who were once scared (for good reason), and who have been scarred by the hurt they have endured — have found redemption and a sanctuary in the sacred community of God’s redeemed.

Safe

This week I took a call from another pastor who expressed concern that the Church was coming under an increasing number of  attacks in the media over the last few weeks. Nearly every night this week on prime-time TV, there has been a damaging report on the state of the Church. On Monday night Four Corners aired a damning report on the Roman Catholic diocese of Philadelphia’s appalling handling of pedophilia committed by priests. A Current Affair, Today Tonight, have each exposed financial and psychological abuse of vulnerable people. On Tuesday night, The 7:30 Report presented a sickening exposé on how domestic violence is rife within the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches in Australia. And this Sunday night, 60 Minutes is reporting on a Baptist church in New South Wales that is in hot water. As I told this fellow pastor, it’s not that the media are attacking us, it’s that they have guns and we keep giving them bullets to fire at us! I want to pastor the kind of church that gives the media reasons to put down their guns. Here’s how we can do it.