Gen 12:1-4 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. (2) And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (4) So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
I want to talk today about a subject that is very easily misunderstood – and I do not want you to misunderstand. I know very well, very, very well, that leaving an abuser or other evil relationship is not only not easy, it is often for the moment not even possible. What I am about to say here is NOT meant to guilt-trip any victim whose doors to escape are for the present time not open.
But what I do want to say is as in the title above – “do you want to be made well?” That is to say, do you want to leave the bondage? Do you want to leave Egypt? Or in the end, is your choice to stay in Egypt eating those leeks and garlic that the enemy has duped you into thinking look pretty good in contrast to the unknown of walking by faith through the Red Sea?
I have worked with many, many victims of domestic abusers and others who are targets of some other evil family member, employer, church leader, etc. While the majority hesitate to leave for a time because they really haven’t come to realize what abuse is and what is really happening to them, there are some who, having seen the abuse with clarity, choose to stay in it. These are the ones who do not want to be made well.
Why do such people choose to stay? There are numbers of reasons. Financial security is a common one I have seen. These people are married to a wealthy person and they are living pretty well. They don’t want to leave because it will mean giving up the money. I had one such person tell me, “I would be a fool to leave all of this.” And that just after pleading with me to help her deal with her abusive “christian” husband. By the way – if you pour your energy into trying to help this kind, in the end I guarantee you, they will hate you. YOU will be the guilty one for myriads of reasons they dream up.
Another reason for refusing to leave in cases like this is related to the money, but it has to do with reputation. Image. Being married to their abuser who happens to be a big man in the community means the “name” will rub off onto her (or sometimes him). And another “by the way,” – eventually anyone who tries to help such a victim will also end up being the bad guy because the counterfeit nature of the reputation will begin to be exposed.
You know, the Lord Jesus had this to say to us:
Mat 10:34-39 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (35) For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (36) And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. (37) Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
So, to abuse victims who want to leave and when they eventually can leave, This is the challenge. Will you obey Christ and follow HIM? Are you willing to pay the price to enter into His freedom? Or will you choose to stay back in Egypt chewing on onions and garlic and telling yourself you are eating filet mignon? Will you believe the Lord, or will you yield to unbelief and choose to reject His good promises?