Besides deceit, hypocrisy and secrecy, another obstacle for those seeking help is an individual who has been similarly hurt without healing. If they were to acknowledge hurt, pain and suffering at another’s hand, it would stir up feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. The resulting pain and suffering would confirm the reality of evil and its effects: loss of dignity, shame, a distortion of themselves, God, and others.
Then there are good men. But even good men can be misled and overlook danger when someone or something else is at stake.
In Genesis 18, the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know” (v. 20-21).
And Abram bargained for the lives of 50 righteous. 45. 40. 30. 20. 10.
You know the story. Two angels went to check it out and the men of the city attacked Lot’s house demanding pleasure at the angels’ expense (Genesis 19:5). Lot offered the townsmen his daughters instead.
STOP the REEL.
Really? Really, Lot? Really, Abram?
Account after account declares that Abraham, the friend of God, was declared righteous because of his faith. Lot, too, is called “righteous” (2 Peter 2:7). Righteousness is based on faith, but in the account of Sodom and Gomorrah, they both overlooked the plight of the oppressed. God didn’t.
What did He hear? How extreme was the “outcry”–an outcry from unrighteous people–that reached Heaven? An outcry that brought immediate annihilation, judgment, and destruction?
Abram’s concern when bartering for the cities was not for God’s justice, character, goodness and mercy. There may have been options, but in his mind it was all or nothing.
Abram overlooked the plight of the suffering. If the scene at Lot’s door was typical, how many individuals had already been victimized? Used? Cast aside?
Abram was not concerned with what was right and just. His goal was to save what he valued: his nephew Lot–and perhaps a few others. And Abram was a “good” man.
As much as we see the need and want to be heard, perhaps blogs, social media, and platforms are based on misplaced expectations. Perhaps today’s good men do not see, hear, or intervene because something of greater value stays their hand.
But Jesus, the Suffering Servant, has been there. He knows. And He came with the express purpose of relieving burdens, not adding to them. As we become more like our Savior and less like ourselves, as we turn to Him with our own hurt and distress, He restores us. Redeems us. Heals us and sets our feet on solid ground. Then, we are able to bring others to Him for help and healing. For hope.
The Guy I know hears. He listens. He sees. He knows. And He promises to put things right. He may use good men, but even if/when I don’t see it, I can trust Him.
I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonders.
I will rejoice and be jubilant in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
When my enemies turn back,
They stumble and perish before You.
For You have maintained my just cause;
You have sat on the throne judging righteously.
You have rebuked the nations, You have eliminated the wicked;
You have wiped out their name forever and ever.
The enemy has come to an end in everlasting ruins,
And You have uprooted the cities;
The very memory of them has perished.
But the Lord sits as King forever;
He has established His throne for judgment,
And He will judge the world in righteousness;
He will execute judgment for the peoples fairly.
The Lord will also be a stronghold for the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble;
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, Lord, have not abandoned those who seek You.
Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion;
Declare His deeds among the peoples.
For He who requires blood remembers them;
He does not forget the cry of the needy.
Be gracious to me, Lord;
See my oppression from those who hate me,
You who lift me up from the gates of death,
So that I may tell of all Your praises,
That in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in Your salvation.
The nations have sunk down into the pit which they have made;
In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.
The Lord has made Himself known;
He has executed judgment.
A wicked one is ensnared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion Selah
The wicked will return to Sheol,
All the nations who forget God.
For the needy will not always be forgotten,
Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.
Arise, Lord, do not let mankind prevail;
Let the nations be judged before You.
Put them in fear, Lord;
Let the nations know that they are merely human. Selah (Psalm 91)