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September 26, 2021 1:00 am
When your family is destructive or abusive, it’s easy to feel completely alone. Look no further than the pages of Scripture to see families scandalized by abuse and its dysfunction. This leads to a crushing shame—not from a good conscience embarrassed by sin but from a broken spirit weighed down by patterns of sin. In this message, we’ll see how Jesus can make the soul whole and minister to the brokenhearted.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
The American family is clearly on life support.
Even within the church. Divorce is rampant, broken marriages make it tough for kids to grow up in a supportive environment. All too many young people fall prey to sexual abuse from relatives or acquaintances in trying to forge bonds of love. They find themselves instead in bondage to the addictions of others.
Today, another teaching from the word of God that can help all who hear it find healing from the scars of life from Chicago. This is The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin Lutzer on today's broadcast. The second of three messages on how to recover from the pain of sexual abuse later in our program.
Erwin Blitzer will once again ask those who hurt to let God redeem your story. Pastor Blitzer comes now to open today's service in a moment were going to sing together. One of my favorite hymns and Kennedy that I should gain an interest in my Savior's blood Jesus making a sacrifice to God the father, which he accepts, which is the basis of our redemption. Would you join me please. As we pray together and then we shall stand to saying father, we thank you so much that in grace you rescued us. We stand in awe of your mercy and the fact that you indeed send Jesus to die for us and through him we have redemption as we sing this song. We pray that the cares of this world would be put far behind us, may we glorify you as we worship you because of your goodness and grace. In Jesus name, amen, amen. I invite you to follow along with me in your bulletin as we read together a portion from Isaiah 61 is God's holy word.
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor in the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn to granting those who mourn in Zion, to give him a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of the things. They may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. I'm speaking on the topic.
The sensitive topic of abuse and as I mentioned last time, if you wish to leave while I speak because memories are coming back that are very difficult for you to handle. Feel free to do so, at least to cry quietly and I hope that those of you who have experienced abuse in your life, of whatever kind will be open on the God word side and maybe you'll hear something today that you've never really heard before, and I pray that it will be transforming for you. The purpose of this message. First of all is for us to discuss what an abusive dysfunctional family looks like what happens in a family like that.
What are the dynamics in the last part of the message is going to be on healing. How does Jesus heal the broken hearts. Thanks for being with me on this journey I began today with a story that to some of you will probably recognize if you're familiar with the Old Testament.
I came from a large dysfunctional blended family. My father was a very powerful and famous man. He had several wives they said I was beautiful. I was a virgin. My half-brother was sick. At least that's what he told our father. He asked if I could come and fix them a meal.
My father sent me a message and he asked me to go to my half-brother. So of course I went he was lying down and wanted me to make a cake for him in the kitchen. Then my half-brother said bring the food to the bedroom and feed it to me. I can't believe that I trusted him should've known that something was wrong.
I can't believe I was this na´ve even told everyone around to leave I should've left with them. Then he grabbed me and said come to bed with me. My sister, I knew that I was then in trouble. I said don't. My brother don't force me such a thing should not be done in Israel don't do this wicked thing. What about me.
Where would I get rid of my disgrace. And what about you, you would be like one of the wicked in Israel but nothing worked. He was very strong so he sexually assaulted me. Then he kicked me out as if I were the bad one. I remember pleading known nose sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you've already done to me. He called his servants and said get this woman out of here bolt the door after her was as if I was trash I was violated, discarded, shame nameless, exposed. I tore my clothes and put ashes on my head, put my hand on my head and went away crying and nobody did anything.
My father, King David was angry, but he never came to me and never spoke to my half-brother about what happened or the story of course is recorded in the second Samuel chapter 13 second Samuel chapter 13 if you have your Bibles. It's important that you follow along with the text. It's on page 264, page 264. If you have a Bible like mine. I might like to do is to give you some characteristics of the dysfunctional family and then will talk about tame Mars possibility of being healed.
What happens if you aren't healed and what happens if you are, and why the difference. First of all, with reference to the family itself. I need to give you some background in the Old Testament God tolerated polygamy and so David had many wives and that meant.
Of course, that there were many brothers and half-brothers and half-sisters, Absalom and tame our art from the same mother both of them were dropdead good looking.
That's what the Bible says in my rather loose translation. They must've had a very beautiful mother Amnon was from a different mother. He was actually the oldest of one of David's wives and that so that sets up the scenario as to what's going to happen between the half-brother Amnon and his half-sister the beautiful sister tame Mark, one of the things that you notice about dysfunctional families that is very evident is not all family members are protected. Or we could say that not all of them are treated equally fully. That certainly was true in this case, look at what the text says in chapter 13 verse one. Now, Absalom, David's son had a beautiful sister whose name was tame, Mark, and after a time, Amnon, David's son loved her. Now wait a moment.
Notice that Absalom is referred to as David's son, and later Amnon is referred to as David's son, but nowhere do we find that Kmart is referred to as David's daughter is not interesting to see in many cultures, even in the Middle East of the girls are sometimes more expendable, and the men are more. It would've been nice for her dignity since she was a princess and her father was the famous David if it texted said that she was the daughter of King David. But it doesn't say it and by the way, if you're in a dysfunctional family. Is it important for you to understand how words are used. It says that Amnon loved his half-sister of love are you kidding know there are many people who say I love you, and what they really mean is I love myself and I want you Amnon was nothing but an adult predator in terms of relationship to his half-sister, but you know love is used to cover what is going to become a horrendous crime and isn't that the way it is.
A molester says to children well you know I'm just teaching you how to love.
I care so much about you and so language is used to deceive there's a second characteristic and that is that appearance masks reality the appearances one thing. The reality is another you know if he if we had the time we go back to chapter 12 as it ends. David is a great hero now. It's also true that he committed adultery and murder, and we know that story. But God forgave them and now is called into battle against the ammonites and they capture the king of the ammonites and they take his crown and they put it on David's crown and all the people are cheering and saying, isn't it wonderful that we have such a great royal family. What they don't know is that this royal family is dysfunctional and in trouble.
In fact, it becomes very clear that even as the story unfolds. What happens is this tame are is told by her father to go to Amnon who said that he was sick and he wanted Kmart to make some food that he might eat out of her hand. David wake up okay I don't you get it. I mean Amnon with somebody who is not a very pretty young man. Now he was in line for the throne and so David turned the other way and there's evidence that we shall uncover here that David was not a good father and so and so the reality of what is happening is masked and everybody on the outside thinks that the royal families doing well and David is famous for winning battles, but he has no idea as to how to control his sons and control his home. Not true of a lot of people. They may be very good at their business and are successful but when it comes to knowing what to do if a family they just don't have any natural ability to know how to handle situations and abusive families come in and out of churches and they are there everywhere and lo and behold people think everything is fine, but the appearances one thing and reality is quite another. Another characteristic is that facts are disregarded. Facts are disregarded. I've already implied that and so we shall hurry to number four. The victim's cries. This is very important. The victim's cries are not heard. Now look at here. Here's what happened. I'm picking it up in verse 11 when she brought them to him to eat. He took hold of her and said come live with me, my sister, she answered him, she really says no three times know my brother do not violate me another know these things are not done so in Israel and do not do this outrageous thing is for me.
Where can I carry my shame. As for you, you would be one like the outrageous fools of Israel. Therefore now please. I speak to the king, he will not withhold me from you what she's implying is if you talk to her father. He may allow us to marry.
She's probably buying time here. Verse 14, but he would not listen to her and being stronger than she. He violated her and lay with her. One of the things about abusers that they always want to do is to show their power. They want to make sure that the person that they are abusing is weak and powerless. Powerlessness to them is very important and that's why a child was abused may actually go with the abuser and be obedient to the abuser and people say why don't they run away. The bonding is such that humiliation is such that they feel that they should stay and continue the abuse. The psychological insights to unpack that are interesting, but we must hurry on and so she says no, three times, but he disregards it. Abusers don't listen to the father whose abusing that little boy slapping him whatever he disregards the crying of the child. This is no daddy, no daddy, no daddy he has no ears to hear that that's the characteristics of an abuser later on. I'm gonna be giving some hope to you who are abusers because I know that you're out there, but to him until I get to the end of the message. I have a word for you until we get there and if you're an abuser. I want you to hear me carefully stop at stop what you are doing. Who do you think you are to be abusing anyone whether it's your wife or your children stop at all right. The victim's cries are not heard.
We must hurry on number five.
The victim is shame to blamed Andy mean now notice what the text says Amnon hated her with a very great hatred. Verse 15 so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her on the isn't that interesting.
Maybe it was in all that he thought it was going to be the experience. There are other dynamics that are going on.
It happens a thousand times in Chicago every week if not more gets what he wants and now he throws her away like the feeling of an orange. Well, as she says that no she doesn't want to go. She wants to as she says if you send me away. I'm going to be desolate for the rest of my life. He tosses her out, asks the servants to bolt the door and as far as Kmart is concerned that she is ostracized and will be an outcast in Israel. Now notice it says in verse 19 we must skip to their tame are put ashes on her head toward the long robe that she wore and as she laid her hands on her head.
She went away crying aloud as she went and her brother Absalom said to her, has Amnon your brother been with you now hold your peace. My sister is your brother.
Do not take this to heart. Actually, Absalom is now planning to kill Amnon.
That's about the best comfort he could give his sister, his full-blooded sister. Verse 21 when King David heard about it. He was very angry. Good for you, David, and what is it exactly that you're going to do about it. Answer nothing. You know that Amnon should've been put to death. According to the law. The guy should have been stone but Amnon is going to become theoretically never was.
But he was in line to become the king after David is one of his firstborn's and so David backs off a David is not a good father. I know that there are some of you say you can't say such things about David. Only I can. I just did is a matter of fact you know there's a hint in second Kings chapter 1 verse six. It speaks about Adonijah another son who's going to have to be put to death because he has a rebellion against Solomon and that it says regarding Adonijah and his rebellion never did the king cross him or ever speak to him. Why are you doing thus or so. David should have acted differently, even if he had not put Amnon to death. What he should have done is hurried over to tame are and say tame are. I'm absolutely heartbroken over what is happened to you. This is not your fault when you let me write a psalm about you because you know I do write Psalms and and I wanted to be a psalm of lament, but also a psalm of hope and Kmart.
I'm going to be here with you in your emotional distress, I'm gonna walk with you experience how differently it would've turned out for tame are but the famous King David, the author of the Psalms didn't do that. He was angry. Maybe because of the moral compromise of chapter 12 he lost his ability to have moral input into the lives of his family. The dysfunctional family keeps going out when the father doesn't do anything. The kids take care of it.
They all respond differently Absalom ends up killing Amnon and so forth.
Now the question that we have to ask is was tame Mars problem.
I know it was really hers, but was her shame ever redeemed.
We don't know for sure but look at what it says there I rented to you a moment ago, Kmart lived at desolate woman and her brother Absalom's house in those days that would've meant that even though it wasn't her fault she was in effect, damaged goods, and as damaged goods. She would never have the opportunity of marrying and bearing children.
I suspect she dies is the text describes her desolate woman ostracized from society and that is her story.
Now the question that I want to ask is if she had been redeemed and that is to say, could God have redeemed her story. Maybe he did because we don't know how her life ended. I hope that he did. But if he would've one way that he would've would have been able to pour Grace into her soul.
She didn't have as much information as we do she lived.
Of course, before the cross we live. After the cross, she lived before the prophets wrote, she may have known some of her father's Psalms.
But I don't know how much she knew. But today, my heart breaks for tame are in my heart breaks for all the tame Mars were listening to me right now, the tame are of the past can't be helped, but you can be and I want to encourage you to let God redeem your story is take our Bibles and go to Isaiah chapter 61 for just a few moments. Isaiah 61 where Jesus actually defines his mission. He defines his mission as rebuilding of the soul and I want to have God want you to get permission to God to rebuild your soul no matter what kind of abuse you've endured. Jesus quotes this in the fourth chapter of the book of Luke when he goes into the synagogue and picks up the scroll, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, the tame Mars of this world, to proclaim liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to those who are bound to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. The last part of verse two will come later. The day of vengeance, but verse three to grant to those who mourn in Zion, to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit that they might be called the Oaks of the Lord, the oaks of righteousness. Now what I want us to do is to see quickly that there are three statements here that would really help tame our and they are in God's word because they can help you notice God says I'm going to substitute instead of ashes, you member I read that tame are put ashes on her head that was symbolic of her shame.
God says instead of ashes, he says I am going to give them a beautiful headdress, a garland so that ashes are not going to define who you are, but rather the garland that was a garland of beauty on festive occasions.
That's who you really are going to become his and that beautiful, I invite you today to get rid of the ashes of shame and will talk about that in a moment. Now there are two different kinds of shame there is healthy shame.
Healthy shame is when you and I feel shame because we ought to feel shame.
We've all had healthy shame back in the Old Testament God goes on. Sometimes chapter after chapter in St. Israel. You know they consent and they have no shame. Amnon had did this crime and he apparently had no shame, so that's terrible.
Sociopaths have no shame. They have no feelings they can destroy they can hurt that they can cut and they have no feeling about it. So shame can be very healthy and good to remind us that we violated God's laws. Thank God we don't have to live with it is all point out then there is unhealthy shame on healthy shame is when you take somebody else's shame upon you.
That's what Kmart was enduring ashes on her head. Desolate woman. Shame she is taking the shame that should have belonged to Amnon and she is carrying it upon her soul and that's what the problem is she's bearing somebody else's shame and some of you were abused as children, the shame that you bear is not yours. It is your parents saying your babysitters shame your uncles shame. Whoever it was, is not your shame. That's why when I hope you get rid of that shame. So God says what I'm going to do is to give her a garland.
By the way, if you don't deal with the unhealthy shame I can tell some things about you. You're a very defensive person, you may be a very angry person when somebody points out a wrong in your life. You know you're all there to defend yourself because you were brought up possibly in a shame-based home, and therefore you fear exposure. You fear that people will somehow find out who you really are and soul. Your defenses are up and that's why I might put it in a very pretty way you are very very difficult to live with but think that you are just fine, thank you very much how it right so that's what happens when we don't deal with the shame, and then God says not only ashes are exchanged for a garland, but the morning.
The morning because of the past is exchanged for joy. It says right here, the joy of gladness and the oil of gladness. You never went to a funeral wearing oil. Oil was for the festive events it was putting on your best cologne and going and God says that's what I want you to think of yourself no longer defined by morning and being desolate and saying oh you know I'm condemned for the rest of my life yet will talk about the fact that you might be to some extent but on the other hand, God is going to rebuild your soul. You don't have to stay where you are at. You really don't have to. Jesus defines his mission as the rebuilding of the soul and ministering to the brokenhearted and then notice. Next, it says, also garments of praise instead of a faint spirit. You are weary it says in Zephaniah I will take away your shame and I will give you praise on your lips and by the way praise is very essential to your recovery now has. I begin to summarize this and apply it to your life. Let me begin by saying that there are some some wounds that people bear that will never really be healed, until heaven and you need to accept that one day I was in this restaurant and there was a woman with a very prominent tattoo on her arm and because we had connected in and seen each other. I thought it was appropriate for me to ask her what that was all about and then she said this she said that was done by my ex-boyfriend. He was an alcoholic and an abuser and she says I am now married happily to a good man but she said I can't get rid of it because it was deeply burned into my skin and she says I wish I could get rid of it but I can't reminded of the past. Every single day. Some of you have a tattoo on your soul. Last week when we gave an invitation.
We had many of you, and I woman said to me, how do you deal with it when you look into the mirror every day in our reminding of your past and I believe it was the father who abused her and then she said her brother who has who has the scars on his body. Because the whippings that he received and so every time he showers his reminded yeah it's a tattoo is in that there are some things that will not really be healed until heaven.
But here's the good news you don't have to wait until your quote fully healed or wait until heaven. In order for God to use you mightily. I was so blessed last week when a couple came forward both of them.
The been abused in their youth and now studying for the ministry asking the question, can God really use us the answer is, can God use you.
God can bless you mightily he can use you in ways that some of us who've never been abused know nothing about lesson. Don't be so focused on your quote healing that you think that there is no hope for you to function and be a blessing unless everything is taken care of. Some tattoos will remain and and Jesus will take care of them effect in heaven will even see his wounds to won't way the Bible says that John says I saw were as it were, a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the earth.
He will have nail prints he will have wounds, but they will not be open wounds. They will be scars because scars signify that healing has taken place and that's my desire for you that your wound might not be open that your wound might be turned into scars. You may still remember it, but it's no longer who you are now the question is how do we apply this to our lives.
I think that the answer is really a better fuller understanding of the cross of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ died on the cross and that was a substitute for us and the Bible says he has borne our weaknesses and he has carried our sorrows. He carried our sorrows, so I want you to visualize for a moment that just like you might be bearing somebody else's shame Jesus actually bore your shame fact, the Bible says that Hebrews chapter 12 verse two for the joy that was set before him, despising the shame, sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus said, I endured your your shame. Stop carrying it anymore receive the healing and the forgiveness that goes down to the depths of your soul so that you know you don't have to walk around with a big word. Shame on your four head like Jesus deliver you in the past I've quoted Rodney Clapp, who is speaking about Jesus Christ ability to rid us of shame said does shame bind us.
Jesus was bound does shame destroy our reputation. He is despised and rejected of men does shame reduces to silence. He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth does shame expose our apparent weakness.
Bible says he saved others that people mocked him. He saved others, he cannot save himself the shame lead to abandonment Jesus took our abandonment. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me does shame diminish us, he was crucified naked and exposed to gawkers. Jesus took your shame, you don't need to be where you are at, except that so we have to understand the cross is a substitution Jesus said, I bore shame to in your shame was included in that receive it from me, but you have to come with a heart that is open to grace if you're not open to God's grace. Unfortunately, like Kmart probably did you'll just barrier shame until you die and your past will not be redeemed now. Hi promised a word to those who are abusers as well as to those of us who aren't, but who are also sinners to see if you've been abused.
You have your own sin to take care of because most people when send against sin in return.
We are all really seriously broken. So what is the answer to the person out there who's listening. Who says there's no hope for me years ago I told you the story of true story because were on the radio. There are many prisoners who listen to us throughout the country and a prisoner wrote to me and said I have raped for women.
He said there is nothing that I can ever do toward their healing and I have to live with that and then he said, can I also be forgiven. That's a good question for any abuser to ask and even those of you who aren't abusers we should all be asking the older I get, the more amazed I am that we are all sinners, right down to the depths of our deceitful hearts can we be forgiven. While I wrote back and said I want you to visualize two trails. One trail is muddy with deep ruts that go into the ditch. You look at the trail. It is ugly. That's the only word that comes to mind. Just a mass then you look at another trail and it is very well traveled, neat may be little flowers along the path and it is a beautiful trail because it's made by somebody who grew up in a nice home, never had any abuse worst thing he ever did was to wrap his golf club around the tree when things didn't go well and that's about it. Nice path and both of us need if were going to come into God's presence, whether you belong to that trailer this one or something in between.
We all need the righteousness of Christ.
So I said to him visualize those two trails and then visualize 8 inches of snow that covers both of them equally. If it flew over the area. You couldn't tell the difference between this trail and that trail because both come under the beautiful blanket of snow, which represents the righteousness of Christ. David, who lived his life as an adult for all the tears in the world could never bring Bev Siva's husband back to life. All the tears in the world could never restore her purity after what he done, but he said wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. I never understood that until somebody explained that you can take a bucket of the clearest snow and melted, and there's a little residue at the bottom because even pure snow is not really pure snow. The righteousness of Jesus Christ covers it, and you receive it and David said, blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven into sin is covered. You have not sinned too much for God to forgive you now, having said that, that doesn't mean that all that you need to do is come to Jesus, receive his righteousness if you're in an abusive kind of person you're gonna need help because the forgiveness of God is different than the deliverance of God, and you need to go for help, don't keep doing what you are doing.
Don't go for help disable that might cost me something. Hey, it's better to have that cost you something than to be ruining lives that may never recover. David send in recovered his kids send and never recovered windows with the pastor had committed adultery, and therefore had to leave the ministry and he put on in the radio program.
Those beautiful words of the David Moyer likes to sing Calvary covers it all. My past with its sin and staying we could say shame my guilt and despair. Jesus took on him. There Calvary covers it all. God's grace is big enough for you, no matter who you are now I've been thinking about Kmart this past week and just this morning, an idea came to me even though she didn't live at a time when she had the New Testament. Obviously she didn't have the profits. I don't know whether or not she had any access to her famous father's songs you know, I can imagine them. Maybe what happened is tame our state. If my dad wasn't there for me. I'm going I hate my dad and I'm going to hate is God just like many young people. Did you know they are brought up in a Christian home. Their parents were very very unchristian. They say I hate them. And I'm going to hate their God, and I'm gonna go the other direction God's grace cannot enter your heart if that's what you're thinking, but I began to use my imagination and thought to myself what is tame our head access to her father's songs. Maybe she would have come across these verses and if she had prayed them.
She had been on her way to emotional and spiritual healing. Let not the flood to sweep over me or the deep swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me answer me oh Lord, for your steadfast love is good according to your abundant mercy turned to me and not your face from your servant, for I am in distress, make haste to answer me drawn near to my soul redeemed me ransom me because of my enemies. Oh God.
You know my reproach and my shame and my dishonor my foes are all known to you reproaches have broken my spirit so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none. For comforters, but I found none and then a few verses later, I am afflicted and in pain. Let your salvation old God set me on nine and then the next verse I will sing praise to the name of God with a song I will magnify him with thanksgiving. I will please the Lord more than sacrifices when the humble see if they will be glad you who seek God, let your heart revive for the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
She might have read her father's solemn dad wasn't there for me but he sure knew how to write and that would've healed tame ours soul. God is there for you. Jesus died so that you don't have to be captive and a prisoner, would you bow with me as we pray father. Today we think of all the little girls that have been abuse that are being abused. The little boys teenagers, the wives and the husbands father. We blush for our iniquities and our sins help us to remember that Amnon also was a man.
Same kind of man that we are, but he was off the track, would you bring healing and hope to all those who would listen to this message and over and above the words, may your Holy Spirit be sent to each heart to bring healing and hope and restoration and may you redeem many stories for your honor and glory.
We ask in Jesus name, amen, amen on today's Moody Church. Our Dr. Erwin Lutzer spoke on. Let God redeem your story. The second of three messages on overcoming the pain of sexual abuse next week. Join us for part three. You may know someone who could benefit from this life-changing series of messages all three parts of what God redeem your story can be yours on CD for a gift of any amount that The Moody Church. Our call 1-800-215-5001.
Let us know you'd like to support Dr. Luther's ministry. Our thank you CD album with three messages might shed light into the life of someone you know who is hurting, call 1-800-215-5001 or you can write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moody offer all one word.com join us next week for another Moody Church. Our with Dr. Erwin Lutzer and the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago