The Bible is not silent about rape. The accounts of sexual assault against women/girls are heartbreaking, even gruesome. God speaks clearly about this sin and how it should be dealt with in the Old Testament…Some of these accounts lead to civil war.
The New Testament brings our ability to forgive into perspective, join me as we explore what God says…
Genesis 34:2 : clearly tells us in these words “And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay (shakab) with her, and defiled (anah) her.” The Hebrew word “shakab” means to have sexual connection, ravish. Hebrew word “anah” means to defile, force, deal hardly, violent. Consequence to this was Dinah’s brothers killed Shechem. (God’s law or justice for this is death in the old testament.)
In Judges 19-21 we find an unnamed concubine or maidservant was gang-raped and left for dead by the men in the tribe of Benjamin, the other tribes went to war to defend her honor and seek justice after hearing of this heinous act. Judges 19: 25 “But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.”
In prior verses the group that raped her originally ask to have her master ( a male) to assault, however the man who had offer them shelter for the night offered his daughter and the maidservant to them.
After Tamar was raped by her half-brother, Amon, her brother Absalom killed him, and this started a rebellion against his father, King David this incident is found in 2 Samuel 13.
Scripture clearly tells us that cases of rape are to be heard and the victims MUST be protected. Throughout the Old Testament there are different scenarios of sexual assault which clearly define guilt and justice. In each of these cases, the victim is protected and the violator is punished. Rape is an exploitation of all that God designed when He created male and female. From the very beginning, He intended for “women/females” to be protected and valued. Humans of any age that are victims of sexual assaulted should be considered an assault against God’s grand design…an assault on Eden. One day every wrong committed against His children will be righted by a justice-keeping God.
Restoration for Victims is Found in God through Forgiveness
Matthew 18:23-35 tells us that if we do not forgive people, we get turned over to the torturers. It’s torture to have hateful thoughts toward another person rolling around inside your head. Your fellowship with God flows freely when you’re willing to forgive, but it gets blocked by unforgiveness. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 God tells us the one who forgives He also forgives…Forgiveness also keeps Satan from getting an advantage over us, Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger or give the devil any such foothold or opportunity. Remember that the devil must have a foothold before he can get a stronghold. Do not help Satan torture you. Began your journey to forgiveness without delay. Not just in words but seek God’s peace through His Word. Unforgiveness is like a poison…Who does forgiving help most? Who does it bring healing to? I know you are thinking “but you don’t understand”, “you don’t know”, “this is unfair”, “I don’t want to help the them”…so the poison grows and devours your thoughts and even your physical health.
We must release the other person to God so that He can do what only He can do. If you are in the way…trying to take revenge or take control of the situation…God has no obligation to deal with that person.
When we trust God and choose to forgive, He will take care of the rest.
The act of forgiving is our seed of obedience to His Word. Once we are sowing our seed, He is faithful to bring a harvest of the peace you so desperately need to put whatever has happened behind you where it no longer has power over you. Those nightmares, anxiety, depression and so called PTSD are symptoms of the poison spreading in you. You need to stop asking why, trying to understand why a person does something is not as important as knowing that God wants to redeem and restore them…and you!
Mark 11:22-26 clearly teaches us that unforgiveness hinders our faith from working. The Father can’t forgive our sins if we don’t forgive other people. We reap what we sow. Sow mercy, and you’ll reap mercy; sow judgment, and you’ll reap judgment. So do yourself a favor—and forgive.
OK, So how then do I Forgive?
Joyce Meyers says that she asked God during a time she was struggling with forgiveness and God replied “Because you aren’t obeying what I tell you to do in my Word. The answers to forgiveness are found there.”
Decide – You will never forgive if you wait until you feel like it. Choose to obey GOD, Matthew 6:12-14 says steadfastly resist the devil in his attempts to poison you with bitter thoughts. Make a quality decision to forgive, and God will heal your wounded emotions it takes time, have patience. Dwell in God and His Word not in those bitter memories.
Depend – You cannot forgive without the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s too hard to do on your own. If you are truly willing, God will enable you, but you must humble yourself and cry out to Him for help.
In John 20:22-23 Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!” His next instruction was about forgiving people. Ask God to breathe the Holy Spirit on you so you can forgive those who’ve hurt you.
Obey – The Word tells us several things we’re to do concerning forgiving our enemies:
Luke 6:27-28 Pray for your enemies and those who abuse and misuse you. Pray for their salvation, that God might forgive them and that they might be redeemed through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The devil has lied to them so they need a revelation by God. Romans 12:14 …“Bless and do not curse them”. In the Greek to “bless” means “to speak well of” and “to curse” means “to speak evil of.” You can’t walk in forgiveness if you use your mouth to curse or gossip. Proverbs 18:21 says you will eat it’s fruit. You can’t get over it if you continue to talk about it.
Finally, you MUST forgive freely! Matthew 10:8 says “freely you have received, freely give.” To Forgive means “to pardon, cancel, and bestow favor unconditionally. What bestowing favor means to me is continued prayer for them.
Finally, get rid of all poison that comes from bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. And remember Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance…for out of it flow the springs of life.” Our Heavenly Father sees and knows all that has happened to you, believe me when I say He wept when He saw what trauma you have suffered. He wants to heal you physically and spiritually. Remember you position in His Kingdom, you are His child valued and loved…restoration is coming.
Jesus wants to wash you in the water of God’s Word allow Him to do that TODAY!
This word was spoken to a group of women in crisis who I am privileged to minister to on a weekly basis, many of them victims of abuse, human trafficking and addiction. Jesus is bringing them freedom and restoring all the devil has taken in their lives. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness that you never give up and you keep pursuing us.
Thank you to Joyce Meyers for her insight on forgiveness and also to Katie McCoy for her research on what God says about sexual assault.