A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

A Suggestion About Why the Lord Waits to Bring Justice

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

***

Psalms 20:6-9
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.  Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.  O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call.

The Psalms are filled with prayers from the oppressed, pleading with the Lord to hear them, see their plight, and to judge their oppressors. Some of those Psalms also praise the Lord for answering those prayers and rescuing His people out of their trouble. In our troubles, many of us have seen answers to our prayers for help. Some of us have seen those answers come in some pretty powerful and glorious ways.  And yet….  So many times the Lord does not seem to hear or see what the evil man is doing to us. Some of you have expressed those feelings here on this blog in your comments, and we understand. Where is the Lord? Why doesn’t he strike down the wicked man? How can he allow these things to happen?

Recently I was discussing this very thing with an abuse survivor. The wickedness of her abuser has continued over decades of time and though she is now away from him, he still does what he can to make her suffer. Why? Here is what she said and I think it is a really helpful and incredible insight:

I think that the Lord reserves them for punishment. Emphasis on reserves. Maybe He’s so ticked off He wants to do this face to face so they know Who they crossed.

We see this idea of the wicked being reserved for the Lord’s wrath in numbers of Scriptures:

Romans 2:5
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

2 Peter 2:17
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.

Jude 1:12-15
These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Storing up wrath. Reserved for gloom and darkness forever. That is Christ’s message to all abusers. The King is coming with ten thousands of his holy troops. This heavenly army is coming like a nuclear missile laser-guided so it cannot miss. The wicked, if they would hear Christ’s words, should hear the thunder of the hooves even now. He is coming, wicked one! And he is coming for you! Your name is in his book and he has a place with your name on it reserved just for you in a place so horrible it cannot be described. You will never come out of there. Never.

It appears then, you see, that Christ has heard our prayers after all  and that He is acting.

And then there is this one final, incredible fact that we must be certain to announce. This same King whose wrath is against you, abuser, is also telling you that if you will truly repent of your evil and plead with Christ for mercy, He will give it. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? That the very One who is riding down upon you even now to destroy you, is the One who has made a way for you to be saved from Him!

Psalms 2:10-12
Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

32 Comments

  1. Still Scared( but getting angry)

    Thank you. I needed this hope today!

  2. This is the only comfort and consolation I have for the abuser ‘husband’ and his abusive mother. The Day is coming. Until then, I wait for the day that the Lord will give me to escape from this earthly hell.

  3. “I think that the Lord reserves them for punishment. Emphasis on reserves. Maybe He’s so ticked off He wants to do this face to face so they know Who they crossed.”

    What a thought!

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      I know!! Right!! Scary thought but hopeful too.

  4. MeganC

    Jeff . . . I cannot tell you how encouraging this is/was today. Thank you.

  5. That will be my new response when my ex tries to play a game with me over visitation – “you’re storing up wrath for yourself but whatever.”
    🙂

    • MeganC

      Haha! I love it, Katy. 🙂

    • Hitting the LIKE button here, Katy 🙂

  6. Deborah

    I wish so much that I could find comfort in this. But my kids are still in it half time. What good is reserving wrath doing for them every day that they have to be with my/their abuser? If I were out and my kids were out and I could know no one else could be affected by his poison, I would be comforted in knowing that God wants to reserve judgement….but what is the reason God is waiting when He can plainly see that my kids are being damaged every day and I can’t get them out? Where is the Justice for my kids?? I’m sorry. This is very, very hard for me….

    • UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

      ***

      Deborah . . . I hear you. And I think Jeff does, and all the others who read this blog. It is unjust right now, and the kids suffer and we don’t know the reason God lets this happen in your case, or in others cases like yours. Or in cases where the abuser gets full custody. [~shiver~]

      • Deborah

        Thanks Barbara…I am sorry I came on so strong-probably too strong. I think Jeff is probably right about why God often chooses to wait. I just can’t understand that in the case of children. And because it hit home really hard, I got really emotional and protective really fast. I wrestle with God hard on this topic and I haven’t found peace with it. I don’t think I really ever will, until my kids are safe. Anyway, I am sorry I came on so strong.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Deborah – No apologies necessary. Nope. Of course we all come on pretty strong when it comes to these issues of abuse we address here. And when they affect our children, that takes things up several more notches.

      • Deborah, there is NO need to aplogise. We understand. A mom trying to protect her kids from an abuser is a fierce momma bear! And that’s the way it should be 🙂 🙂

    • Laurie

      Deborah, it is VERY difficult to sort this stuff into the proper buckets. If it helps, I learned this one thing years ago: Our God is very long suffering, patient beyond belief. If He were not, then existence would have stopped in the Garden. But as Peter says, it is for salvation that He is so long suffering…and I think that that means being saved from or for something. Without His patience we would have no hope and patience is an attribute of love.

      Now the thing: God holds back His hand, letting the cup of His wrath and indignation be filled continually by those who reject His truth…which they prove by their actions, not their words. That cup is gonna dump one day, either the abuser truly repents and the cup of wrath is allotted to Christ Jesus OR the cup dumps down their own gullets and they are FORCED to drink every drop (Revelation).

      How does this help? It relieves you of any responsibility of retribution, that either being the requirement to bring correction OR the guilt of being the instrument through which God DOES bring correction. On the day that my ex lost custody of the children in a court of law, at that very hour, his mother died. (A most excellent woman, I might add. I really loved her.) Just two days before our divorce hearing in court, his father died. I could feel very guilty by these outcomes. (I started the proceedings, upon hearing his threats to divorce me. I am the one that inked them in.) And just think of what religious people are saying of me. This one actually is as hard to bear as NOT being able to bring correction. I hope that you can understand. One is restraining your own hand, the other is fighting the invisible monster of guilt when catastrophes collide and you seem to be the one turning the crank on it.

      Let go, let God: we have heard this before. But think; the One Who hung the stars in the sky and loves us so deeply He would come to His creation and die for it, yeah, I think He can do this thing. But it will be in His timing, which we know is perfect.

      • Laurie

        Oh, Deborah, one more thing: God will also be very thorough.

      • Deborah

        Thank you for this. I think letting go and letting God is the only thing I really can do right now. Right now, the choice is out of my capacity to make. All I can do is teach them truth, give them protective behaviors, comfort them when their wounds sting and hold them up in deep prayer. I don’t get why God is walking them through this pain, but I have to learn to trust that there is a reason He is allowing it. That’s the hard part. That’s harder for me than trying to understand why the abuser is allowed to get away with his abuse.

      • Laurie . . . t.h.a.n.k.y.o.u.

  7. IamMyBeloved's

    Well, I guess you knew I needed that. That was really helpful. I have not thought about that God would wait for that reason. Interesting.

  8. Marcie

    Thank you for this post today.

  9. Carmen S.

    Deborah,
    There’s no limit to the number of times you can tell a hurting friend, “I’m so sorry.” (((hugs)))

    “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” ( Martin Luther) It’s your strongest weapon…and your words are going straight to His throne.

    Never forget you are on your Father’s ground as long as you are here on earth! Take this one day at a time. That’s biblical…there’s enough trouble for today. ( Having strong emotions is fine….you’d be a little weird if you didn’t, right?) Or take it hour by hour. Praying for you and the kids. Keep us updated, okay?

  10. amary

    Amen! Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus! He is coming soon!

    ps – just wanted to say thanks for your wonderful site… after a 2-year stint with a certifiable predatory abuser boss, the first thing I thought after reading the stories here was about suicide, and how I probably would have if I’d had to live with my abuser. I am glad each of you has found your way here, and may the Lord continue to guide, protect and bless you.

  11. Deborah–

    This may not help at all but, I hear you. Mine were raised in hell. I didn’t leave until the youngest was 16. I struggle, sometimes daily, with whether I did the right thing in staying. There is just no answer to that question.

    My kids have scars and wounds that no one can imagine– except for those of us here who’ve lived through this. Even though they are all grown now, I still weep for them and the pain they carry, wishing I could somehow make it better. Good grief! I’m crying now here at work just thinking about it! Only a parent understands I guess.

    But that is when I remember that God *is* a parent. He is ours. He weeps for us and the wounds we carry.

    He has promised His children victory. Restoration. A new life living with Him eternally where there will *be* no more tears, no more sorrow. Justice. And, seeing vengeance against our enemies if they refuse to repent.

    Furthermore, He promised to be the father to the fatherless. If He is a good God, then He hurts much more than I ever will for my children and *that* is an amazing revelation because sometimes, I do not think anyone could hurt this much and live.

    God does not interfere with free will. If someone is determined to hurt someone else, they generally find a way. This crap is not going to end for good until He returns to set things straight and, during that space, we *all* are given the time to repent and heal and grow in the Lord and in the knowledge of Him.

    The promise I cling to now for my children is this one– that God can and will use these wounds to make my children strong. I pray He will turn them into warriors, not the cowering victims that the enemy has tried to make them. I believe that the Almighty will restore what the enemy has stolen from them. That He will finish the good work He’s begun in each of my kids, just as He is finishing His work in me. And furthermore, that the Lord will take all these things that the enemy meant for evil and will turn them into good.

    That doesn’t help one bit on the days I’m on the floor, beside myself with grief.

    Fortunately, with time, those days are fewer and farther apart. I have no doubt that God is good and the enemy is very, very bad.

    “I know Whom I have believed and I’m persuaded that He is faithful to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”

    • Deborah

      This helps tremendously Ida Mae. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I need all of it I can get right now. I am going to try hard to focus on God using this to build my kids into stronger warriors for Him. God rescue my children and redeem them. Break down any barriers that may try to come between you and them. Bring them beauty for the ashes of pain they are experiencing now.

  12. Just another thought from the trenches:

    Please don’t think I’m trying to throw you the Christian party-line. You know the drill–Have Faith! Believe God! Trust and Obey! The last thing I’d ever want to do is make another crying Mom feel small because she doesn’t understand.

    For what it’s worth–

    I hurt, I struggle, I cry. I wonder if God abandoned me during those thirty years. I wonder where He was on those darkest nights and, when the hurricane hits again, I’m usually positive that God is nowhere around. I still wonder if He forgets that I’m down here fighting the quicksand of regret and pain, not to mention all these new wounds the enemy piles on when he suspects he’s got an opening and takes another cheap shot, one more time, just for fun.

    There’s so much in the scripture about overcoming and this is where I believe we will see the battle won for our children. It’s not quick or painless and it hurts like murder. We struggle through ourselves first so we can show our kids the way. We model victory by showing the courage to believe, to get up another day, to find new paths, to start over. We fight through bitterness and regret but we always tell the truth in love about what happened. We tell our kids how strong they are, how proud of them we are, we find the good and tend that and watch it grow. We tell them we believe in them and in their potential to overcome adversity and move on to help others. But it takes time.

    We have to face those doubts and fears, struggle with God like Jacob and his angel, and come through on the other side.To get there requires honesty before God and man which is what you showed in posting to this thread.

    Thank you for your willingness to share!

    • Beautiful.
      Thank you Ida Mae.

    • anonymous

      I needed this so much right now. thank you

  13. Laurie

    Ida Mae, the problem with the “party-line” is that truth has been turned into a catch-phrase that is used to bolster the “do-gooder” into feeling like they did something for Jesus. Like “be filled and warmed” and not GIVING those things that help the one in need. Your comment is poignant and very appropriate. I, too, have and do cry for the fallout that has come from waiting too long. I heard a preacher say once, “God doesn’t have a second best will for you. So no matter what your mistakes, God will fulfill His best in you. The mistakes make it harder or take more time, but He has no second-best will for you.”

    And so we rest.

  14. arwen2002

    Deborah, Laurie, Ida Mae, I just have to say THANK YOU!!! The things all of you have said have been TREMENDOUSLY helpful to me today. I’ve never been and probably never will be married, so I cannot entirely relate to what you’re going through as a mother, Deborah, but I cannot thank you enough for your honesty! I’m with everybody else that has said to you to PLEASE NOT APOLOGIZE for your post! I for one think it’s an EXCELLENT witness should any unbelievers be surfing the Internet and come across this page one day. Right on about all the Christian party-line jazz! So often, although people mean well when they say it, I think we can all pretty much tell how fake it all sounds, and if the party-liners think they’re fooling unbelievers, they can think again! It’s probably so much of the party-line stuff that turns a lot of unbelievers off to Christianity. But what you said in your great courage, Deborah, THAT IS REAL CHRISTIANITY. It is REAL. It is NOT FAKE. EVERY Christian goes through times that are unbelievably dark and painful and every single one of us struggles with doubts that God really cares all that much about us. EVERY SINGLE ONE. I think it could probably be a healthy thing, in fact, for unbelievers to see this and for them to see that just because we’re saved DOES NOT mean that Jesus just magically comes in and solves all our problems for us and that we’ve got perfect lives all the time. Maybe it could really advance the Kingdom, in fact, if more unbelievers could see that true believers are not afraid of being honest, PAINFULLY HONEST, with both God and themselves.

    But dear Deborah, while I cannot entirely understand what you’re going through, take it from a person who grew up in a house with an abusive, hateful, and neglectful parent. The hatred for me that the woman who gave birth to me had in her heart devastated me to such a point that I was suicidal in my early teens. My father always did love me, but yet, he had neither the guts nor the will to leave her and to merely even ATTEMPT to get me out of that devastating situation. HE KNEW I was ABSOLUTELY DYING inside AND THAT IT WAS HIS WIFE’S HATRED FOR ME THAT WAS KILLING ME, yet HE DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It’s obvious that you would do ANYTHING to get your children out of such a toxic, abusive environment. I certainly cannot say that for my father, and to this day, that hurts me like the lowest pit of hell. At least you love your children enough to have the DESIRE to want to get them into a healthier and more loving environment. I think that as long as that desire in you is there and that you make it clear to your children that it is there, and as long as they know that you WOULD get them out of there IF YOU POSSIBLY COULD, that knowledge of your honest and courageous and strong love for them will indeed make this truly unbelievable burden of abuse at least SOMEWHAT easier for them to carry, and will make it less painful. Take it from someone who knows. If you cared more about your marriage than about the welfare of your children as my father did, their pain would be MILLIONS of times worse than it is now. At least they can take comfort, REAL COMFORT, in having ONE parent who is willing to at least TRY to do something about their being abused. I sure wish I could say that.

    • Anonymous

      I’m reading this more than two years from the time it was written but I’m so grateful for all the comments! I loved Jeff’s post and as I started to read the responses to it, Deborah’s broke my heart! I was so grateful for the replies to her and this last one by Arwen2002 was the icing on the cake. It’s what I love about this website–that things build on each other and our experiences and trials are so often what God uses to comfort his other children.

      A quote from Corrie Ten Boom, “This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

      Sometimes when I’m breaking down over the latest trial I’m being unwillingly dragged through, this is what gets me through–the thought that God will use it to help someone else. I’m grateful for all those who share here on ACFJ–I need you!

  15. Came alongside

    Our pastor taught last year how the delay of what we consider the Lord’s justice also can be an expression of God’s perfect timing, a foreshadowing of the winnowing at the 2nd coming, by not pulling up the tares–at this point in time–because good, but tender, immature wheat would be pulled up at the same time. He can see what we can’t. The sermon was a great comfort to victims who have been crying out for the justice promised in the Word.

  16. Curly

    It’s so hard to wait. The abuser has a murderous heart, was evil and continues to be evil. But it looks like the Lord is blessing this abusers life with material blessings. How??? Why??? This person deserves nothing but yet is living their life like a normal functioning human being. It’s very hard to watch.

    • Yes, it is hard to watch.

      Why does the Lord seem to bless a wicked abuser? One answer that comes to mind is this. In several places the Bible talks about how, in this temporal life, God sometimes/often lets the wicked go on doing wickedness… and all the time the wicked are heaping up more and more sins which they will be punished for at the end. It’s as if God in His providence has ordained that many of the most evil haters of God — the murderous hearted liars, the abusers — will live the high life of luxury in this life with seemingly no chastisement, but all that is ordained by God so that those abusers will eternally endure more intense vengeance from God at the end.

      I see this concept alluded to in the following passages:

      (Genesis 15) 12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”

      (Matthew 23) 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

      (1 Thessalians chapter 2) 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.

      You might also like to read this sermon by Spurgeon: Filling up the Measure of Iniquity

      And this sermon by Jonathan Edwards: When the wicked have filled up the measure of their sins

      And this post on our blog, which is tangentially related to your comment:
      https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2017/03/27/truth-torments-the-wicked-insight-into-an-abusers-mind-and-the-real-nature-of-his-tears/

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