Exodus and Freedom from Abuse
This post has been written by one of our readers — Still Scared (but getting angry).
I have often asked for prayer and specifically asked people not to pray for my abusive ex-husband, nor tell me they are praying for him. I have gotten the impression from some people — and sometimes been told outright — that I am wrong to make this request and am being ungodly and harsh. Let us look at what God thinks.
The Israelites were in a place the kids and I were.
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. (Exodus 2:21-25 NIV)
The kids and I were groaning; we did not recognize our slavery but we knew we were extremely burdened and as we started to get free we saw what freedom was and longed for it. Things got even harder as we pursued freedom. Some people said it was because God wanted the family to stay together. That the trials were Godʼs will for us. Funny, because in Exodus that is not what God says. Read chapter 5. They asked for freedom and were oppressed even more and God answers:
Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. Because of My mighty hand, he will let them go. Because of My mighty hand, he will drive them out of his country. (6:1)
I had other people telling me over and over again that I needed to “improve my communication” and then my ex would suddenly understand and change. In Exodus, Moses went repeatedly to Pharaoh and God brought different kinds of plagues (different ways to communicate) and yet we read repeatedly that Pharaoh
did not take even this to heart (7:23b)
When Pharaoh saw that there was relief he hardened his heart and would not listen (8:15)
But Pharaohʼs heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said (8:19)
Sometimes in the path of freedom from my abusive husband, some plague/discomfort would affect him enough that he would say he was sorry, and I had many counselors jump onto that bandwagon: “See he is sorry, you have to forgive him and accept him back.” Ummm, really, thatʼs not what God said. In fact in Exodus it records Pharaoh doing the same thing: “This time I have sinned.” (9:27) Please note he is apologizing for a one time thing, not recognizing a pattern of oppressive behavior. So, the plague is stopped, the sin is forgiven; is there true repentance and change?
When Pharaoh saw the rain and hail and thunder had stopped he sinned again. He and his officials hardened their hearts. So Pharaohʼs heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses. (9:34-35)
Some people claim that this story cannot be compared to my marriage because of course God sanctioned my marriage and I should not break that covenant. God sanctioned the connection between Israel and Egypt.
“I am God, the God of your father, Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you and I will surely bring you back again.” (Genesis 46:3-4; read further Genesis 45:5-7 and 50:19-20)
God called the Israelites out of slavery into the promised land. He guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. And still Pharaoh tries to pursue them and take them back, not out of love but loss of control.
“What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services” (Exodus 14:5b)
I am at a place right now where I feel that I am out, gaining freedom, following in obedience to the Lord and yet my ex still has horses and riders and is pursuing me. I know the Lord will open the Red Sea and allow me to walk on dry land but the army is close and I am weary of the constant pursuit. Please join me in prayer that the horse and rider may finally be hurled into the sea.
He is my God and I will praise Him, My Fatherʼs God and I will Exalt Him.
The Lord is a warrior, the Lord is His name.
Pharaohʼs chariots and his army He has hurled into the sea. (15:2b-4a)