A Cry For Justice

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

Before the Evil Days Come — part 14 of Ecclesiastes sermon series by Ps Sam Powell

Before the Evil Days Come
Ecclesiastes 11:1 – 12:8 (KJV)
Ps Sam Powell

Chapter 11 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:

But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

Chapter 12 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

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Listen to the sermon by clicking on the link above.

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The Abuser Hooked her in Bible College, deceived her, married her, abused her: Dying Star’s story Part 1

She was a genuine Christian honestly wanting to serve the Lord, only to have her nightmare begin in a place she thought would surely be safe. This is part one of three parts in which “Dying Star” will tell us all the stories of how abusers deceived her.

I don’t know it yet, but I’m about to enter into my first abusive marriage. I am just 18 years old. I have just started college at a small, conservative, Southern Baptist Bible college close to my hometown. I was born and raised in a Christian home by kind, loving Christian parents. I watched my parents have an amazing marriage and that’s what I want for my life, too. Divorce will forever be out of the question. No, I’m going to find my prince charming, get married, and live happily ever after.

Marty sweeps me off my feet just five months after I begin college. He says all the right things. I mean, wow! This guy is crazy about me. I’m 18, he’s 24. He is in seminary, working on his master’s degree. He wants to be a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. I admire him for his courage, passion, and willingness to share the gospel. He asks me to be official with an elaborate display of candles, flowers, and glittering gemstones. Within a week, he is talking about marriage. Within 3 weeks, we combine our bank accounts. In 6 months, he proposes to me by having an airplane tow a banner in the sky for all to see. He loves me. I’ve found my happy ever after.

We marry. I’m barely 20. I stay in college and work toward my four year degree as he continues his master’s. Things quickly change after we say, “I Do.” Marty has the shortest fuse I think I have ever seen. He goes off like a loose cannon at the slightest annoyance, and I never know when it will be or what will set him off. I went shopping with my mother. I spent $15.00 on clothes. Only $15.00. I come home, eager to show my new husband the outfits I got at a bargain price. He flies into a rage, screaming at me, telling me that I am “ruining his life” by spending money. Then, he grabs several $1 bills, rips them in half, and staples them next to every light switch in the house. He tells me I need to remember to turn off all the lights when I leave a room, that way I won’t be spending “his” money, although we both work.

Months pass. Things do not change. Marty likes to flirt with the female employees he works with, and it shows. He talks about their bodies to me as though it’s normal. He tells me that I need to practice being submissive to him. He severely beats my puppy for chewing a hole in the comforter and throws her down the stairs, resulting in her making noises I’ve never heard a dog make in my life.

He forces me to watch him view pornography so I will get over my fear of it, and all the while, tells me he can do it without sinning. He even refers to some of the pictures on the computer screen as “beautiful” or “like artwork.” He is a youth pastor on Sundays, and I have to sit in church with a fake smile plastered on my face while he preaches “the Word” to the teens at the church. They all look up to him and simply adore him. They have no idea what I deal with at home. He is an elaborate speaker. His guest sermons at the church are very capturing and everyone loves to hear him speak. People tell me how lucky I am to have him as a husband. If only they knew.

He drives violently when he is angry. It scares me. I ask him to slow the car down, and he only speeds up. Finally, one day, I tell him I think I want to leave. He goes into a rage. He tells me if he can’t have me, nobody can, and that he will crash the car and kill both of us. He gets the car up to about 90 miles per hour and spins it in the middle of the road. We end up in a ditch, but thankfully, nobody is hurt. The front bumper is hanging off the car. He looks at me and says how lucky I am that I’m still alive.

We visit a theme park with roller coasters, and I’m looking forward to a fun day. Suddenly, he sees two little girls in bathing suits (around two years old), and he tells me he has to watch himself, because, as he puts it, “any man” can “stumble” over a child. This terrifies me. He also tells me that every man fantasizes about rape. He tells me that when he was younger, he fantasized about raping and killing young girls, and said he even knew where he would bury their bodies. He told me that way, he could have them whenever he wanted.

He puts down my physical appearance. My legs are too big from all my running that I do. I need a tan. My hair needs to be blonde. The list goes on. He even goes as far as to admit to me he is attracted to some of the teenage girls in the youth group and that he has to ask their parents to make them change their clothes so he won’t stumble. I guess he wants me to see how godly he is and how he is supposedly trying to “honor me.” Eventually, he begins to physically show his anger towards me. He pulls my hair and slaps me if I make him angry. Sometimes I lock the door in the spare bedroom to hide from him, and he beats on is so hard that it leaves cracks and holes in the wood. He does this until I break and open the door for him.

Finally, I tell him it’s over. I’m at my parents’ house when I do this. It’s close to his birthday. I didn’t mean for it to be this way. It was just bad timing. He goes out into the yard and sobs and cries. I feel guilt. I feel shame. I’m barely even an adult, and I’m getting divorced. Something must be wrong with me. Maybe I deserved all of this. Maybe I asked for it.

He is now remarried with a baby. He is in ministry. God, please, don’t let him hurt her too.

Don’t miss that last line. HE IS IN MINISTRY! Christian ministry! Ordained. This scenario is in no way uncommon. In fact it is very, very common. I have not kept count of the abuse victims over the years whose abuser was a missionary, a pastor, an elder, or some “holy” pillar of a local church. This cannot be chalked up to naivete on the part of churches, seminaries, missions agencies, and so on. This is a willful blindness for which a great accounting will be given on that Day.

 

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Church discipline in domestic abuse? How do I find a good counselor? Two FAQs

How does church discipline apply in cases of domestic abuse?

How do I find a good counselor?

These are two new pages in our Frequently Asked Questions.  We encourage you to check them out!

All our FAQs are worth looking at, especially if you are relatively new to our blog. You can find them by clicking on FAQ in the top menu.

The Pastor’s Wife — An All too Frequent Ally of the Abuser

I thought that if I went to my pastor’s wife and told her what was really going on in my marriage, she would certainly understand and help me.
After all, she is a woman too.

There are godly women married to pastors. My wife is one. This post is in no way intended to be a blanket condemnation of pastors’ wives. My intent is to talk about a widespread (very widespread) problem in local churches which is hurting many victims of domestic abuse. That problem concerns the pastor’s wife.

If you are the wife of a pastor, you are in a unique position. You may use it for great good, or for great harm. The fact is that the majority of abuse victims we know (and we know many) have not been helped by their pastor’s wife, but just the opposite. They were further oppressed and shamed by the response of one who they thought would understand and help.

The pastor’s wife is…a woman. As such she is going to be seen as a hopeful source of help for other women. It is very intimidating for a woman who is abused to walk into a pastor’s office or into an elder meeting and tell men how her man is really living behind closed doors. We all know how that usually goes: she gets shut down, told she is disrespecting her husband, needs to submit more, look to her own sin, yada, yada, yada. You know the drill.

So she goes to the pastor’s wife.

What happens? Usually, the very same thing. The pastor’s wife repeats the same drill. Only this time the response is even more damaging and hurtful because it is coming from a woman! After all, if a person of the same gender, a person who is also a wife, a person who is the pastor’s wife, says all these accusing things, they must be true, right? The thing smacks of this for the victim:

Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
(Psalms 41:9)

Or this:

For it is not an enemy who taunts me — then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me — then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man[insert “woman” here], my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng. (Psalms 55:12-14)

Pastors’ wives, please hear this. Many of you are doing as much or more to enable wicked abusers and to oppress their victims than men are. Or at least just as much. I am thankful for the occasional exception and I say again I am not denying that some pastor’s wives have been a great help to victims, but those cases are far, far too rare. As a pastor’s wife, you must understand that you can be key to helping or harming in these scenarios. Your words are powerful and must be words of truth, not falsehoods spun by the enemy.

Now, why is it — how can it be — that a woman can enable, justify, minimize, the abuse of another woman? What in the world is happening? Let me suggest some common reasons:

  • The pastor’s wife is an abuse victim herself, but has not admitted it or seen it. It is not at all uncommon for pastors’ wives to contact us (and missionary wives) and reveal that they have been abused by their “saintly” pastor/missionary husband for years and years.
  • The pastor’s wife desires to serve the Lord and she has been duped by the patriarchal climate and theology she is immersed in at her church. She actually thinks that she is speaking for the Lord when she tells the victim to silently submit. She really believes that divorce is the worst sin a woman could ever commit. (NOTE: We here at ACFJ say that divorce for abuse is no sin at all!)
  • The pastor’s wife may well be (and probably is in most cases just like her pastor husband) totally ignorant of the nature and tactics of the abuser. So she gives her counsel, and it is bad, bad counsel. If you don’t know what the problem really is, then you are going to deal out bad medicine (that might just get somebody killed).
  • The pastor’s wife may be a narcissistic, sociopathic abuser herself! Oh yeah. I bet some of you have met just such a “sister in the Lord” in a local church.
  • The pastor’s wife may be functioning as a tool that her pastor husband uses to help keep the women in the church “in their place.”

There are no doubt more reasons than these and I encourage our readers to suggest some more in the comments to this post. Also, please feel free to share your experiences (good and bad) with us here and tell us how a pastor’s wife responded when you went for help.

Recently my wife and I started to watch a movie on Netflix. I don’t remember the title, but I do remember this. We got about ten minutes into it and I told my wife, “Oh man, this is going to be one of those ‘christian’ movies that depict total fiction.” Sure enough, turns out the lead character played the wife of a pastor. She was buzzing around the church, greeting people left and right, holding her own family issues together, making sure to say just the right thing to just the right people at just the right time as they came into the church building. “Did you get that recipe I sent?” “Can I help you get those kids settled down?” “How is your mother doing, I heard she was….”. And on and on she went.

That might sound good to you, but my wife (who tends to be far more patient than me) looked at me and said “I can’t watch this stuff!” We shut it down. Why? Because the thing is a lie. It depicts people and a pastor’s wife who in real life you know full well will never stand for truth, and who will hug, hug, hug an abuse victim and then send her right back into the abuse only in worse shape than before. Guilted. Shamed. “Yep, my work is done here.”

If this all sounds too harsh, too judgmental, too condemning to be true, then I invite you to read the comments that I am sure are going to come in response to this post. Some will recount how a pastor’s wife was a lifeline. But I suspect there will be more who have a horror story to tell. One which is being repeated daily in local churches all over the world.

Pastor’s wife? Listen and learn — and repent as necessary.

 

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Finding a good counselor

Finding a counselor who is competent to counsel victims of abuse can be quite challenging. Some counselors have a good understanding of domestic abuse but many do not.

Catherine DeLoach Lewis is a Christian counselor who was untrained in domestic abuse until—by the providence of God—she woke up. We interviewed her on this blog and she said:

I began my professional counseling career August, 1998. I was working with a married couple and in what came to be our last marriage counseling session, I noticed how close he was sitting to her and how he kept smiling and squeezing her hand. I also noticed how frightened she looked. I knew something was very wrong but I did not know what it was.

The next day I was attending a workshop on domestic violence and substance abuse. During my first break, I called the wife of this couple and said, “I am in a workshop on domestic violence and now I know what is wrong in your marriage. I will not conduct marriage counseling because now I understand you are not safe disclosing your concerns in front of your husband. If you can forgive me, I would love to work with you in individual counseling to help you work on your safety concerns. Would you be willing to work with me individually?” Through her sobbing on the phone, she said yes.

I heard of a psychiatrist who repeatedly told a twice-victimised woman, “Put it behind you; don’t think about it; get on with your life.” This survivor had left two abusive husbands and had many post-traumatic symptoms. At that stage she hadn’t dealt with all her horrific memories: she was getting flash backs, she was easily triggered and she was struggling to deal with many practical aspects of her life. Thanks to the encouragement of other survivors, she eventually joined a survivors’ support group. With astonishment she told me how much that group helped her disentangle and process her memories and recover from the abuse.

It’s naïve to expect that psychologists are more likely to pick up on domestic abuse than psychiatrists. Some evidence suggests that women take longer to leave the abuse situation when they have been seeing psychologists. It would seem that psychological training focuses on individual pathology, couple dynamics and family dynamics, but it doesn’t adequately cover the dynamics of domestic abuse. What a great shame this is! What a terrible hole! If a mental health professional belittles or disregards your domestic abuse experience I encourage you to find a different therapist.

The Codependency Model

While some survivors report that learning about codependency helped them separate from the abuse, we believe the model of codependency can be dangerous. Why? Because it subtly (or not so subtly) blames the victim. The codependency model sees the victim as defective because it assumes or implies that she has an underlying need to surrender her autonomy. When counseling victims of domestic abuse, professionals who use the codependency model can make the error of  expecting an abused woman to readily detach from her partner. And they may not pay enough attention to the first priority in all domestic abuse: safety planning.

If a counsellor subtly blames you for staying in the abuse, complying with the abuse, failing to set boundaries, being ‘avoidant’, loosing yourself in the relationship, being dependent on the abuser, or ‘loving too much,’ that counselor will not be of much help. 

Rather than labelling the victim as codependent, we believe it is far more helpful to elucidate and honour the victim’s responses to the abuse. Wherever there is oppression, the oppressed person resists the oppression. So rather than pathologizing victims by labelling them as codependent, we believe in honoring victims’ resistance.

You can find more articles on codependency at our FAQ page Are abuse victims codependent?

Other marks of an unhelpful counselor

Other unhelpful types of counselors are the kind who comes across so detached and objective that you feel they are critical of your emotions and your indignation about the injustices you have suffered. If they privately interpret your moral outrage as vengefulness, this may come across as subtle disapproval of you. A counselor will be of limited help if he or she cannot or will not support and empathise with your healthy indignation against evil.

Marks of a helpful counselor

A more helpful counselor will help you come out of the fog that the abuser has been pumping out at you from his fog-making machine — his lies, his manipulative tactics, his shifting of the blame onto you, etc. A good counselor will help you find your lost self, like the woman who swept her house carefully until she found her lost coin (Luke 15:8-10). He or she will give you validation by affirming the existence and worth of your ideas, opinions, perceptions, feelings, your styles of behaving, and your aspirations, hopes and dreams. And of course, if you have been brainwashed into believing the false thinking of the abuser and false teachings of churchianity, a good counselor will help you identify and reject the false stuff, and cling to the truth. 

A good counselor will do more than just affirm “you have been in abusive relationship.” He or she will help you identify the techniques of abuse used by your abuser so you can see what’s been done to you and how you have responded and resisted. Here is what Alan Wade says about this process:

Talking about these responses and resistance restores dignity to the victim by calling attention to the prudence, imagination, strength, determination, compassion, and sense of justice evident in his/her actions and subjective experience. Previously overlooked acts—for example that of a child taking two hours to walk home from school to avoid being alone with an abusive parent—can acquire new meaning and significance. Accounts of resistance also contest the stereotypical image of passive, socially conditioned, and dysfunctional victim featured so prominently in clinical and public discourse.
—”Honouring our clients’ resistance to violence and oppression: Tom Strong talks to Alan Wade.”  
New Therapist 21

If you are really fortunate, a good counselor may be reasonably familiar with the procedures of the legal / police / compensation systems and be able to give you suggestions about when and where to take action in these areas. On the other hand, you may have to do this leg-work for yourself or get advice from a women’s domestic abuse support service.

Christian vs Secular

Many Christian victims feel they would prefer a Christian counselor. However, Christian counselors can be hard to find and many of them do not understand domestic abuse well. Under these circumstances it might be better to choose a non-Christian counselor who really understands domestic abuse.

If you can find a good Christian counselor who rightly uses and interprets scripture in their counseling practice you will be doubly blessed. On the other hand, you probably will be further traumatized by the kind of Christian counselor who is heavily influenced by the “Biblical Counseling” movement (see our tags Biblical Counseling and Nouthetic Counseling).

We also suggest you steer away from anyone who uses Peacemakers materials. The Peacemakers organization has no policy on domestic abuse and are clueless about how to properly deal with it. 

The Role of Prayer

Sometimes counseling may be complemented by prayer ministry. It’s unwise to see prayer as a quick fix. Prayer can indeed sometimes bring a rapid change, but very often it doesn’t give a quick solution. The work of recovery from trauma—stitching a new, life-enhancing and beautiful garment after having been been systematically unpicked by an abuser—is generally an incremental process with back-stitches as well as forward stitches. (see the backstitch analogy).

Some of your responses may have been apt while living with the abuser but are now habits and patterns that are better off left behind. Some of your deeply held beliefs may have been false teachings that naive or foolish Christians taught you. Prayer can be helpful with things like that.

If you want another person to pray for you, I suggest you choose a wise person who will pray for you without coercively controlling you. In my experience, the formulaic ‘Prayer Ministries’ often don’t understand domestic abuse well enough, so I encourage you to keep your antenna up and if something doesn’t feel right to you, pull back…or redirect the praying person so that he or she addresses what you really feel needs to be addressed. 

Questions to ask a counselor

When interviewing a counselor or therapist prior to entering counseling with them, here are some questions you can ask. You might also like to put these questions to a pastor to help you decide whether you want to become a regular attender at his church.

How do you view abuse in a marriage?
They’ll probably say firmly “It’s unacceptable,” but that means little. It certainly doesn’t guarantee they are a competent domestic abuse counsellor. Ask them “Could you please elaborate?”

How would you define or describe domestic abuse?
If they do not use key words like ‘power’ and ‘control’ then be wary. Also look for the key idea that it is a pattern of conduct designed by one party to control the other.  How many types of abuse do they mention?  How well do they cover the different types of abuse: emotional, verbal, social, financial, sexual, spiritual, and using the children as pawns of abuse? If they only mention physical violence, they are not competent to counsel for domestic abuse. If they only mention physical and verbal (or emotional) abuse, they are only partially competent.

Is it a communication problem? Is it simply a result of childhood trauma? 
If they answer Yes to either of these questions, they are not competent to counsel for domestic abuse.

What do you think causes domestic abuse?
There should be a clear articulation that domestic abuse is solely caused by one spouse— the abuser— not by both spouses. If there is any hint of victim-blaming, ‘mutual responsibility’ or ‘it takes two to tango,’ steer clear of this counselor!

What are your thoughts on abusers reforming?
If the counselor fails to say that abusers are best treated in a group program rather than one-to-one counseling, that counselor isn’t sufficiently educated about domestic abuse. Look for humility in the counselor and recognition that treatment for abusers is often ineffective. For more on this, see our tag for Mens Behavior Change Groups and our FAQ page What if the abuser is repentant?

Often, victims don’t leave abusive relationships. Why do you think this is?
Look for insight into the dangers involved in leaving an abuser, the multiple ways abusers control victims, and some understanding of traumatic stress. Also, does the counselor know about the responses bystanders often make to victims— how bystanders pressure victims to reconcile with their abusers, how they fail to believe and fully support victims.

What do you think about couple counseling for domestic abuse?
If they say couple counseling is recommend, or worth trying for a while, they are not competent. If they say it’s only appropriate under very specific conditions they may be safe to work with. See our FAQ page What about couple counseling?

What are your thoughts on divorce for domestic abuse?
This question is optional. You may feel that it risks exposing you to a response that is too hurtful. You might want to leave it to last, and only ask it if you feel safe enough having heard their previous answers. You can always ask this in another session, if you feel safer then.

If you ask this question, look for a nuanced scriptural reply (should the person be a Christian) and for the counselor to explicitly say that a victim of domestic abuse is at liberty to divorce and that it’s not a sin to divorce on grounds of abuse. See our FAQ page What about divorce?

Another optional question: Could you please tell me about some cases of domestic abuse you’ve dealt with (without disclosing confidential details).

Look for how robustly the counselor responded to other cases. Did he or she strongly support the victim? Does the counselor seem aware of how abusers try to enlist the counselor as an ally?  Does the counselor believe she or he brought resolution to the situation by “reconciling the couple”? If so, did it sound like a superficial reconciliation, or one where deep and lasting reformation had been made by the abuser?

If your counselor takes the abuser’s side and tells you it’s your fault and you are the one that needs to do most of the changing to fix the relationship, then you can complain to the relevant professional board about the counselor’s professional misconduct.

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Related post:

Choosing and Assessing a Counselor

 

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Dead Flies, Dull Axes — part 13 of Ecclesiastes sermon series by Ps Sam Powell

Dead Flies, Dull Axes
Ps. Sam Powell
Ecclesiastes 9:11 – 10:20 (KJV)

Chapter 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

13 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:

14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.

16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.

18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Chapter 10 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

2 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.

3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.

7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!

17 Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

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Listen to the sermon by clicking on the link above.

 

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