Our God is an Avenger

sunset-50494_640Dear Yazidi mother,

I cannot imagine your pain.

I’ve read reports of what you’ve endured and can hardly bear to read another. Your husbands and sons murdered, your daughters ripped from your arms and sold to men who tell them their god gives them permission to rape and to enslave. A world feasting on the lurid details of your daughters’ pain but largely helpless to force their way into those dark rooms and carry them to safety. Words, words, words, and here, I add more. I’ve no combat detail at my command, no special forces, no stealth weaponry to deliver them and bring them home. Even worse, I know where my children are. I can see them, hold them, watch their laughter, and hope for their future. What have I to offer you, dear Yazidi mother, except that I know you are out there in unrelenting pain?

You may or may not have heard of my God. I had never heard of your people before ISIS took your daughters. What little I know now has not been from you but from observers half a world away. Forgive me that I neglected to know more until you became a headline. Your plight has spurred me to understand more about the people where you live and become familiar with cultures that are largely unnoticed until calamity strikes. I know the enemy takes advantage of our ignorance and the scarcity of intercession for these unknown peoples. May your children’s pain bring an end to this lack of knowledge and the dearth of believers’ prayers.

So, I understand if you know little about the God I serve. He is the One True God who created the earth and all the people in it. We rebelled against Him, our Father, and condemned ourselves to eternity separated from Him but because of His great love for us, He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was born into this world, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead, victorious. If we accept His sacrifice for us, we receive eternal life and are filled with His Holy Spirit, delivered from all condemnation, and secured for life with Him forever. He is a God of grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and love.

He is also an avenging God, and this is why I write you today. There are brutes who share this earth with us. Those who rebel against God, who reject His Son, who choose to follow their own ways, their own lusts, and every evil practice under the sun. They can find forgiveness if they turn to Jesus but if they do not, they will bear the consequences of their choices.

In our Holy Book, which contains the very words of God, there is an ancient letter written to the churches in Thessalonica. In it is this passage:

“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are sword-1078968_640doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” I Thessalonians 4:1-8

The Lord is an avenger is all these things. What is happening to you and to your daughters, to your sons and your husbands, is immoral and wrong according to the One True God. God didn’t design sex as a weapon. He designed women to reflect Him, to walk with Him, and not to be victims of the unbridled lust of angry men.

Across the world from you, my sisters in Christ and I may not appear to be of much help in the pain of your separation from your children. Sometimes even we forget that we, too, are warriors, but the pain of your daughters has helped us remember who we are. In Christ, we are not helpless. In the name and power of Jesus Christ, we can intercede on your behalf. We have been and will continue to pray daily for the deliverance of your daughters. We pray for their comfort in captivity, for supernatural intervention and protection against the worst kinds of evil, and for rescue from the hands of their captors. We pray God would bring these men to repentance but if they will not repent and receive Him, we pray they will reap the full consequences of their actions for your daughters are as precious to you as ours to us.

In our country, we speak often of the love of the God I follow and it is a love that is stronger than death. He is, indeed, a loving God full of light and grace. But, know that He is also an avenger. Though you cannot see your daughters, He knows their plight and He will have the last word on those who commit this evil.

lion-1118467_640All things are under the rule of the God I serve, though now, we do not see that played out as we would like. We still witness the horrors of sin and the consequences of the choices of men who choose evil over good but that will not be true forever. As often as we pray for our own children, we will also pray for yours. There are some who will say this is worthless but I tell you it is not. Prayer is a powerful weapon that binds forces of evil, takes captive principalities and powers, and renders impotent the darkness against the light.

Dearest Yazidi mother, you may or may not know the God I serve but His Son died also for you. The eternal life He offers can also be yours. He isn’t a God of the West but He is the God of all peoples and nations. One day, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. His love isn’t bound by borders and the love He places in our hearts for your daughters makes them ours, too. If you suffer, so do we. Your children are our children. We will not be watch our children enjoying their freedom without stopping to intercede for yours until we all step into the freedom of His light.

May the prayers of the followers of Jesus Christ be effective and fruitful in securing the deliverance of your daughters in our times, Amen.

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    The Conversation

  1. John Bugni says:

    Lori, such a good word and encouragement. Well said. I will stand with you in prayer and intercession for “this Yazidi woman/women”.

  2. Roxanne says:

    Good message, Lori. I will pray as well. Thanks for the call to arms. Blessings.