If you know someone who’s been abused, you need to read and heed Isaiah’s words: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17). The word defend makes me picture an ancient city with towering walls and strong gates, a place built to keep dangerous people outside and to keep people safe inside. So picture yourself standing on top of the wall with people you love huddled inside as an abusive person comes riding up toward the city. How do you protect your loved ones?
With truth. Abuse can only exist when lies get the last word, so when we immerse ourselves in truth, in what God sees, in what God says, we defend the oppressed. For example, an abuser lies to his victim and says, “This is your fault,” even though it isn’t. “This isn’t abuse,” even though it is. “You made me do that,” even though he/she freely chose to do it. But truth turns up the lights, takes off the makeup, and shows things for what they really are.
More truth leads to less abuse. Therefore, Isaiah is encouraging us to be people whose lips speak the truth that’s overflowing out of our hearts. No, the process will not be easy (abusers are good at lying, and the abused are accustomed to being lied to). But, yes, the process will be godly. Because our God loves to defend the oppressed.
So speak up and speak the truth. Then do it again tomorrow. And the next day. Until the Day when Truth himself returns.