The Sexual Misbehavior Debacle of 2017
Wow, is anyone else blown away by the public reaction to the sexual harassment so many men have perpetuated? I’m not surprised at the number of men who have been guilty of this, nor how common it is. But I am surprised that, all of a sudden, they are all getting their comeuppance. That old-fashioned word means “just punishment,” “what’s coming to them.” (Here is one list and a second short list.) Some of you who are younger may not be so surprised because this just seems like justice. But it’s been a loooong time coming for some of us who are older. We’ve seen or experienced the boorish, illegal, or abusive behavior for decades, but very few men have ever suffered any consequences for it. If they had power or popularity, it was simply considered one of their privileges. Women who did speak out were often ostracized or punished in subtle ways. The first case to be a media sensation that I recall was Anita Hill’s testimony against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1992. From that point on, there has been ample public awareness of the problem, but still few repercussions for the men who perpetuated it.
When sins like this go unpunished for years – decades or even centuries – we start to accept the behavior as inevitable or expected. Some people will even rationalize it as normal because they’ve never seen any consequences for it. But God sees all and he hears the cries of the abused. “Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.” Prov. 11:21 “When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.” Prov. 29:16.
Both the abused women and the good men who have treated women with respect may have felt righteous anger because these abusers have not paid for their sins. But take heart, you who do right and you who have suffered wrongs: God promises that the judgment day will come. “He whose walk is blameless will be kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall.” Prov. 28:18 Now we are seeing it. It can be tempting to give up on justice and righteousness when you see sin reign for so long. I don’t understand why God waits so long sometimes. That’s a frustrating thing for me (but hypocritical, of course, because I want him to be patient with MY sins and give me time). But we who are older have seen that eventually the ax will fall. So stay the course. Live righteously even when it is not rewarded. The evil eventually get their comeuppance.