Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope does not disappoint; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.”
I believe that most of us humans like the whole eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth idea. When two children are playing in the sandbox and one child takes a toy out of the hand of the other, what are some things we can expect to see?
A common response from the offended child is to whack the offensive one up side the head so he never offends again. that’s not exactly an eye for an eye, but that’s our human nature. When we are offended by another, we will extract the punishment we determine is fit for the crime.
In the Old Testament, there was a very controversial law established by the Most Holy Creator of Heaven and earth.
He is the One who established the law. It was meant to be a restriction on the nature of humans to take as much revenge on others as they could get away with. The intent of the loving Creator never was to establish roving bands of police thugs who would go around chopping off hands and poking out eyeballs for those who offended.
That’s offensive to the heart of God. Jesus gave us eye-opening clarity in the Sermon-on-the-Mount as to the proper interpretation of some laws.
Jesus who is the exact representation of the Father sent to the earth in a human form showed us the heart and mind of the Father in the way in which he lived out his life.
I mentioned in a recent post the story of the woman caught in adultery. The Law of God spoke clearly that the women should have been taken out to the outskirts of the city and stoned to death.
The enemies of Christ thought they had seen a flaw in his personality. He seemed to be too kind and loving towards others. If the Jewish religious leaders could get him to openly discuss being kind as opposed to obeying the law of Moses then they could trap him and expose him as a fraud who didn’t really follow the Law of God.
Remember in the story that Jesus didn’t offer to throw stones at the woman who was caught in sin. He instead offered to everyone in the crowd to admit that they were without sin and could rightfully take the role of judge over another. It had to be a very uncomfortable scene in which Jesus challenged them all.
“He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone.”
Jesus began to write in the ground and most likely he was detailing some of the sin found among those who wanted to have the woman killed.
As most of us know the outcome of the story, no one stepped up to throw first, in fact they all left in embarrassment. Jesus was the only one who was without sin and he chose to show forgiveness.
In the verse I quoted above from the book of Romans, we read a very telling aspect of the true Christian that was modeled by Jesus.
We are not following the example of Jesus and we are not following the strong suggestion from the Apostle Paul of how a person should respond when bad things happen to us.
Let me state the obvious:
Ever since the creation of the first two humans, the world has had to deal with human frailty.
God knew who and what he was creating. He knew we would struggle with many things and revenge is one of the ugliest things that people inflict on others.
Did Jesus forget the proper way to administer the law or did he show mercy? Of course the answer is that he chose to be merciful. That’s what he said we should always do too.
Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
Some things in the news:
- A former cop is stiffed for a job promotion so he decides that the only way to deal with things is to kill every one on his hate list.
- A girlfriend is bullied by her boyfriend so she slices his neck 27 times and shoots him in the head.
These are just two cases of our human nature getting the best of us.
Us humans have always had this problem. I remember a fellow I read about by the name of Cain. He didn’t much like his brother Abel so he killed him. That was the first murder. It was for jealousy that he committed the crime.
For those of you who know the story, do you realize the God spoke to Cain before he ever killed his brother?
I believe the Spirit of God speaks to all of us when sin is at our door. All of us could choose to turn the other cheek and show mercy or as Paul tells us…We can actually learn from our trials. If we would let go of our anger and look for the lessons God would teach us then we can gain experience and hope and show the love of God instead of the hate of humanity.
This cop killer who is on the loose and hoping to kill more is being advertised as some highly skilled survivalist who is some kind of a real-live Rambo.
The Rambo image is an ‘ideal’ that so many guys fantasize about. We all want to be this deadly weapon of force that nobody dares mess with.
Jesus was able to speak a word. “I am He.” and a whole squadron of soldiers fell down at his word. He could have called a great force of angels to bring death upon all who had put him on the cross.
He chose to forgive them and teach a very important lesson that most people will never get!
It’s better to love your enemies than to stick a needle in their eye or to slap them up side the head or shoot their kids or slice their necks 27 times.
Can we have a little patience and kindness please?
I know the sins of man are not yet filled up and the time for cleansing is not quite here.
It is coming though and you best not be seeking revenge when the merciful judge returns.
He’s a good record keeper. Like so many who commit crimes they have a perfectly good reason for their act of rage. It is always somebody else’s fault.
That won’t fly with God. He knows the truth.