Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Things the Lord Hates, Part 3

Photo Credit:
Flickr Creative Commons
What comes to mind when I say, “Innocent Blood?”

As I write these things, Canadian news headlines are reporting the triple conviction of a man charged with the abduction, sexual assault, and first-degree murder of an 8 year-old little girl back in April 2009. I’m afraid that what goes through my mind as I think about these things isn’t very gracious or loving toward the convicted man. Dare I even so far as to say that I HATE the thing that has happened?

My heart goes out to the family of that little girl, whose “innocent blood” was spilt.

"Precious is their blood in his sight" Psalm 72:14.

To continue the series that we started here, “Hands that shed innocent blood” is the third thing on our list of “The Things the Lord Hates.” Hate is a strong word, especially among men. Yet, when it is applied to God, it is different in that it is always balanced with His love and compassion. God is wholly committed to good, and as such it ought not surprise us when He reacts toward wickedness in mankind. Let us revisit our text:
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness that pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” (Proverbs 6: 16-19; NIV).
The shedding of innocent blood is something that God hates. Why? There are no doubt countless reasons, not the least of which is that God hates all wickedness, but one of these reasons has to be because of His involvement in the creation of each human life. Consider the words of the psalmist:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139: 13-16; NIV).
At the risk of coming across as politically incorrect, what do you suppose God thinks about abortion? That too is innocent blood being shed, is it not? Yes, of course He loves the pregnant mom, but He hates the idea of the life that He lovingly “knit together” in her womb being butchered; He “hates hands that shed innocent blood.” I find it strange how society is all in an uproar over the death of a murdered 8 year old (and rightly so), but apparently indifferent to the (legalized) murder of the pre-born child. Both are innocent lives being snuffed out; both die at the “hands that shed innocent blood.”
One day we will have to give account for this evil in our society. How will we answer God for this genocide that we call “Choice?”
Likewise, I do not believe that there can ever be such a thing as a just holy war. Yes, that nation that has attacked (or is attacking us) is a horrible thing. All that innocent blood being shed; God hates that. But two wrongs never make a right; God equally hates our retaliation too. Have we not also shed innocent blood by fighting back? Mothers on both sides of every war have mourned the loss of their innocent children. That’s never just a case of collateral damage; it’s always simply a case of “shed innocent blood.”

Sometimes I am amazed at how many Christians have no problem with justifying war, and even praying for it, as suggested by a You Tube video I recently saw in which two prominent TV preachers did just that. Even though I tend to be a pacifist, maybe I might even justify it too if an invading force were to suddenly plant themselves on my native soil with evil intent. I guess one never really knows how we would respond until we actually faced such a situation.

However, as disturbing as I find that video, the question is not one of whether or not Christians should fight in wars, for if the truth be told, the New Testament is actually quite silent concerning it. The question has to do with shedding “innocent blood.” Granted, that’s Old Testament, but has God’s nature changed with the advent of the New Testament when it comes to this? Has His thoughts changed on the subject since Old Testament times?
“Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed man’s blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them” (Habakkuk 2:8).
Again, Old Testament, but are we moderns guilty of that too? Funny how we justify shedding another man’s blood in the name of war, but in times of peace, we call it murder. God calls all shedding of blood evil, regardless whether it’s in time of war or peace, regardless if it involves the one already born, or the pre-born.

Anyway, that’s the way I see it. Peace.
In Part 4 we will consider the fourth thing the Lord hates: “a heart that devises wicked schemes.”

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