Advocating punishment for evil deeds, now!
If you listen with open ears you’ll hear that revenge is all around us. The get even scenario has become the cry of too many good people who feel God should line the guilty in a firing squad pronouncement of “you had your chance, now take your reward”.
Those who seek to punish the guilty of our society, and there are many, better stand back and see themselves in a mirror and rethink their accusations.
“You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.” “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” “If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.” (Mt. 5: 38 40).
“You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of you heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” “For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?” “And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?” “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5: 43 - 48).
“Stop judging, so that you may not be judged. For as you judge so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?” (Mt 7: 1 - 2).
These couple of chapters following the Sermon on the Mount stand as warnings to everyone who believes they are exempt from judgment. How quick the human mind exalts itself while condemning his neighbor who may be guilty of insurrection yet is no different that you or I.
We are living in a society that has pulled a cloak of evil over the heads of many and are constituting every facet of immorality they perform while we stand with God ready to pull down the angels of retribution.
Anyone of us who catches the train of clearing the threshing floor of sin and scattering its ashes needs to stop and begin reading through scripture beginning with Genesis. The first human evil because of jealousy finds Cain killing his brother Abel. A pattern of brother against brother that still goes on in the 21st century of humanity. Through one incident after another man was not satisfied and portrayed evil upon his brothers and sisters making the Lord sorry that he created such a creature. He decided to rid the earth of this, turning away from his mercy. But when a dove that Noah released from the Ark came back with an olive-leaf in its bill, God’s anger was over. After the earth dried from the flood, Noah built an altar and offered holocausts to the Lord. When God smelled the sweet odor, he said to himself, “Never again will I doom the earth because of man, since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start, nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done.” “As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and Winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Gn 8: 20 22). God’s love for all mankind has never waned and to this day he will not punish indiscriminately.
The guarantee that God loves each person whom he created, he sent his Son to pay for the evil we are always committing. The punishment due to each of us was given to the Father on the cross at Calvary.
Ralph B. Hathaway