The War Horse
From the outset of human existence, we have been plagued with the suffering of innocent people at the hands of the wicked. With the loss of original justice came the loss of law, order and peace. As recorded in Genesis chapter three, humanity descended into a nightmarish dystopia called the fallen world. Not long after, we read about the first murder, a fratricide and a crime against humanity. The killing of Abel represented the first genocidal act because as the story goes, when he fell dead, the human race was instantly cut by twenty five percent. Sin has consequences, original sin had catastrophic consequences.
Abel’s innocent blood cries to God for retribution, recompense and justice. Abel’s cry, and perhaps his blood, mixes with the blood of so many others who, like Abel, were wronged in the most heinous ways. One of those who cried out for justice, recompense and retribution was Job, who for no apparent reason had everything stripped from him.
As a response to Job's cry, God goes on a long-winded tirade against Job for his audacity to question God’s wisdom and his judgment. God wanted Job to know and he wants us to know that His plans are not our plans and His time is not our time.
The best part of this lengthy reprimand is when God reminds Job that He made the war-horse and that the war horse is therefore revelatory of who God is, what his power is like and most important of all the retribution that is coming.
Jesus is like, ‘Seriously Job! Have you seen the war horse? Guess whose idea that was? Have you seen the beauty, the strength, the speed, the fierceness?…That was me, I did that. Do you know what a war horse is for? Do you not think I will be mounted on one coming for your enemies to wage war? Did you not remember that I said ‘Vengeance is mine?’ Who toppled the Tower of Babel? Who flooded the earth? Who drowned Pharaoh and his charioteers in the Red Sea?
“Do you give the horse its strength
or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
Do you make it leap like a locust,
striking terror with its proud snorting?
It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,
and charges into the fray.
It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
it does not shy away from the sword.
The quiver rattles against its side,
along with the flashing spear and lance.
In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’
It catches the scent of battle from afar,
the shout of commanders and the battle cry.” -Job 39:19-25
The war horse embodies the fierce heart of his Maker. When you see the war horse, remember that nothing can stop what is coming. This war horse in Job reminds us of Jesus as a warrior coming back to right all of our wrongs, including Abel's and Job's.
In the Gospels, Jesus stood up to injustice with strength. When in an act of cowardice, a mob of thugs came to arrest Jesus he faced them head on…
Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” -Jn 18:4-8
Jesus, the Word, the Lord of Hosts and Captain of angel armies, knocks the band of temple soldiers to the ground with the mere force of his spoken Word.
The war horse in Job also reminds us that this warrior type of Jesus, the Just Judge, will come again in glory to jusge the living and the dead. According to Revelation 19, he will be at the head of a frightful company, with a double edged sword, mounted on a war horse and his robes dipped in blood.
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:11-16).
As one meme recently put it, 'Jesus is coming back and he is pissed!"
A Message from Christ to the Wicked
We know how the story ends for those who perpetuate wickedness on this earth and fail to repent, nothing can stop what is coming. Jesus wants you to know his message which is easy to remember. It’s two words… “I’m coming!”
"Thou shall not kill" (Ex 20:13)
For those who are responsible for Covid 19….He's coming!
For those who are guilty of genocide…He's coming!
For those who seek to depopulate the earth…He's coming!
For those who mandated injections which were harmful and deadly…He's coming!
"Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me" (Mt 25:41-43).
For those who mistreat or neglect the imprisoned, homeless and hungry...He's coming!
For those who profit at the expense of the poor because of your greed...He's coming!
For those who drive up inflation and taxes on the people...He's coming!
For those who closed small businesses while allowing corporate stores to remain open….He's coming!
For those who ‘cause one of these little ones who believe in Me to fall, it would be better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.’ (Mt 18:6)
For those who target babies in the womb…He's coming!
For those who traffic children and other innocent people….He's coming!
For those who rob our children of their innocence by your filthy sexual ideologies...He's coming!
For those who knowingly participated in the draconian lock downs of our schools and churches….He's coming!
"Repent, change your heart, turn away from sin and do penance...because I’m coming!"-Jesus
We are living in a fallen world, consequently there will never be perfect justice until Jesus, the Just Judge, returns to right all of our wrongs. Only Jesus will be our retribution, our justice and for those of us who repent and pay for our sins, he will be our redemption. The three stages that a person must go through to set things right would be first retribution, the recompense then redemption. It would be helpful, at this point, to clarify the subtle differences between these terms, retribution, justice and recompense.
Retribution: punishment inflicted on someone for a wrong or criminal act.
Recompense: an equivalent or a return for something done, suffered, or given : compensation. offered in recompense for injuries.
Redemption: The restoration of man from the bondage of sin to the liberty of the children of God through the satisfactions and merits of Christ.
Justice: The moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good.
Retribution is a just punishment not excessive but measured and appropriate, commensurate with the crime. Recompense is the effort to make the situation right by demanding a repayment for the debt owed due to the crime (in religion, it is similar to penance). For God, justice is always tempered by his great mercy. As Sister Faustina says, 'God's mercy is an ocean'. Therefore, redemption is possible. However, it is not a free ticket. It is a long hard road beginning with true sorrow and repentance, followed by restitution. Grace perfects nature, it doesn't cancel it out or replace it. There must be a freely chosen, cooperative effort on the part of the criminal and or sinner to advance in redemption.
The catechism also uses the word ‘retribution’ as it relates to our immediate judgment…
“Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediate and everlasting damnation. At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love” (CCC 1022).
For those who escape justice in this world, the Catechism of the Catholic Church “affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.”
While we are in this world, we have a limited amount of time. We can change our minds, have a conversion and pay our debt to society. We can become rehabilitated and get a second chance. As followers of the Redeemer, we believe in redemption. But when our time runs out, when we die there is no changing our minds, we are locked into our eternal fate.
To desire for those who escape justice in this world to be held to account in the after-life is so innate and so part of our being that even Mother Mary cried for justice in her Magnificat (Lk 1: 46-55)...
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
it offended many people when recently Pope Francis said in an interview that he hoped hell was empty. He was asked how he imagines hell and if he really believes God forgives everyone who asks. “It’s difficult to imagine it,” the pope said. “What I would say is not a dogma of faith, but my personal thought: I like to think hell is empty; I hope it is.” He probably meant what the Fatima Prayer conveys...that he lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of his mercy. God wills that we all go to heaven. This does not mena that he wills that we do not face retribution for crimes or punishment for sins. It is a necessecary process of repentance and change that leads to redemption and salvation.
This is what the Lord had to say about hell…
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many…How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few…“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,* but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven“ (Mt 7).
Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’46 l And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Mt 25).
If hell is empty, it won’t be for long… because nothing can stop what is coming.