Actions have consequences, both positive and negative. Today’s focus is on two extremes; murderers and those who walk in integrity.
First of all, let me say this. God CAN forgive ALMOST EVERY sin. The sin of murder is no exception to this. There is only one sin that we are told is unforgivable; blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Just because God forgives you doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences to your actions. Under the Law the consequences of murder was that a chosen person from the deceased’s family would hunt down and kill the person who murdered their family member. Even if that ‘murder’ was deemed an accident, the one who took a life forfeited his own. There are some societies who ascribe to this balancing of accounts still today. In some states in my country, certain types of murder are punishable by death. It isn’t the family who carries it out but the state.
I mentioned accidental death earlier; manslaughter. Most places don’t condemn the person to death for an accident. God set up certain cities where those who accidentally killed someone could seek refuge. They couldn’t leave that city ever again or they would be hunted again by the “Avenger of Blood”, the family member of the victim authorized to carry out justice.
NO ONE was to harbor someone who committed premeditated murder. He had no refuge, only death. I don’t know what would happen if the person repented and made the appropriate sin sacrifice under the Law. I don’t even know if there was such a sacrifice. Did God forgive him? Was he carried to Abraham’s Bosom when he died?
Today, one who harbors a murderer is “complicit after the fact” and is guilty of a crime themselves. If a murder happened during the commission of a crime, EVERYONE involved in committing that crime is equally guilty of the murder, regardless of who actually struck the blow or fired the shot resulting in death.
Under the grace of God, that we enjoy because of Jesus’ work, I expect the person who murders someone would TRULY have to be repentant to receive forgiveness. The mobster who uses the priest for absolution would still be guilty in God’s eyes, especially if he planned on going right back out and continuing to murder people. I would also hazard a guess that someone who puts deliberate thought into killing someone isn’t going to turn around and be sorry for their actions later. The ‘manslayer’ probably would and I have no doubt that God would forgive him IF his heart was truly repentant.
Bottom line, those who commit murder WILL be ‘repaid’ in the end. It is not a crime man or God overlooks. We don’t ‘let that one slide’ in the case of murder.
On the other side of the coin, the positive side, those who walk in the ways of the Lord WILL be rewarded. God sees our actions AND our hearts behind them. He knows when our motives line up with His. He can spot a phony half a world away. And He can spot a sincere heart even before the person themselves commits to the acts of integrity. Sometimes I wonder if He doesn’t set up opportunities for us to ‘shine’. Does He orchestrate scenes where we can either shine or fade? I know He doesn’t tempt us to evil but does He inspire us towards good? I sure hope so.
We are told by God, through Solomon, that He SEES all we do and that our actions will be rewarded. The ‘reward’ in this case is deliverance from those trying to harm us. He promises deliverance for those who walk in integrity. We don’t always see and immediate deliverance in our world but we know that there IS deliverance coming. That deliverance might be deliverance from this world into His arms. THAT TOO is deliverance. TRUST HIM for He KNOWS what is best for each of us and He works on behalf of His children; those who walk in integrity.
Father God, THANK YOU for Your forgiveness. I know I’ve needed it on MORE than one occasion in my life. Thank You that I have been able to bring ALL my sins to You, no matter their size or weight. I pray for those struggling under the weight of sins that they feel are too weighty for You to lift. I also pray for the families of those who have been harmed by such sins. Only YOU can give true justice. I leave that in Your hands. THANK YOU that I haven’t been touched by the sin of murder, intended or not. Thank You for Your protection on me and on those I love. Continue to keep us safe Father.
I don’t believe I’ve earned the title “one who walks in integrity” but I’m trying to do so. I want to be a child after Your heart. THANK YOU for all the blessings You have brought in my life, including delivering me from MANY obstacles along the way. Keep me searching Your word and moving forward in learning to be more like Jesus every day.