Wednesday, August 31: Deuteronomy 21- Sacredness of human life.

Establishing a people and a country is very different than giving laws or rules for life to an individual. Much of Deuteronomy is pointed at establishing a nation so the laws do not necessarily have personal import, but they can help me understand God’s heart on various concerns.

I found myself mulling over the opening 9 verses and the issue of a homicide with no leads regarding the perpetrator. The Lord was not satisfied allowing the unsolved homicide to have no closure. While bringing a person to justice would not happen, there remains the matter of intentional murder with no atonement. A human life has been taken and the Lord is not pleased! A significant stain of sin remains on the people.

So the Lord decreed a process of atonement for such cases. Certainly this was not wholly satisfying for the family of the murdered individual but at least the guilt before God of the people is assuaged.

As I wrote this last sentence, I realized that guilt before God does not enter my thinking very often. I think about guilt against the victim or the family, maybe even the state, but I rarely think of God’s perspective. The murder has prematurely ended the life of a human and death of an innocent requires atonement.

Human life is sacred; we forget (I forget) that God weeps at a murder.

I wonder if I am growing numb to death of innocent people due in part to the barrage of senseless deaths in my country and around the world lately.

Today’s reading is a sobering reminder of the sacredness of every human life.

Oh, God, I hope not. Lord, if my heart grows callused to crimes against innocent people I fear I will lose part of the flicker of the Holy Spirit within me. But, Lord, I don’t know if I can sustain the full onslaught that the voices of innocents are crying around the world. So I don’t know how to pray.  Should I pray to feel the full brunt of humanities’ crimes against innocents or should I pray to have my heart broken. I don’t know. I don’t know.

I just know, Lord, I want to embrace You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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