Wrestling With The Word
I have been wrestling with the Word lately. As I shared the following with my family, my daughter told me not to wrestle too hard, or I may come away with a bad hip! (Gen. 32:25) Ah, the insight of youth. So, what was it that elicited that comment? In brief:
I remember growing up hearing people refer to themselves as hawks or doves when it comes to the issues of war, the death penalty, etc... I was always a bit of a hawk. Over the years I have been quite vocal in my support of the death penalty and for a "just" war.
Recently, as I have been examining the Scriptures more and more I am beginning to rethink this position. Now let me state I've never been a "warmonger" but I have not been opposed to justice being served in this life.
However this week I was confronted with numerous Scriptures that just came alive to me in a new way. First it was the Scriptures in Matthew that say, "Blessed are the meek", "Blessed are the merciful" and "Blessed are the peacemakers." (Matthew 5:5, 7, 9)
Then I read the part in Matthew 5:21-22 that talks about murder. While chewing on these passages of Scriptures I then was reminded of the women caught in the act of adultery. (John 8:3-11). This was a death penalty sentence at the time. Yet Jesus showing mercy did not condemn her. In fact He said if the accusers were without sin they should cast the first stone. They all left and Jesus told her to go and sin no more.
While my mind was being blow away by all this I realized....even a terrorist is not beyond God's redemption. Those who attack our countries and murder our friends and families are not beyond the reach of a loving Father. As much as I want to see justice done in this life I am coming to believe Jesus wants us to extend mercy more. To reflect Him.
So there you have it. I am slowly, slowly moving away from my stance as a hawk. I am starting to feel the death penalty is wrong. I am starting to reconsider the policies of war. I really am thinking.....what would Jesus do?