For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you. – Mark 7:21-23
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.
29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.
30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.
31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.
32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
On May 25, 2020, a horrific murder was perpetrated in Minneapolis, MN. The entire event was witnessed and recorded by bystanders. The weapon of choice, was a knee to the neck of a man handcuffed and pinned to the ground. It took 8 minutes for George Floyd to slowly suffocate while pleading for his life. The callous brutality evoked protests, both peaceful and violent, throughout the United States and eventually reached countries throughout the world.
It was as though the long-needed “wake-up call” was finally heard and answered.
What happened was clear and critically evaluated. Why it happened is at the center of a continual discussions. It demonstrates the potential cruelty and hatefulness of humankind.
The sad fact is that the human race is fallen. We are capable of great evil and yet great good also. Of course this should not be news to anyone. Watching most any 2-year-old child provides adequate evidence of both.
People controlled by their lower, baser instincts, and motivations have always done horrific things, dreadful and monstrous things to other people. It is a grim reality of fallen DNA.
What can be done to change this?
Pleas have gone out throughout the earth for justice and equality, as it were, for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Calls for greater safeguards against brutality by law enforcement officers and gun control are reverberating throughout the land.
Making good people helpless will not make bad people harmless.
What is needed is a supernatural transformation of our innermost heart of hearts which the Father alone can do. When we are born again from above, we spend the rest of our lives learning to walk in the light through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps, we need to begin by reminding ourselves, “There but for the grace of God, go I” (Google it).
Bad people do not obey laws, they flaunt them, and use them to their advantage. Further, bad people with evil intent, when given the authority to do so, often make bad laws simply to harm or diminish others.
REFLECT & PRAY
Darkness dwells within every human heart. It is like a raging beast, that cannot be reasoned with, only restrained.
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Father You are a defense for the helpless and the needy in their times of distress (Isaiah 25:4). Father thank You that You are always at work, often behind the scenes to accomplish Your will on earth as it is in heaven. Let Your light shine bright within the heart of each child of the King.
Human cruelty is accurately recorded in the Scriptures. But it is never sensationalized Evil laws and their consequent collateral damage are chronicled for us. Rather than be discouraged, we are to take heart. So it is in the book of Esther.
The book of Esther tells the story of Esther, her uncle Mordechai, and Haman. Haman was an evil, selfish, prideful man who hated Mordechai because he would not bow before him as he passed. Haman felt humiliated and sought cruel revenge. He deceitfully appealed to and persuaded Xerxes, the king of Persia, to pass a decree that all of the Jews be destroyed because they were not only different, but dangerous. They would not go along with Persian customs. They just did not belong in the kingdom. The whole land would be better off if they were exterminated. Mordechai of course was a Jew.
8 Haman approached King Xerxes and said, “There is a certain race of people scattered through all the provinces of your empire who keep themselves separate from everyone else. Their laws are different from those of any other people, and they refuse to obey the laws of the king. So it is not in the king’s interest to let them live.”
9 “If it please the king, issue a decree that they be destroyed.”
Xerxes approved the decree and sealed it with his signet ring. The death of all of the Jews in the kingdom of Persia was now put on the calendar. But unbeknownst to Haman, Esther, Xerxes’ beautiful queen was also a Jew.
The decrees of the Medes and the Persians cannot be revoked once they are put into effect. But Esther wisely and shrewdly appealed to King Xerxes for the lives of the Jewish people. She told Xerxes that she too would die because she was Jewish.
Xerxes was furious! But how do you resolve the issue. Xerxes could not reverse the first decree. So Xerxes issued a second decree. He gave the Jewish people permission to defend themselves. Problem solved! Haman suffered a cruel death, the one that he had planned for Mordechai.
11 The king’s decree gave the Jews in every city authority to unite to defend their lives. They were allowed to kill, slaughter, and annihilate anyone of any nationality or province who might attack them or their children and wives, and to take the property of their enemies.
13 A copy of this decree was to be issued as law in every province and proclaimed to all peoples, so that the Jews would be ready to take revenge on their enemies on the appointed day.
16 The Jews were filled with joy and gladness and were honored everywhere.
17 In every province and city, wherever the king’s decree arrived, the Jews rejoiced and had a great celebration and declared a public festival and holiday. And many of the people of the land became Jews themselves, for they feared what the Jews might do to them.
When really bad decrees are passed, they can be offset via new decrees. The book of Esther is filled with cliffhangers and ironic twists. Haman only wanted to do evil, Mordechai only wanted to do good. What Haman desired for Mordechai, he himself received.
Galatians 6:7 do not be misled – you cannot mock the justice of God. For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
“Be careful what you wish for, lest it comes true!” (Aesop’s Fables, circa 260 BC).
Perhaps it is more true to say that helping good people, may well make bad people less harmful.