Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Hands That Shed Innocent Blood

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
Proverbs 6:16-19 gives us a list of seven things that are an abomination to God. This is a mixture of things that are both a little surprising and some that are what I would expect to be an abomination to Him.  Some of them are very easy to believe but some are things that we are all guilty of, things that we most likely consider not that bad.  This week we are going to look at these seven things that are an abomination to Him.

This one seems pretty easy right?  All life was created by God and all life is valuable.  Murder, taking an innocent life, is something that God hates.  That makes sense.  Abortion, Euthanasia, and the martyrdom that is happening in the world today also fall into this category.  Christians are being martyred every day.  Innocent blood shed because they won’t denounce Jesus Christ.  Gangs and cult killings are the merciless shedding of innocent blood.  Abuse and crimes gone wrong where innocent bystanders or first responders are slain. God is the author and giver of life and no one has the right to decide when a person should die but Him.  
But figuratively speaking, innocent blood can be shed in many ways.  Physical murder is killing the body, but you can destroy lives, crush spirits, and fatally wound the souls of others without spilling a drop of blood.  What about the ways we snap and shred the spirit of the child in our pathway on a harried morning?  Or the way we take out a stressful day on our spouse in the evening? Death and life are in the power of the tongue… Proverbs 18:21a.  With abuse, a person’s life may not be taken in a physical sense (sadly many are), but emotionally, a portion of their life is gone forever.  These examples are nowhere near the horrific situations on the other end of the spectrum, shedding innocent blood, but they do matter to God. 
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:21-24 that if we hate someone, unreasonable without offering room for forgiveness, we have sinned equivalent to committing murder: You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 
If you have a problem with someone you are holding in your heart, it is a slippery slope.  When hurt is harbored and ruminated over, bitterness and hate can follow quickly.  In every case, all shedding of innocent blood begins in the heart.  But there is someone whose innocent blood was shed for us and the good news is that He can take away the hurt in our hearts that can so easily turn to hate.  Jesus can wipe away bitterness and turn it into love.  Onlythe love of Jesus Christ can overcome the hate the sheds innocent blood.  As Christians we need to pray - pray for this world, the ones who do not value life and do not know the love of the Heavenly Father.
Scripture to Claim:
Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.  Ephesians 4:22 NLT

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