Tag: murder

Apr 3 Our laws are Your laws

Father, I am amazed by how much of the moral code You gave in Torah (the first five books of the Bible) is represented in our legal system today.

JohnAdamsQuote585The last several days’ readings are filled with issues represented in our country’s legal code.   Standards are set for maintaining property lines, fair measures in trade, witnesses being necessary rather than relying on hearsay testimony, determination of false testimony and punishing it.  It is not merely causing a death, but consideration of motivation behind the act that is judged; whether there is “malice aforethought.”

You deal with property law when passing an inheritance, capital punishment, homeowner’s liability, divorce, charging interest on loans and how to handle collateral.  In all Your determinations You call for justice to all, and for mercy in the care for the underprivileged and marginalized.

Our second president and signer of the Constitution, John Adams said “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Our constitutional and legal values came from the Bible.  You knew, way back then, what our society would need today.  And provided for it.

Even beyond our country’s laws is Your law of sin and death.  And when I fail and sin, You have made a way of placing me back in right standing with You.  You took upon Yourself the penalty of my sin, and paid my debt.

But for those who do not accept Your payment, there will be a reckoning.   If they refuse Your gift, they will spend eternity separated from You.  They will be held accountable for the decision they make, whether to accept You as God, or reject You.

Thank You for being a just law-giver.  Strengthen me to turn away from sin and obey the laws You’ve given us. Bring our country back to a godly moral standard.

Thank You Father, that You who judge, are just. Amen

Deuteronomy 17:1-25:16

 

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Mar 22 Can I get a Witness?

case-law-677940_640Lord what a seemingly complex system You dictated to the Israelites for justice.

You have told us before that the shedding of innocent blood pollutes the land, and that the blood has a voice.

You heard the voice of Abel’s blood calling to You from the ground and confronted Cain.   Here, one who kills with intent is a murderer and is to be put to death by the blood avenger.  The blood avenger is the male relative closest to the one who was murdered.  He is to avenge the blood that was wrongly taken.

If there is a question about the motive, whether there was intention to kill or not, the one who killed can flee to a City of Refuge to stand trial, and be safe there from the blood avenger.  At the trial, no one is to be put to death on the testimony of less that two witnesses.

Today, we call a ”witness” to testify as to what they “saw.”  However, they have no way of judging the intent, or what was in the mind of the person accused.

But in the Hebrew culture, one teaching suggests that a “witness” is one who has already

  • confronted the potentially guilty party,
  • explained to them what they were doing is wrong,
  • and the penalty they will bear if they proceed.

Thus, they can testify that the accused was aware that what they were doing was wrong, and that they had been warned of the penalty.  If the accused proceeded with the act, it was with volition and intent.

Father, I pray You would send witnesses into my life if I begin to stray down a path leading to sin.  Stop me in my tracks and confront me with the realization of where I am headed, so I can turn around before it’s too late.

Numbers 35:1-34

Mar 22 Can I get a witness?

case-law-677940_640

Lord what a seemingly complex system You dictated to the Israelites for justice.

You have told us before that the shedding of innocent blood pollutes the land, and that the blood has a voice. You heard the voice of Abel’s blood calling to You from the ground and confronted Cain.   Here, one who kills with intent is a murderer and is to be put to death by the blood avenger. The blood avenger is the male relative closest to the one who was murdered. He is to avenge the blood that was wrongly taken.

If there is a question about the motive, whether there was intention, the one who killed can flee to a City of Refuge to stand trial, and be safe there from the blood avenger. At the trial, no one is to be put to death on the testimony of less that two witnesses.

Today, we call a ‘witness’ to testify as to what they ‘saw’. However, they have no way of judging the intent, or what was in the mind of the person accused. But in the Hebrew culture, one teaching suggests that a person who is a ‘witness’ is one who had confronted the potentially guilty party, explained to them what they were doing is wrong, and the penalty they will bear if they proceed. Thus, they can testify that the accused was aware that what they were doing was wrong and that they had been warned of the penalty. If the accused proceeded with the act, it was with volition and intent.

Father, I pray You would send witnesses into my life if I begin to stray down a path leading to sin. Stop me in my tracks and confront me with the realization of where I am headed, so I can turn around before it’s too late.

Father, care for me as You care for the land. You “water the land and enrich it abundantly”. In the same way, pour out on me what I need for growth and fruitfulness in my spiritual life. Provide me with the nourishment I need to grow in maturity and grace. You “drench its furrows and level its ridges, softening it with showers, blessing the land and crowning it with bounty and abundance”.   Father, drench me in Your love, even out my rough places, soften my heart where it is hardened. Open my eyes to acknowledge Your bounty and abundance of blessing in my life, and I will shout for joy and sing praises to You. Amen

Numbers 35:1-34; Psalm 65:9-13