The Lord hates hands that shed innocent blood
"These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren" (Proverbs 6:16-19).
"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3).
The whole world is polluted, drenched with innocent blood. How are people with blood on their hands to be punished? How can evil be overcome?
In 2001 on September 11th terrorist suicide bombers flew hijacked passenger planes into buildings in New York City and Washington DC killing more than three-thousand people (2657 at the World Trade Center, 266 on the four planes and 125 at the Pentagon).
The world was rightly horrified by this atrocity.
God hates hands that shed innocent blood, and He shows no partiality.
"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3).
Much innocent blood is shed that brings no tears, that is never reported in the newspapers.
Every day in US hospitals an average of 3560 innocent children die at the hands of hired killers. During 2000 one million three-hundred thousand children were killed in this way. In each case they were taken by their own mothers to be killed. They call it abortion.
In other words, a terrorist attack equivalent to what was done on September 11th, 2001 would have to be carried out every day, week in week out, year in year out, to kill as many innocent people as are killed routinely in US hospitals by abortion.
From 1973 (when abortion was legalized in the US) until the end of 2001, more than forty million babies were killed in the US. World-wide, about forty million babies are exterminated by abortion each year.
Where are the tears? Where is the outrage? Where is the media coverage?
What blood could be more innocent than the blood of an unborn child? What crime could be more heinous than a mother killing her own child, unless it is a doctor who gets money for killing babies?
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20).
God is keeping track of each precious one. He takes each child that was rejected and killed by its mother into His loving arms. And He will see that justice is done.
How are people with blood on their hands punished?
God will punish them on the day of judgment unless they repent, and He uses governments to punish them now and to punish one another.
He brought destruction on His people Israel because they sacrificed their children to idols. "They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood" (Psalm 106:37,38).
God used Nebachadnezzar, whom He called 'my servant' to punish Israel for her sins (Jeremiah 25:9; 27:6; 43:10). But Babylon was so violent and evil herself that she was later punished as well (Jeremiah 25:12; 50:18).
People who shed innocent blood separate themselves from God.
"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. They hatch vipers' eggs and weave the spider's web; he who eats of their eggs dies, and from that which is crushed a viper breaks out. Their webs will not become garments, nor will they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace" (Isaiah 59:2-8).
People with blood on their hands, and countries that are polluted with the blood of innocents, need not expect help from God. "When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood" (Isaiah 1:15).
We must repent and choose good rather than evil. Only then will we survive the judgments that are coming upon the world. "But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil" (Deuteronomy 30:14,15).
All people will stand before the judgment seat of God to give account for what they have done.
"Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28,29).
God will punish those who perpetrate atrocities. "For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Governments have been appointed by God as ministers of wrath to punish evil-doers: "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil" (Romans 13:1-4).
The governing authorities have been appointed as God's ministers, avengers, to execute wrath on those who practice evil. Christians should submit to their governments up to the point where they are told to do something that is contrary to the revealed will of God. Then what Peter told the Jewish rulers applies: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
How can evil be overcome?
This is the special task of Christians. Evil must be punished, yes. God turns evil against evil to punish evil. But overcoming evil, conquering evil can only be accomplished by good. It can only be accomplished by the blood of Christ that atones for the sins of the world (John 1:29).
Christians are not ministers of God's wrath, as are governments. Christians are ministers of reconciliation: "Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:18- 20).
We do not interfere with the government as God's minister of wrath to punish evil-doers. But neither do we participate in that task because we have a more exalted commission. We are a special task force, not to punish evil, but to conquer evil. We have been appointed as God's ministers of reconciliation. We are commanded: "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. 'Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17-21). "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44,45). "See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all" (1 Thessalonians 5:15). "Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9).
As commissioners of God, we call men to turn away from evil and to do good.
"Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth" (Psalm 34:12-16).
"Do they not go astray who devise evil? but mercy and truth belong to those who devise good" (Proverbs 14:22).
"Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore" (Psalm 37:27).
"He who diligently seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil" (Proverbs 11:27).
The whole world is polluted, drenched with innocent blood. God will punish evil on the day of judgment, and He uses governments to punish evil now. Christians are God's special task force to conquer evil, calling men to repentance and overcoming evil with good.
"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For 'He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil''' (1 Peter 3:8-12).
"Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God" (3 John 11).
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive