mercy (not)killing

"No, my lord! No, my lord. Let him go. Enough blood has been spilt on his account."

Psalm 58:11 – But do not kill them [those who slander me], O LORD our shield, or my people will forget. In your might make them wander about, and bring them down.

Maybe there is a reason that our enemies persist even after we have escaped their power: to remind us of how much we have gained in Christ, as well as how much we stand to lose.  Then, LORD, I ask not for delivery from depression and self-hatred but mastery of it.  For if these demons are merely corruptions of my best self, as I remain convinced they are, it will not do to get rid of them entirely, will it?

It is harder, though, to accept this in the context of social injustice.  I heard a story on Sunday while we were distributing literature for Doma, an organization that fights human trafficking in Columbus and around the world, about a pimp approaching girls who used to belong to them and taunting them about the impermanence of their recovery. How I can empathize with the desperation and disgust those girls must feel hearing that dreadful demon despair whisper: You will never be free…

And then how is it that these people (for I must remember that they still are) remain out in the streets spreading their poison?  Why can’t we rip such problems up by the roots?  Can it be that God allows evil to persist to remind us of our need for him?  Hmmm.  That makes God sound needlessly petty and powerless.  No, I think that such is the nature of fallen man that we persist in our own evil until someone shows us the Way out.  The long, arduous Way the ultimately results in the death of our former self…and the birth of the new.

Greater minds than mine have pondered the problem of evil, so I’m not going to pretend to have anything to add to that conversation except to share how it is relevant to me. I can’t remember who said this–possibly Yancey or Strobel–but I think it bears remembering: while many have ruminated and apostatized over the problem of evil, how few have considered the problem of pleasure!  Why, in a purely mechanistic and materialistic world, should anything be good?  And yet it is undeniably so…

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One thought on “mercy (not)killing

  1. ragamuffin86 says:

    This is a good post. Wish I could comment more, but the parable of the Wheat and Tares always comes to mind in situations like this, as well as 2 Peter 3:9 — “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

    So hold on to that, I guess…

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