KEY VERSE: “So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 21:9).
Evil practices, blood-letting, primordial and bestial practices demean men and poison communal space. In the Old Testament, when a crime was committed and the criminal went away, the whole community was held responsible. God was pointing to the need for the whole community to feel a keen sense of responsibility for what was going on around them and to move to correct situations that were potentially harmful either physically, socially or morally. Although the people were innocent of the act, the elders must still ask the Lord’s forgiveness for the shedding of innocent blood.
And an honest attempt must be made to seek for justice. The elders represented the citizens at large. The judges, magistrates and priests from the nearest town of priest were likewise to be at hand. Thus, all classes would be represented at the purging away of that blood-guiltiness which until removed, was attached to the whole community. The requirement as regards place and victim are symbolic. The heifer represented the murderer, to die in his stead, since he could not be found. The heifer must be of full growth and strength, and must not have been ceremonially profaned by human use. As saints of God, when we know that an innocent party within our area has been wronged, we are not to turn our backs and say that we are not involved.
Even the simple act of publicly condemning such action as displeasing to God would remind those who hear that God sees all and will judge the perpetrators of sin. However, if you are the one that is unjustly treated or accused, you should peacefully approach the throne of mercy and the all-seeing God will vindicate you at the set time. Never, for whatever consideration, resort to self-help in settling scores.
Thought for the day: A responsible life the pleases God is based on His word.
Bible Reading in one Year: 1 KINGS 13-14