Sorry folks for the missing week… I should have checked if my vacation spot had Internet access 🙂
We are back on track with the book of Proverbs!
For the next several days I’ll be leading a daily reading of Proverbs. It is a book in the Bible which offers both practical wisdom and eternal perspectives. Join with me each day in reading a chapter. I will offer a reflection on one verse or topic from each chapter.
One of the very first codes of justice in human history was Hammurabi’s Code. Hammurabi was a Babylonian King around the 1700’s BCE. He basically said: “an eye for an eye… a tooth for a tooth”. Or, in other words, whatever wrong thing someone does should be done to them as a punishment.
It’s amazing… but close to 4000 years later our gut reaction is that we STILL like this idea! Come on… surely, we should have developed a little bit more than that?! When someone does some nasty thing… we just naturally want to see some nasty thing done to them in return. We call that justice… but is it really anything more than revenge?
God’s wisdom, God’s justice, doesn’t take ‘an eye for an eye’. God’s wisdom, God’s justice, doesn’t want to ‘gloat’ over the suffering of an enemy… no matter how much it may be deserved. God’s wisdom, God’s justice, cries when anyone does wrong… and when revenge is visited on the wrongdoer.
That’s tough stuff, but then again, who of us haven’t had a moment of grace in which we DIDN’T get what we deserved… and we thanked God for it. Think about it.
Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, (Proverbs 24:17)