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Mercy and Justice

Exodus 22:2-3 

If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

Bloodguilt: guilt resulting from murder or bloodshed.

Barnes Notes Commentary says this about these two verses:

If a thief, in breaking into a dwelling in the night, was slain, the person who slew him did not incur the guilt of blood; but if the same occurred in daylight, the slayer was guilty in accordance with Exodus 21:12. The distinction may have been based on the fact that in the light of day there was a fair chance of identifying and apprehending the thief. 

This is true for those of us who have conceal and carry permits - if there is an alternative way of apprehending a thief, which is the better choice. However, if your life is in jeopardy, you have every right to defend yourself and your family.

The two words, mercy and justice, are two words that can best describe God. He is merciful to the repentant and brings justice to the criminal. Even in this example of the thief, there is justice for being an intruder at night (giving the homeowner the benefit of the doubt because of the darkness), and mercy for the thief during the day (since he can be seen).

The scriptures are clear that there is grace for the person killing another person under special circumstances, but it does not mean that an intruder automatically gets the fatal shot. In the states that do not have a “stand your ground law”, gun owners who encounter an intruder must retreat away from inflicting bodily harm or injury to the intruder if it can be avoided. The states that have a stand your ground law, like Florida, state that you don’t have to retreat when confronted by an intruder.

Here is what the Stand Your Ground law in Florida states: Many states have enacted so-called stand your ground laws that remove the duty to retreat before using force in self-defense. Florida passed the first such law in 2005, generally allowing people to stand their ground instead of retreating if they reasonably believe doing so will "prevent death or great bodily harm."

I think the scripture stated above in Exodus gives better clarity to when bodily harm can be inflicted. Mercy and justice are best seen in that verse, which gives fair treatment to both the intruder and the homeowner.

The Bible tells us that justice will be twisted and mercy will be ignored in the last days. Laws in the land will be used to protect the guilty, and many laws will support the immorality of sexual perversion and the killing of the unborn. It will be natural for this trend to continue because lawlessness now reigns in society as a whole.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, Matthew 24:12 

Why parents and teachers oppose guns being carried by teachers, volunteer veterans, or even hired police officers, is beyond my comprehension. The weak argument that teachers are to teach and not defend is an empty argument. Schools have to change from being soft targets to hard targets, which could be a deterrent to attacks such as Parkland. The point is that you protect these students regardless of the means by which you do it. Even if assault weapons are banned, automatic pistols can kill at the same rate and those are not in question by anyone at this point. Killing is killing regardless of the means by which it is being done. Deranged people will use forks to stab people if they are that crazy. Wait until someone decides that guns are too slow and take up too much time, and they bring timer bombs into schools. Will that time be the time we decide to do more about how evil works, or will we still be fixated upon the guns?

Evil is not stupid. Evil knows what is a soft target and what is not. Any gathering of people today is a soft target for the most part because Americans refuse to deal with the reality of evil. Evil will always hit the most vulnerable because evil is a bully and bullies always hurt the weakest and most unprepared part of any community. Again, there is no mercy with evil, and there is never justice. Evil will always find more victims; regardless of the laws you pass. This is why all the debates about guns and safety of our schools are so misguided.

Our best protection is being proactive for our own defense, always being aware of our surroundings, and always having an exit plan. Our next line of defense is assume evil is present in any situation, because it is. Look at all the soft targets - the Columbine shootings, the terror attacks in Boston, and the nightclub attacks in Florida – all soft targets.

Lastly, prayer and belief in God will go a long way to finding peace in times of great stress because of our violent society. Our society as a whole needs to rethink it’s preoccupation with violence because in everything from gaming to movies we are obsessed with killing. Who are we kidding? We can ban the guns, but what about all the other violent acts we watch on TV or at the movies? How about all the violent video games? Society needs a heart change because our preoccupation with violence is killing us.

Keeping it honest and truthful...K



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