This question is asked in Psalm 6:3. It is preceded by: “My soul is in deep anguish.” Other variations of this cry to God appear in Psalms 13:1; 79:5; 89:46; 94:3. This is likely the cry being shouted or prayed by the families of the Oregon students shot to death yesterday.
We see mass violence throughout the world every day. We see it now in America, even in churches and schools.
The debate about gun control vs. the Second Amendment has already begun — again. We work into this debate mental illness, money, and political power. As true in the aftermath of previous mass shootings, it’s likely that the only result after Oregon will be the debate.
I have my own political views on this subject, but politics isn’t the answer. Our political system is presently inadequate to solve the smallest of problems. And realistically, the problem of gun violence may be insoluble.
You might expect me to turn to Holy Scripture for an answer. But the Bible is streaked with examples of individual and mass violence, particularly in the Old Testament. No guns back then, but a lot of violence. One of the ten commandments is, “Thou shalt not kill.” Somehow, though, murder became okay if it fell within the exception of an “eye for an eye.”
Yet when Jesus came to fulfill the law (which, to me, means explain it as God intended in the first place), he referenced the exception in Matthew 5:38-39 and then says: “But I tell you…turn…the other cheek.” In Luke 6:35-36, he says “love your enemies…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
As I said in yesterday’s post, Jesus was kind of crazy that way. Jesus gives an answer to violence that we just can’t accept — not now, maybe never. How long, Lord, how long?