As I have continued to ponder all the happenings in the Middle East my thoughts took me to the verses in the Scripture about Abel, the first murder victim. Below are the main ones I want to focus on in this blog.
1. Genesis 4:10 ~ “He [the Lord] said, ‘[Cain] What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.'”
2. Matthew 23:34-39 ~ “‘Therefore, behold I am sending you prohets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues; and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechaariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kill the prophets and stones those who sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings, any you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'”
3. Luke 11:51 ~ “From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who was killed between the porch and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.”
4. Hebrews 11:4 ~ “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.”
Abel was a righteous man. He was in covenant with the Creator God by faith. The God he was in covenant with would eventually be known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This Creator God is also known as the God of Abraham and Ishmael.. But as the covenant of atonement was set in motion because of the sin of man, He would forever be known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and then finally He would be known as the God of our [the] Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory.
In the above four Scripture references we get a glimpse into the heart of God. We see His concern for both the murdered and the murderer. We also see how the destructive choices people make sadden Him. We also see how He patiently waits for those who are guilty of acts of violence to repent and return to Him. We see His compassion on those that refuse as He looks into the future and sees the consequences of their actions.
Nine times in the Old Testament we see that this Creator God, this covenant making and covenant keeping God is slow to anger, full of mercy, compassion, abounding in grace and truth. There are three references in the Law, three in the Psalms, and three in the Prophets. We have three sets of three. The number three stands for the Godhead ~ Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or Divine Perfection. Three also stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete and entire. It takes three lines to form a plan figure and three dimensions of length, breadth and height are necessary to for a solid. God made man spirit, soul and body. He made us complete and those who are in covenant with Him through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth He will preserve complete.
The nine Old Testament verses are important to prove that God is not a mean person Who loves to punish those that mess up. Jesus said in the Gospels that He and the Father were One, and that if you saw Him then you saw the Father. The writer of Hebrews said that Jesus is the perfect representation [re-presenter] of Father God.
This brings me to the main point of this blog. Since the beginning of time people have been shedding innocent blood. That blood represents the life of the person killed. The shed blood of the righteous, those in right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ and His innocent shed blood, continually speak to Father God.
The question that must be asked is this, “what is that blood saying?” This is an interesting question. What is the blood saying to God? I believe it is saying something like this ~ “Father God, as a person in covenant with You, I know that you are loving, kind, and merciful. I know that you are compassionate, patient and that You are redemptive by nature. I ask that you forgive and save the person or people that took my life. I pray that you show them how much you love them and all the good that You planned for their life. I pray that their actions will not keep them separated from Your love.”
We must come to the realization that God’s heart is always redemptive and the heart of the truly righteous is redemptive as well [See Stephen in Acts 7 and of course Jesus on the Cross]. Are their terrible consequences for the unrepentant? Yes, of course! But God does not send people to hell any more that judges send people to jail. People send themselves to these places. Human judges and the Judge of the living and the dead can only agree with the individual person’s choice of receiving mercy or judgment. The difference between human judges and the ultimate Judge is God came as a man to pay the penalty for all of the sinfulness of mankind.
God was in Christ, reconciling men to Himself, not counting their sins against them. Therefore the need for punishment has been removed. God punished Christ and all those who are in Christ cannot be punished by God. Jesus not only died on the cross for us ~ He died in our place, or, He died as us.
In conclusion, I believe that in all the lands where the blood of Christian martyrs has been shed, or in every land where innocent children’s lives ended in the womb or after they were born, that their blood is crying out for redemption, not judgment.
Let us join our voices to theirs and cry out for God, Who has already issued the not guilty plea on behalf of all mankind, to bring the unsaved into His Kingdom. That is why Jesus came ~ to die for sinful man and make it possible for reconciliation to take place. He ever lives to make intercession. What is He saying – “Father forgive them, they know not what they do [have done].”
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury