Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Shedding of Innocent Blood – 21st Century Application!

They did not destroy the peoples, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them, but they mingled with the Gentiles and learned their works; they served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled by their own works, and played the harlot by their own deeds. Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His people, so that He abhorred His own inheritance. --- Psalm 106:34-40

One of the earliest recorded statements employing the term, “shed innocent blood,” is found in the book of Psalms in the Old Testament. The practice of such goes back much earlier in human history.

The expression refers to a deliberate act in which an innocent victim is violently assaulted and his or her life is terminated! The very first instance of the shedding of innocent blood took place when a man by the name of Cain made a decision to murder his brother, Abel. (Genesis 4).

The circumstances under which the shedding of innocent blood can take place are widely varied. The result, however, is always the same – one or more innocent persons lose their lives because of violent acts perpetrated against them. The ages of the victims can vary greatly ranging from infants to the very elderly.

Records from more recent history indicate that motives for such activity were the elimination of what were considered “undesirables” for one reason or another or else a “purifying” by the racial group which held the reins of power in government. Nazi philosophy and actions during WW II is a shocking demonstration of this. The shedding of innocent blood by the Nazis amounted to at least 15 million or more.

In very ancient times certain heathen peoples became convinced that some of their deities could not be appeased unless a human being was offered in sacrifice. We have Biblical information on some details concerning these abominable practices. The Canaanite people threw babies into a blazing fire as a sacrifice to one deity named Molech. It was the only way you could keep Molech from getting mad and doing some nasty things to you!

Eventually the Israelites, who had been previously informed rather clearly that there was but one God and He was to be honored and obeyed, became corrupted by compromise and began to worship such heathen deities as Molech and others. Needless to say, God was more than a little upset about this as we learn from statements made in the Scriptures.

As we look at the scene in those days as the shedding of innocent blood became a rather popular way of life for backslidden Israelites, suppose we could have engaged in conversation with them -- what might they have said? “You ask why do we do this shedding of innocent blood? It’s practical and convenient – it’s a way of population control and we don’t have to be bothered with that kid which we didn’t want in the first place – just another mouth gone which we don’t have to feed anymore! We weave religion into the whole process with the understanding that Molech certainly has our best interest at heart!”

Realistically one would have to conclude that a civilized culture could never resort to such practices. Certainly a number of people who are sensitive to true justice and a realistic view of human life from God’s point of view would agree that the shedding of innocent blood is something to be avoided without exception.

However, the United States has been proving that it has been an exception for quite some time. Honesty dictates to a sensitive conscience that the shedding of innocent blood applies not just to every human being ever born, but to those who are yet to be born.

But we have leaders in government, including the president, and other people in high places as well as in organized groups who take a backslidden Israelite approach to the shedding of innocent blood – it’s convenient for a number of reasons and it is a “constitutional right” to do so.

There are even church “leaders” who sanction the practice – if they had lived centuries ago, they would have been the ones who would have seduced the Israelites to “try the Canaanite ways, because it looks like a good thing!”

An interesting thing exists in the United Methodist Church – lots of talk and “campaigning” for getting mosquito netting to combat malaria in Africa – we are told of at least 1 million children dying each year in Africa from malaria – but you won’t hear even one United Methodist bishop making an issue of the shedding of innocent blood in this country and the shocking fact that over 1 million unborn children are torn to pieces and murdered in their mothers’ (term used very loosely) wombs each year in these “civilized” United States!

Will it ever be stopped? Not likely – the spirit of Molech is deeply entrenched at all levels of our culture – well that is, it likely won’t be stopped until that day when Almighty God steps in and puts a stop to it – do you want to be around when that happens?

Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. they trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity………….. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace. --- Isaiah 59:1-4, 7, 8

"For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.” --- Jeremiah 7:5-7

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