"If you had known what these words mean,
'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,'
you would not have condemned the innocent." 

(Matt.12:7)

WISHING MERCY OR HOLOCAUST?

Holocaust is a Greek word, not Jewish.  It means "whole-burnt."  Jews used to burn only some parts of their offerings; but they practiced also a "whole burnt" offering, a victim, the whole of which was burned.  (Sounds scary, but don't be scared!  If you look at Lev.5:12 you'll see that God meant only a handful of wheat flour, not a human sacrifice.)  God has chosen His only Son, Jesus, to be the final victim for all our transgressions: once and forever.   If the old-time Jews could burn flour for their sins, we cannot: since the last sacrifice on Golgotha God accepts no more victims.

Please, remember: Jesus has already paid for you!

We all like playing heroes to some extent.   Being a hero is so attractive! Yet, have you noticed that the real heroes do not play?   They simply do their job: like the NY rescuers did.
You don't need to become somebody: you already are somebody.
And, if you dream to make your life a sacrifice, I have to disappoint you:  THE PLACE IS TAKEN.  God desires mercy, not sacrifices, and, arguing with God, you make your position hopeless.  Don't loose your time and energy.  Give up and join the other side!  Jesus has paid for you and me already, so, let us study his character instead of burning ourselves out. 

"What can I do with you, Ephraim?  What can I do with you Judah?   Your love is like morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you.  For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings."  (Hos.6:4-6)

The desire to get even is not necessarily wrong.   God has never said, "Vengeance is bad."  Instead, he is constantly repeating through the Bible, "Vengeance is mine."  Thus, if you wish to get even to the terrorists, I would disappoint you again: for you and me that is impossible.   First, the real evildoers are dead already.  As for the bad guys who organized the attack on WTC and Pentagon [and/or other atrocities], here we face another problem.   I daresay, that justice in our human understanding can never be achieved.  
Why?  Because all the victims were innocent.  They all have suffered being guiltless.  If you are going to retaliate to their murderers, these guys can never be punished as innocents.  They are guilty.  If you are going not only to kill, but to torture them (oh, I understand your feelings!), their friends and relatives would not consider it "just."   Therefore, our human vengeance is neverending.
Trying to get even ourselves, we can put the whole World into the fire.  Do you wish another Holocaust?  I don't think so.   What should we do then?

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"  On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  (Matt.9:10-13)

Do you believe, that God is able to get even?  If so, let him do it.  Let God be God and ask him to punish the wrongdoers.  If you don't know how, you may read Psalms.  Psalm 58, for example.  Don't be afraid to ask God: even if your desire is not right in his eyes, he is always ready to help you to correct it.

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.  Jesus answered, "Do you think that this Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?  I tell you, no!  But unless you repent, you too will all perish.  Or those eighteen who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them do you think they were more guilty than all the others in Jerusalem?  I tell you, no!  But unless you repent, you too will all perish. "  (Lk.13:1-5)

Another trouble.  Sometimes we are afraid that God will not get even.  Jonah had a similar problem: he was a good boy, but he loved righteousness more, than people.  You are welcome to read the Book of Jonah, it's very short.

Look, God was not interested to punish Cain.   God was interested to correct him.  Cain was a farmer, but he loved the soil more than his brother.  Many farmers in Afghanistan and Pakistan use their soil to kill people: they crop poppies to produce heroin.  You must know it, for heroin has nothing common with righteousness.  Are you interested to punish them?   Or, to change?  Now, I hope you are more common with God's character.   Keeping in mind His priorities, try to punctuate the following:

MERCY NOT SACRIFICE


but what about Abel?
and what about us?

more about September 11
it's Greek to me

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations used on these pages are from the New International Version of the Bible.
Questions, comments?  Please, feel free to contact me: Leonid Maharinsky 
Leonid Maharinsky 2002. 

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