Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Scarlet Sin...(Hint: Not what you think it is)

In the Bible, the worst sin of all, against another human, is taking someone's life.

Here's a partial synopsis, and what it includes:

Stealing another human: If a man is found stealing any of his brothers of the children of Israel, and enslaves, or sells him; then that thief shall die; and you shall put the evil away from among you.
So theft for sale, or enslavement, of a "brother" (and sister, and neighbor, presumably) is a sin punishable by death. This shows what God thinks of the sex trafficking industry (lots more on this in the prophets) and other similar types of enslavement. It also shows how these things will be treated on judgment day. 

Destroying someone by withholding wages (or paying wages so low that the wagearner can't live): 

James 5:1,4: Come now,  you wealthy! weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you!
....
Behold, your workers' wages ... which you have kept back by fraud, cries out: and the cries of your workers  entered the ears of the Lord of Armies
Stealing someone's livelihood is a form of murder.  You prevent him from taking care of himself by means of your theft, and reduce him to nothing.  

Direct Murder: 
Numbers 5:31: Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death. 
Murder is the scarlet sin.  It is destruction of another human being, directly or indirectly, and God commands punishment for it.
The original murderer was the devil, whom Jesus said "was a murderer from the beginning, and did not remain in the truth;" apparently, Jesus regarded Satan as ultimately responsible for Adam's sin, and calls him a murderer for causing Adam and Eve to be subject to dying and death.

What I'm getting at is this:
"Taking a life" includes lots more than we might think: it includes such things as stealing a person's livelihood so that they can no longer provide for themselves.  It includes sex trafficking, and kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit crimes against other humans.  This law is administered by the King of the Universe, who really doesn't care how important someone thinks he is.  To Him, all are the same.
There are many potential murderers, because:
It's easy to steal from the weak.  They are, after all, weak.
It's easy to rationalize enslaving people for little money, so that they cannot live.
It's easy to take advantage of people who don't know what they are doing in a given situation because you're lying to them (Bernie Madoff comes to mind).
It's easy to think of what you do as "OK," but our actions need to be examined in the cold light of reality.  What are we really doing?
So here's a brief compendium of things to avoid / things to do if you want to give life rather than take it:
1. Help the weak.  Don't hurt them or take advantage of them.
2. If you're going to be an "activist," be sure that your cause is really just, the need of the moment, and not just inspired by media insanity or rage.
3. Don't lie to people about money. Ever.
4. If you are the owner of a business, give your employees "what is fair and just."  Don't rationalize that "the job is only worth" $$, when you KNOW that you will have to pay them $$$$ for them to survive and do well financially.  When you employ them, they ARE your responsibility.
5. Be a friend.  All true friends affirm life.  They are reluctant to condemn, because they know they will face the same God in judgment as their neighbors. Let God be the judge, not you.
6. Don't gossip / tell lies about other people.  The lie murders in ways that sometimes even a knife cannot.
7.  If you are in a position of religious authority, practice kindness, especially with those whom your prejudices tell you are not worth it.  They are.  God placed within them the same divine spark that He placed within you, and he also is made in the image of God, same as you.  Treat him like God made him as well as you.