Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
This week there was another shooting at a school. This one took place in Michigan. A short time before this there was a man who took a vehicle and ran down a number of people in Wisconsin. Some of the media reported that a car ran down some people. In the case of the shootings, there are those who want to ban all guns.
In my observation, I have never seen a car start and take off after people on its own. Someone has to initiate that process. It is true that a vehicle can be a “run away” vehicle, but someone had to leave the vehicle in neutral or start the vehicle and put it into gear and then get out, or something along that line. A vehicle sitting in a driveway is not a dangerous thing. That same vehicle, if driven responsibly is not a dangerous vehicle. It has the potential of causing damage if the person who should be responsible for the operation of the vehicle loses control of the vehicle in some way.
The same thing is true regarding guns. There are many guns on certain store shelves. Those working in those stores do not need to be concerned that all of a sudden those guns will start firing. It is a tragedy that a 15 year old young man took a gun to school with enough ammunition to do much more damage than he did. The problem is not with the gun. The problem is with that 15 year old boy and in this particular case, with the parents as well. I say that because they have refused to talk to police and have hired an attorney. They have also told their son not to talk to the police. There is something going on there that we are not aware of.
In both of the cases sighted above, there is a problem that the Bible calls sin. The person with the vehicle intentionally drove into that crowd of people and mowed down a number of people. The 15 year old young man intentionally took that gun to school and went into a washroom and prepared for his wicked actions and then came into the hallways and started shooting. In both cases, the guilty parties demonstrated a seared conscience that revealed itself in a lack of respect for human life, and also a lack of the fear of God.
In the school shooting case, it is another reminder of the fact that godly parents should be home-schooling their children. God gave children to parents. He did not give children to the state. Parents are responsible for the training of their children. It is a well recognized fact that the public school system is not concerned with training children in a godly manner. The things they promote clearly show that to be so. Some would argue that some parents are not equipped to be able to teach their children. I would agree with that assessment. However, that problem can be solved if the parents get saved and become members of a good local church. The true local church is there to support parents in their God-given responsibilities.
As our opening verse states, by mercy and truth, iniquity is purged.
Psalms 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
The mercy and truth we are talking about is God’s mercy and His truth. God, in His mercy provided salvation for mankind. He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ into this world to suffer and die on the cross of Calvary, shedding His blood on that cross for us. He had no sin. He shed His blood so that you and I could be forgiven and saved. If a person is saved, they are not going to go out and murder someone else.
Truth is God’s truth. God’s truth tells us that without Him, man is capable of much wickedness. In Genesis 4 we read that Cain refused to offer an acceptable sacrifice to God and when he saw that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted and his was not, he despised his brother. God intervened but Cain refused to accept God’s mercy and His truth. He met his brother in the field and murdered him. God again intervened with His mercy and truth. Cain continued to reject God’s mercy and truth. He had a negative influence on his children because he rejected God’s mercy and truth.
Genesis 6 shows us further the depraved nature of man. Wickedness was great upon the earth at that time. God provided mercy and truth through a man named Noah. Noah was given 120 years to build an ark according to God’s instructions. The Bible tells us in II Peter 2:5 that Noah was a preacher of righteousness. During those 120 years Noah was given the opportunity to warn people of an imminent judgment that was coming. Sadly none of the people listened to Noah. They perished in the flood. God’s mercy and truth was there, but none but Noah’s family availed themselves of it.
There is no substitute for a true local church. Parents that refuse to attend a true local church are missing out on that which they will one day regret. They are also grooming their children for trouble. Not every lost child will take a gun and go and shoot others. Not every lost child will become a bank robber. However, every lost child that remains in that state will end up in the lake of fire. Every lost parent will also be there.
God allows these tragic events to take place to warn us all of the need for His mercy and truth. He also tells us that by the fear of the LORD, men depart from evil. That fear is not a crippling fear. It is a reverence and respect for God. It is that recognition that God knows what is right and He will do exactly as He says He will.
At the age of 20 it finally sunk in with me that I would go to hell if I were to die. I was assured of that fact. However, I did not want to go to hell. I also knew that God provided the only way of forgiveness and salvation. I knew that was through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I turned to God and asked Him to forgive me and save me at that time. I lacked good teaching for many years after that. That is the poison of New Evangelicalism. I did not listen well to God and did not do personal Bible study. New Evangelical churches do not teach the Bible properly and they intentionally keep people from the truth. I am thankful that God does not allow His children to remain in darkness. God is still teaching me the importance of a Biblical fear in Him.
Those who are saved need to be sure they are reading their Bibles at home every day. They need to be sure to attend a good, Bible-believing local church faithfully as well. They need to seek God’s direction in all things and be a light to others along the way.
That young man who shot those people faces serious charges. The justice system is not good and who knows what the end result will be on this earth for that man. I know that the mother of the man who ran down those people in Wisconsin is blaming society for not providing the mental health support that he needed. She says he has been on drugs for mental health issues since he was a child. God has a much different answer to that man’s needs than man does. God’s way works. Obviously, man’s ways do not. We need to pray that these men and their families will come to see their need to be saved. We also need to pray for the many who were impacted by these violent acts. Most of those people are also lost and need to be saved. They need to know God’s peace.
As is the case from the beginning, there is a great need to know the fear of the LORD in people’s hearts and lives. May God help us to know that fear and to know His blessing today.