October 9th, 2010, a ten-year-old girl in my community was reported missing when her father came home from work. Over the course of a month, it was discovered she wasn’t kidnapped, as was first reported to the police, but murdered by her step-mother. Based on this woman’s confessions to the police, regarding her step-daughter, and the discovery process of the remains of the little girl, this woman was offered a deal by the local district attorney’s office.
Today, I have watched Facebook and Twitter explode with emotions and outrage at the plea agreement. Rather than getting the death penalty, life in prison, of a lengthy stay in prison, this woman’s guilty plea to second degree murder will only give her 14-18 years in prison.
Almost a year after our first mourning of this child’s tragic death, my community is mourning again. I have seen the rantings of people saying injustice has won, the legal system didn’t do its job, and she’s getting away with murder. The emotions are at a high stake right now. We’ve opened old wounds, and we have to prepare for another healing.
But while the community is emotionally hurt, distraught, and outraged about the plea agreement, what does God think? How does God feel about this situation? It was a question I had to deal with in my own life when the step-mother was finally charged with the murder. It took so long to happen, what could God possibly be up to? I want to share with you what I discovered, and what has brought me more peace than any angry emotion.
Read these Scriptures carefully:
Psalm 37:1-13 – Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
Isaiah 55:8 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Romans 12:19 – Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
The Lord promises to take care of the evils of this world – in His time. He will take care of it, and we need to look at it as an eternal punishment. As much as we want Him to take out terrorists, murderers, rapists, thieves, and the like, right this very moment, He’s bestowing a moment of mercy – withholding the eternal punishment – to give them an opportunity. He bestowed that same mercy to each of us before we came to believe it as well.
In times like these, as much as we want to see earthly punishment, we cannot expect it. Why is that? Because…Christians are supposed to win souls and bring more to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. These evil-doers are as much a creation of God as we are. Now, God didn’t create sin, but He created these people to have the same destiny that we do. His plan for them all along is to redeem them.
Take a look at Paul’s life. Christians revere him, some set him up on a pedestal while others think he was the greatest Christian to lead the church. However, he too was a murderer. He murdered Christians, which may very well have included men, women, and children. When it comes down to the heart of the matter, we are all the same. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And while we put standards and regard some sins lesser than others, all it takes is one sin to keep us out of Heaven.
As you finish out your day today, I encourage you to look at yourself and others through the eyes of Jesus. When you begin thinking and acting like Christ, as all believers are set apart to do, you will begin to have the mind and love of Christ. This will change your view of people in general, and hopefully direct you to a godly point of view – seeing people how Christ sees them. He died for everyone – we need to be willing to stretch out in faith, pray for lost souls, like this woman in my community, and pray that God changes their hearts for the better.