By Vernon W. Redekop
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Extra info for A life for a life?: death penalty on trial
Deuteronomy points out that intervention at the first sign of turning away from God was necessary. The writer pleads desperately for Israel to stop the spread of evil. The struggle against evil is not primarily with exterior political threats. It is close to home. The message to every citizen is not to succumb to the pressure of idolatry even if it comes from a close friend. Thus, this passage does not suggest killing on a large scale. Rather it warns the community against potential danger. It calls the community to prevent evil before it has a chance to destroy persons, and in the end, the community itself.
Page 38 The Bible acknowledges the emotion of anger, both by God and by human beings. Early in the history of Israel, the whole community got carried away with death-deserving behavior twice. God was angry enough to have them "killed as one person" (Numbers 14:15)to execute the whole community. On both occasions God wanted to start all over with Moses. And on both occasions Moses argued with God in prayer: LORD, O LORD God, Compassionate and generous with your favor, Slow to anger and great in merciful love and faithfulness, Demonstrating merciful love to the clans, Forgiving guilt and the sin of revolt and terrible wrongdoing, And cleansing them from the need for punishment.
This distinction Page 37 does not satisfy those angry people who wish to see offenders punished rather than restored to wholeness in the community. " How does the Lord deal with the desire to punish, a desire born of deep sustained anger? To answer, we will look first at the dynamics of anger and then at how God handled anger. Jason grew up on a reserve near Brandon, Manitoba. At the age of eight he was taken away from his mother, who had an alcohol problem. Since he loved his mother, it hurt him deeply to leave her.
A life for a life?: death penalty on trial by Vernon W. Redekop