These Six Things… Yea, Seven (Hands that shed innocent blood)
This is the third installment (click here for the first; click here for the second) looking at the list of seven things in Proverbs 6:16-19 that are said to be detestable to God (NIV). They are an abomination to God (ESV). Those are strong words that ought to move us to listen and respond.
After listing “haughty eyes” and “a lying tongue,” Solomon now speaks of “hands that shed innocent blood.” Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke points out that “‘to shed blood’ is not a neutral word for ‘to kill,’ but judges the deed; it is an intentional killing… a killing involving guilt.”
Probably most of us reading this post have never shed the blood of an innocent (or guilty!) person. So can we just breeze past this item that God detests? Are we off the hook?
In Matthew 5 we have Jesus giving us the full meaning of several of the Old Testament laws. One such “fulfillment” has to do with murder.
21 You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.” 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, “You fool!” will be liable to the hell of fire. - Matthew 5:21-22
Connecting these dots is pretty easy and rather convicting. While most of us have not shed blood and thus have not murdered, all of us have at one time or another been angry. All of us have spoken insults. All of us have called someone a fool (or an equivalent). Therefore all of us are guilty of God’s full meaning behind “hands that shed innocent blood.” It begins in our heart with our anger and insulting speech.
Where do you struggle in this way? Are there specific people that you seem to be easily angered towards?
Just typing those two questions brought people and situations to my mind. I think it is time for me to end this post and spend time having God search me so that I can repent and confess.
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. - Psalm 139:1-4