Our verses for this series of posts on the toils of sin are as follows:
The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is caught in the toils of his sin. Proverbs 5:22
There are six things which the Lord hates,
seven which are an abomination to him;
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
false witness who breathes out lies,
and a man who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
The third abomination to God is "hands that shed innocent blood." This abomination is, for most of us, a pretty easy sin to avoid. When we think about those who murder or even just physically injure others, they are usually other. Not us.
We think of criminals who deserve to be in jail...people who abuse others, who use weapons to harm others, who are in gangs, who kill for gain or for fun. Lock them up and throw away the key, right?
We think of governments and armies that oppress the innocent, imprison and torture those who dissent, commit genocide.
We think of human traffickers who would rather kill a woman than have her escape her life of abuse.
We think of people whose profession requires involvement with violence, such as soldiers and police. These people have opportunity to abuse their authority, to harm the innocent bystanders in already ugly situations.
We think of those who crucified Jesus because he threatened their authority and their legalistic way of life.
For those of us living comfortably in civilization today, this sort of violence isn't common at all, and it's easy to see it as something separate from us, not a sin we participate in, easily avoidable.
We commit some pretty ugly violence that's all too common. It may not result in physical wounds or bloodshed, but we do wound our children, our spouses, our parents, our siblings, our friends, total strangers with words or deeds that shed the blood of their hearts. We commit acts of spiritual and emotional violence any time we lash out at others with impatience, with loss of self-control, with anger or self-centeredness. We wound others when we turn away from their suffering and grief because it makes us uncomfortable.
Are we as innocent as we think we are when it comes to "hands that shed innocent blood"? What do you think?