"But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed."
This is interesting to me, mainly because of the "it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished" part. We don't have to wait for the lightning forking out of the sky to strike us down... we mostly just get consequences that seem a natural part of life. There is an educational movement that favors disciplining (in school and out) in a "natural" way... no arbitrary punishments, but natural consequences of actions... and there are good and bad sides to that, as with most things, but this scripture made me think of that whole school of thought and how God runs things. :) He doesn't zap us from the sky to teach us obedience... he shows us how obedience makes our lives better and how disobedience makes our lives worse. Most of the punishments we receive are from each other. So it's interesting the way that it comes full circle. In order to not be punished, we have to stop punishing others. We have to stop the cycle somewhere... which is basically the golden rule, and the "judge not" rule too. We have to live well and treat others well in order to live righteously and happily... and in order for that idea to work, everyone has to participate. It's building Zion as well. :) Maybe the place to start, at least today, is to stop punishing people. I honked my horn at two people today, in my little world of road-rage. I need to stop that... I definitely don't want people honking at me when I do something stupid... so that's an example. How do we punish the people around us for the things that they do wrong? Let's stop... the first step to a better world.