Friday, September 9, 2016

Deuteronomy 21:7-9 -- On Shared Guilt and Community Solutions

"And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.
Be merciful, O Lord, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel’s charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them.
So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord."
Deuteronomy 21:7-9

The idea of shared guilt for a murder that may or may not have been committed by the immediate community is an interesting one.  The specific instructions in this chapter are from the Law of Moses, which Christ fulfilled, and aren't things that we have to observe today, but the idea behind the whole thing still seems applicable.

There is a lot of evil in this world that we didn't cause, but that doesn't mean that we don't have a responsibility to do something about it.  Our individual personal righteousness is important, but it isn't enough.  As individuals and communities, we need to be working to help others, and help the world, to be better than it is. The ways that we do this can be as varied as we are; the important part is that we reach beyond ourselves.

Today, let's think about the idea discussed in these verses, of a community righting an anonymous wrong, and let's consider ways that we can reach out and help solve the problems in our communities, our societies, and our world. We didn't cause all of the problems we face... but with God's help, we can choose to take on the responsibility and be a part of solving them.

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