An Endless Cry for Justice and Retribution!

An Endless Cry for Justice and Retribution!

"...and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents..."
(Jeremiah 19:4b NKJV)

The first murder in the human race bore witness to the fact that innocent blood was shed in a most violent act and out of this arose a cry that justice be done. As Cain was confronted by the Creator of all human life about the incident he was told, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground..." (Genesis 4:10 NKJV).

The result was that Cain paid an extremely high price for murdering his brother. Innocent blood always, without exception, cries out for justice and retribution!

It is not just a matter of the innocent blood of one murder victim that captures the attention of Almighty God, but the mass shedding of the innocent blood of huge numbers of victims as well! Sometimes it can be an acceptable practice in a culture which goes far beyond the heinous results of waging war and spilling the blood of masses of people of all ages throughout the duration of the conflict.

The ancient Israelite people were a very special people. They had been chosen by God for a task unlike that which has confronted any other group of people in the entire history of the human race.

The Israelites received a lot of information over time in special revelations from God. Basically they learned to pattern their lives after a detailed code of behavior as given by God. In the process of fulfilling the requirements of that code they would reveal to the heathen nations the true identity of the living God who created the heavens and the earth, and the fact that this God is a holy God Who has spiritual, moral, and ethical standards from which no human is ever exempted!

Tragically, God's will for the Israelites was ignored time after time and eventually they became entangled in the way of the Canaanites who were the original occupants of the land which God promised to give to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

One ultimate abomination of which the Canaanites were guilty was the practice of child sacrifice. Infants were thrown alive into the fire in an effort to appease a god by the name of Molech. There were some other heathen deities which were worshipped in a similar manner.

As the Israelites became corrupted in their worship and by choice ignored the clear directives given by God as to achieving a holy lifestyle, they too began to sacrifice children to Molech and other heathen deities.

Prophets were raised up and sent by God to warn the Israelites of the disaster which awaited them if they refused to repent of such practices as well as many other sins of which they were now guilty.

The expressions used to describe the violent deaths of the innocent, including children, were:

  • A specific command about sacrificing children was given through Moses: "And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD." --- "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire..." Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 18:10 NKJV

  • And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger." - 2 Kings 17:17 NKJV

  • "Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood" - 2 Kings 21:16 NKJV

  • "because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the LORD would not pardon" - 2 Kings 24:4 NKJV

  • "And shed innocent blood, Even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood" - Psalm 106:38 NKJV

  • "hands that shed innocent blood" - Proverbs 6:17 NKJV

  • "Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood" - Isaiah 59:7 NKJV

  • "blood of the lives of the poor innocents" - Jeremiah 2:34 NKJV

  • "shedding innocent blood" - Jeremiah 22:17 NKJV

  • "the blood of the innocents" - Jeremiah 19:4 NKJV

  • "And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin." - Jeremiah 32:35 NKJV

After a measure of time had passed and God's appeals for repentance coupled with warnings of impending judgment were totally ignored, the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed and less than a century and a half later the southern kingdom of Judah, the city of Jerusalem, and the magnificent temple built by King Solomon were totally destroyed.

A simple, easy to follow explanation concerning the downfall of the kingdom of Judah is put in these words:

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He also did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions.
2 Chronicles 36:11-19 NKJV

OK - enough history with a reminder that the only thing we really learn from history is that we DON'T learn from history!!

In the time it took you to read to this point, quite a number of persons had their lives violently ended -- it was brutal as their little bodies were mangled in the process -- the "shedding of innocent blood" continues without any real restraint in the "land of the free and the home of the brave!"

The rate of shedding innocent blood involving unborn children is at an approximate rate of 100,000 per month or more. You can see the present tally by looking at the "record keeper" posted here:

Unborn Babies Brutally
Mutilated and Murdered

since Roe vs. Wade
January 1973

Watch this for 60 to 90 seconds and see what happens!

It has been estimated that Russia destroys about 4 million unborn children per year. Many other nations in the spirit of the ancient Canaanites also practice the "shedding of innocent blood."

Now then, how about an interesting "prayer" that directly relates to this issue?

"Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon," the inhabitant of Zion will say; "And my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!" Jerusalem will say. Therefore thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry." -- Jeremiah 51:35,36 NKJV

In context, it is a prayer for retribution and justice related to the devastation brought about by the Babylonians. Eventually the mighty empire of Babylon was judged and now nothing but ruins exist where the great city once stood with walls 300 feet high and on top of which a number of chariots could run side by side! But prior to that a judgment came upon the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, their leaders, and their citizens for the massive shedding of innocent blood of which they had been guilty!

There was a cry in ancient times from "innocent blood" which had been needlessly and senselessly shed -- a desperate cry for justice and retribution -- that cry was heard by Him Who has an identity and a purpose for every conceived human being.

If Cain didn't get away with the shedding of the innocent blood of one person, are we so deceived as a nation that we believe we can get away with the shedding of the innocent blood of millions for over more than three decades?

And here's a question none of us really want to answer -- could it be possible that the United States, with all the light of God's eternal truth to which it has had free access ever since it was founded, has crossed over the line of mercy and forgiveness as offered by God due to hardness of heart, entrenched idolatry, and a deceived mindset which believes that simply repeating the expression, "God bless America!" automatically makes us an acceptable people in the sight of God and we become the focus of His joy and delight? Could it really be that it is simply a matter of time before God clearly makes known the fact that now is "payback time" for the willful shedding of innocent blood of millions of unborn persons?

Notice that in this election year of 2004 NEITHER political party is really coming to the place of honestly and aggressively addressing this moral crisis -- NEITHER candidate is boldly announcing that this has got to be the top priority issue and the blood letting must stop NOW!

But then when large numbers of church leaders seem to be tight-lipped on the matter, how can we expect political leadership to do much of anything?

Now back to history again -- about 586 BC -- do you suppose Jeremiah said something like this -- "I told you and I warned you, but you wouldn't listen -- and you thought I was the bad guy!"

A Significant Selah Moment!

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds.
Habakkuk 1:2-2 (NKJV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness....

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.

Romans 1:18; Psalm 119:126-128 NKJV

September 1, 2004
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy, PA
AND Non-Affiliated registered voter, Cambria Co. PA

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