We heard about Charlerston, South Carolina.
As Dylann Roof entered an African American church and proceeded to murder nine people during Bible study, as he moved from person to person, ending their lives in a place that emphasizes love and mercy and, “thou shalt not kill,” he was shouting ,”I want to kill black people.”
One of his victims was an 87-year-old grandmother who was, for all practical purposes, done with the world and could not hurt , even if she desired to do so.
Uncontrolled anger does not consider, discriminate nor respect any boundaries.
Yes! Indeed! We are troubled on every side. We live in perilous times and fast approaching are the days of which it is said, “There was never a time like this nor ever will be again and except those days be shortened no flesh will be saved.”
We heard about New Jersey.
As 51-year-old policeman Phillip Seidle chased down his ex -wife in a car thereby causing the vehicle in which she was driving to crash -within eyesight of fellow cops who were nearby investigating an unrelated accident and his 7-year-old daughter in the front seat alongside her mother- he pumped several bullets into the victim’s car. Then he, coldly walked to the front to discharge the final deadly rounds through the windshield to ensure the job was done.
In one fell swoop, nine children, of which they were the parents, ranging in age from 7 to 24, became instant de facto orphans.
Only God knows how this will impact their future. Will their lives also end at the precise moment of their mother’s death? Enduring such a bitter blow at such tender ages will they find any reason to lead a productive existence? How do they turn it around to find the good in all of this? How does it get better? Will things ever be right again?
Will either of the fallen’s families ever grasp the meaning of words like hope, forgiveness and salvation?
Always when a man loses control of his spirit, unpleasant things happen, invariably harming those around us. It seems we have all been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Our lives are uncertain and unsure.
Here is a brutal thought. Notwithstanding, our place or position we do not determine how or where we exit this world.
We do not all die in our beds surrounded by loving family and friends.
Who can say the next time we shop at Walmart, take a seat in a darkened movie theater, attend a class at our local school, or select a pew in our house of worship, we will not find ourselves in the crosshairs of some deranged gunman-seeking to end our time here on earth?
Those two men had something in common and it relates to the book of Proverbs. “a man that hath no control over his own spirit is like a city broken into and without walls.” - Proverbs 25:28
When our spirit is damaged we become like Biblical chaff thrown about by every prevailing wind.
We no longer act with logic and reason and commit evil, unspeakable deeds that defy human explanation and understanding. We make mistakes from which there are found no recovery and no solution. Moreover, if the agents of destruction remain unhealed and unrepentant they are condemned to hell for all eternity.
The Nature of man
It is almost universally accepted in religious circles that man is a triune being: body, soul and spirit. In order to be complete, we need to nourish the whole being with a carefully balanced diet.
If our “food” intake only addresses one or two aspects of our existence to the detriment of the others, the whole body is thrown out of whack, often resulting in excruciating pain, suffering and in many cases “terminal illnesses.”
This happens mainly with the spirit of man - the most essential part of his being.
Foolishly, he focuses on his body and soul with fine clothes, fine wine, fine women and fine food.
He watches pornography, engages in lewd acts and attaches himself to hate groups to further fuel, debilitate and distort his now diseased mind and soul.
His neglected, malnourished spirit becomes lost in the proverbial wilderness, loses the connection to his God, the source of light and life, who created him in his image, and who communicates only with his spirit.
Hear again what the word of God says:
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” Galatians 5:22
“By their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7: 20
So the spirit of man becomes deformed , twisted, damaged, wounded or destroyed.
Therefore, words like wisdom, love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion which are planted by God, born in the spirit and intended to flow outward to modify, apprehend or correct the body and soul are strange, foreign and unfamiliar to him.
Consequently, we are shocked and dismayed as we stand witness to Columbine, Denver, Col., Virginia Tech, Boston and Newtown, Mass.
We stand by helpless, wringing our hands in despair. We pray and cry and sigh and moan and complain, desperately singing in our distress, “How long, oh Lord, ere we hear a glad song” or “If I had the wings of a dove.”
To all of us I can only say,
“Let those who are faithful, remain faithful still.”
Remain constant in prayer ever beseeching,
EVEN SO COME QUICKLY, LORD JESUS.