Our Eyes Are Upon You

Here we go again. Another school shooting.

This time the students are crying out even more vehemently for gun control. These kids are our future lawmakers and it’s frightening. The majority do not understand the human sin nature.

This week I decided to begin again in Genesis to read through the Bible. I wanted to read and not study, but I only made it to Genesis 4:14 before I was compelled to turn to a cross-reference passage. Many may remember the first fourteen verses of Genesis 4 tell the tragic account of Cain and Abel. “…Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”[1] Immediately my mind went to the Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting. What led 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis to open fire on students and teachers?

We can’t fully know the thoughts of a deranged killer and from the short account in Genesis, there’s no way for us to know what all led up to Abel’s murder. However, it’s very hard to imagine a “keeper of sheep” as being a bully. I imagine Abel as a gentle, compassionate man since sheep need so much care. Sheep cannot be left on their own. They wander off. They’re clumsy and have accidents. Sheep easily get caught in brush and fall prey to wild animals.[2] A keeper of sheep needs patience and a tender, benevolent spirit. No wonder Jesus compares us to sheep and He, the Good Shepherd.

My conclusion? Cain’s anger, resulting in Abel’s murder, seemed unprovoked.

Likewise, trying to blame a school shooting on the shooter being bullied or the U.S. needing stricter gun control laws, is moot. Yes, bullying emotionally wounds the victim and maybe military-grade assault rifles could have stricter laws, but it is the sin within the heart that leads to the violent action of committing murder.

Almost every human being has been bullied at least once in their lifetime. Most learn to rise above the malice. They don’t become murderers. But for some, the corruption of sin takes such deep root, they hate, lash out and kill.[3]

Maybe you think Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a seemingly normal young man, just believed Satan’s lies. 

Possibly, but again, Cain is our example. To say Satan stirred up Cain to be angry with God and take it out on Abel gives Satan too much credit and exonerates Cain, by assuming he was a righteous man. Scripture says otherwise. Cain, like all of us, had a deceitful and desperately wicked heart.[4] Cain willingly joined the evil one because his own works were evil.[5] Satan didn’t have to lift a finger. Oh, Cain did hear a supernatural voice before his heinous crime, but it wasn’t Satan. He heard the voice of Almighty God giving him the opportunity to repent and a warning that sin desired to overrule him if he did not.[6]

I’m sure, at some point, Dimitrios Pagourtzis’s conscience told him what he was planning was wrong. But, he ignored the warning just as Cain did.

Later, Cain cried out to the Lord because he couldn’t bear his punishment. This was not repentance. Cain was just concerned for his own wellbeing. He feared one of his brothers, avenging Abel’s death, would kill him when he was alone.[7]

This is where I turned to the CR:  Numbers 35:9-34. Here, the Lord through Moses, explains the need for six cities of refuge. Only those who cause accidental death will be allowed sanctuary, not persons who intentionally murder. In God’s Law, there is no provision for murdering out of passion or because of suffering mental cruelty or illness.

I don’t know what the answer is to stop these school shootings, but I know, coddling murderers is not the answer. Our Sovereign Lord says swift action is needed. And although God allows and even desires for the murderer/sinner to repent, with His forgiveness free to all, consequences are required.

“O our God…we have no power against this…nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”[8]

[1] Genesis 4:8
[3] Numbers 35:16-21
[4] Jeremiah 17:9
[5] I John 3:12
[6] Genesis 4:6-7
[7] Genesis 4:14
[8] II Chronicles 20:12


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