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By LESLIE BECKER
The multiple mass shootings that have happened across our nation in the last weeks have left us deeply grieved by the senseless crimes perpetrated by these young men. The loss of innocent lives and the lifelong impact to their respective families and communities is devastating. Many of us are deeply and sorrowfully grieved and continue to hold these tragedies up in prayer before the Lord, knowing in our hearts that He too is grieving.
In Proverbs 6: 12-19, the Lord warns us about being a trouble maker and a villain. In the next few paragraphs, my comments within and following the quotes from scripture are in parentheses.
Verses 12 and 13: “A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet” (i.e. the 10-hour drive to another city to commit heinous crimes, or cutting through a fence to open fire into a community festival, or massacring people in a downtown district, including one’s own sister) “and motions with his fingers,” (aka, the manifesto posted on social media).
Verse 14: “Who plots evil with deceit in his heart” (these were all planned attacks, if not, why the body armor?) “— he always stirs up conflict.”
Verse 15: “Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy” (Sadly, this has been the result: immediate death, life in prison or quite likely a death penalty sentence).
Verse 16-19: There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes” (believing they are somehow better than any other human being), “a lying tongue” (deceiving yourself with lies and operating in a clandestine fashion to plan a terrorist mission), “hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
As we have witnessed, not a minute was wasted by the media and Democrats to begin their own slanted hate message blaming guns and our president for these tragedies. Let’s be honest and call this what it really is, an issue of evil and nothing else! It is not a gun issue and it most certainly is not the fault of anyone other than those who made the choice to open fire and senselessly extinguish precious, innocent lives. Let us not be swayed by the words of these troublemakers, who go about with corrupt mouths.
From the beginning, without any evidence, something has resonated that all of these shootings were connected somehow, someway. Now that we know more about the perpetrators we can see similarities starting to be outlined. All shooters were young men with some sort of mental health challenges, living isolated lives, hiding away in the darkness of their minds, allowing thoughts, plans, and words of death and devastation to take hold.
Jesus warned us about this in John 10:10 — “The thief (satan) comes only to steal, kill and destroy. …” The mind is where satan achieves his easiest victories over individuals by stealing the truth, and his most devastating impacts over a population by using people to kill, destroying communities and ultimately extinguishing the freedoms of the righteous.
Let’s be perfectly clear, not one of us ever does anything without first seeing it in our mind’s eye before executing our actions. And, if what one sees and contemplates are twisted, wicked thoughts, having no truth to measure the thoughts against, it is likely that nothing will arrest the perpetration of evil.
Now is the time to grieve, offering care to the families and communities impacted by these shootings. It is not the time to make it a platform for votes, vilification or slander. We need to pray for justice, stand for righteousness, and regardless of persecution speak Biblical truth in love, standing on the words of Jesus in John 8:31-32 “If you continue in my word … you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free!”
May the church boldly step into the assignments given to us in Isaiah 61:1-4 and Luke 4: 18 and rest in these promises.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me (us) because he has anointed me (us) to bring good news to the afflicted: He has sent me (us) to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners: to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God: to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion (El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Gilroy, California, and across the United States), giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning. The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations: and they will repair the ruined cities.”
We can turn this nation around! But, we have little hope of any sustainable success without heeding to God’s protections spelled out in his timeless and unchanging word of truth!
Pastor Leslie Becker of Ketchikan runs the web-based ministries at www.arkministry.org and www.scripturebypicture.com.