Key Verse: “But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death” (Exodus 21:14,15).
An Iranian woman who was blinded and badly disfigured by an acid attack by a spurned suitor recently pardoned her attacker. The woman was severely disfigured in the 2004 incident, when a bucket of acid was poured on her face and body and ultimately went through at least, 17 operations. In a court-ordered retribution, as a doctor was about to put several drops of acid in one of his eyes in a hospital operating room, the man who attacked her waited on his knees and wept. “What do you want to do now?” the doctor asked the 34-year-old woman, who suffered the attack. “I forgive him, I forgive him”, she responded, asking the doctor to spare him at the last minute in a dramatic scene broadcast on Iran’s state television.
“It is best to pardon when you are in a position of power”, she said, explaining that she did not want revenge. What the Lord commanded in our text is the need to respect the sanctity of life and punish those who deprive others of their lives. Where the loss is due to murder, then the law of retaliation applies: life for life. Moreover, if the killing is intentional, the perpetrator will find no refuge in the temple. Where, however, the killing was in the heat of passion and not premeditated, the killer could escape to a city of refuge and live out his days in exile, away from his family until the death of the high priest. The phrase “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, expresses a principle of retributive justice or “law of retaliation”. The basis of this form of law is the principle of proportionate punishment.
Meanwhile, the Lord calls on Christians to forgive when offended. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you…” (Matthew 5:44). As a child of God, do not seek vengeance against anyone. Let God judge on your behalf.
Thought for the day: It is more blessed to forgive than to revenge.
Bible Reading in one Year: 2 Peter 1-3
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.