Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Texts: Job 10; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10–20; Job 15:14–16; Job 1:18–20; Matthew 6:34
It’s one thing to be shot at with a gun during a heated conflict, but quite another to receive a bullet wound when you are not even near the scene of a shooting. Innocent victims who are struck by gunfire show up in the news all the time.
A few weeks ago an elderly woman heard gunfire outside her home. Mattie Brown was immediately concerned for her 27-year-old grandson who was living with her at the time. It was 1:00 a.m. when she crawled out of bed, staying low, to check on him. He was sleeping in bed when a bullet pierced the side of his house and hit him in the back. Fortunately he survived, but now refuses to live at his grandmother’s home.1
Marshon Glover was an innocent, 4-year-old boy playing in his home when a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting went through the front of his home and lodged in his stomach. His grandmother was watching the boy and immediately called for help. Fortunately Marshon survived surgery.
The grandmother later said, “Even though he might not have been the intended victim, he was a victim. He was an innocent child playing in the house. It should never have happened.” The experience negatively impacted the entire family. Marshon still has nightmares and will sometimes jump out of bed crying and “looking around like someone’s after him…”2
This week’s Sabbath school lesson, “Innocent Blood,” continues to unravel the difficult subject of innocent human suffering in a sinful world. While some deaths in our world can be attributed to the consequences of poor choices, there are plenty of situations that are unjust and leave us baffled and bewildered.
Thousands of children have innocently died from gunshots. The Associated Press and the USA TODAY network has discovered that in the first six months of this year, minors have died from accidental shootings at a pace of one every other day —at their own hands or at the hands of other children or adults.3
How do we account for the loss of life when a child finds a loaded gun at home and accidentally shoots and kills a sibling? And what about innocent women and children that we hear about in the news who are used as human shields in war?
As we sit next to Job and agonize with him over the painful reality of innocent blood shed in our world, let us not forget the wider view we are given of the great conflict between good and evil that will soon end. Our innocent Savior died to earn the right to put an end to injustice.
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