Continuing our series on The Treasure in the Field, The Kingdom and Life
There are many victims of sin and crime. And often, in our culture, the victim’s rights take second place to the rights of the criminal. But there is one victim who is almost always overlooked.
David, in one incident, broke what many would consider to be the two biggest commandments. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband. In doing so he hurt a lot of other people – his family and hers, indeed the whole nation who looked up to him. But when he finally came to repentance, his confession was startling: “Against you, you only, have I sinned” (Ps 51:3,4). He was not minimizing the impact of his sin on his human victims. But he was maximizing the impact on the one who was most affected: God.
Why is it wrong to murder? Why is abortion wrong? There are many answers to such questions, and many focus on the people who are hurt. But our ultimate response must not be man-centred, but God-centred. If our defence of human life is based on the wrongs of human suffering, the door is open for some abortion or euthanasia cases to be considered sympathetically. Killing people can seem to be a loving thing to do, in terms of human suffering.
But the ultimate reason why sin is bad is not because it violates human rights, but because it violates God’s right – God’s right to be God, God’s claim to have the sole right to hold the keys of life and death.