Mary was getting the food ready for our last breakfast with her brother, Steve before she took him to the airport. As I came down the hall buttoning my shirt, a morning news show was on and that’s the moment I got the news, “There’s been a mass shooting in Las Vegas.” Like the shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016, at Virginia Tech on April 26, 2007, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School December 14, 2012, at the Luby’s Cafeteria October 16, 1991, the McDonald’s massacre July 18, 1984, and the University of Texas tower shooting on August 1, 1966, again I was plunged into shock, anger, grief, questions, and compassion for those living such loss.
Will this senseless murder ever end? Will God ever deal with this chaotic, crazy, deadly evil that can explode out of man?
The prophet Hosea knew this bloody chaos firsthand. As the Northern Kingdom began to crumble after the death of Jeroboam II in 750 BC, assassinations took out one political leader after another, a gang of priests committed highway robbery on the roads, and the Assyrian Army blitzed the country with terror and death. Hosea knew what it was like to run and not be able to find any place to escape the carnage. But as he faced all the bloodshed, the Spirit of God moved him to prophesy about another Day. He saw a time when weapons would be abolished, and even the wild animals of the field and the birds of the air would lie down in peace.
“In that Day I will cut a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the sky, and the creatures that crawl along the ground. And I will abolish bow and sword and war from the land so that they will be able to lie down in safety.” Hosea 1:18
The redemptive Story of the Bible fully faces the present violent, unsafe, insecure world we live. But it also promises a day when Satan’s lies and murderous violence will be destroyed forever. If we trust in Jesus’ amazing grace now, his death that can forgive our sins and his resurrection that can give us a life that no bullet can take away, then we can begin to experience a taste of that security and safety now.
LORD, pour your comfort into the hearts of all who lose loved ones in senseless violence; pour your strength into those wounded. And may your grace conquer the anger that can explode out of the human heart and do unexplainable acts of terror and violence.
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