Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Praise God for the Penal System

When Cain murdered his brother Abel, he forfeited his farming vocation. No matter how much hard work he will invest in tilling the soil, it will yield nothing. He was banished from his land and from the presence of the Lord. He will no longer be farmer but a homeless wanderer.

Cain realizes the gravity of the punishment. He said that the punishment is too hard for him to endure. He expresses his fear that all who will see him as a wandering fugitive shall try to kill him.

God replies, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." (Gen.4:15 NIV). He then put a mark on Cain to warn everyone.

I derive two points from this:

1st, God is merciful. Though his justice demands punishment for Cain’s sin, he also displayed his grace by providing protection for Cain from potential attackers.

2nd, In the very first case of murder in human history, Scripture points out that punishing wrongdoers helps in reducing crime rate. Cain’s mark warned everyone that a more severe penalty awaits them if they would harm the wandering fugitive.  The penal system is thus a deterrent to crime. Have you ever thought before that we can praise God for the penal code?

“he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (Rom. 13:4)

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