Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stones, Judgement & Mercy!

Late last month a young 13-year old Somalian girl was stoned to death publicly after having reported her own rape at the hands of three men. Little Aisha Ibrahim Kuhulow was sentenced to death by Islamic militants under Sharia law for having sex outside of marriage.

"Thousands of people witnessed the grotesque execution of Aisha at a football stadium in the port town of Kismayo on Monday.

The 13-year old was led in and forced into a hole in the ground. The hole was then filled so that only her head was showing. About 50 men then started to throw stones at her, according to Amensty’s information.

After a while, nurses were called to check whether Aisha was still alive. The think body was then brought out of the hold and examined. When it was established that she was still alive, she was again placed in the hole so that the stone-throwers could continue.

When some of the spectators tried to storm the stadium to save Aisha, the militia opened fire on the crowd, and a young boy was killed." (Source: aftenbladet.no)

When I read this account my heart was troubled: For Aisha, for her family, for those who participated in her execution. I fear for those men who raped her! I fear for those men who stoned her! I fear for those who gunned down the spectators trying to prevent her murder! I fear for those holding the robes of those that cast the stones and cheered them on! For unless the Lord graciously extends mercy to them and moves among them by His Holy Spirit - such that they come under conviction of their sin, truly repent, and in faith reach out to Christ and put their trust in him - then all that awaits them is the fierce, wrath of God! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! Not a single one of them will escape His righteous judgement!

I wonder how many of those who cast stones are themselves guilty of committing adultery in the eyes of God? Probably all of them, as the Lord proclaimed in His Sermon on the Mount, for "anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The Apostle Paul has an apt word for them (and us) at this time:

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?" Romans 2:1-3

Lord, I pray that you would use this terrible event to draw members of Aisha's family, her murderers and those who cheered them on to a place of repentance and faith in Christ! Please have mercy on them Lord, for you are not a God who delights in the death of the wicked! Though these men deserve Divine Justice, please save them through your Son, for you are a God who is full of compassion and mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement!

I am reminded again of the account in the book of John, of when the Lord was faced with a blood thirsty mob of men seeking to trap Him...

"At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8:1-11

May we do likewise!


Hope said...

I don't know what else to say but thank you for writing that. I pray it stays in the forefront of my mind

Bev's Jewelry said...

How sad. We should be eternaly grateful for the lives we live here in the US.

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Amen! May we live by His word, be thankful and dutiful. What a sad story. It is most unfortunate that this goes on there. We really should be a thankful people. Thanks for a great post.