Valuing God’s Images
Two weeks ago, shortly after protests began over the gratuitous public murder of George Floyd, the chapter of Bible to read with my daughters was Numbers 35. It couldn’t be more relevant for contemporary America… and actually the whole world.
“ ‘If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 17 Or if anyone has a stone in his hand that could kill, and he strikes someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 18 Or if anyone has a wooden object in his hand that could kill, and he hits someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death…. 20 If anyone with malice aforethought shoves another or throws something at him intentionally so that he dies 21 or if in hostility he hits him with his fist so that he dies, that person shall be put to death; he is a murderer… 30 Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 31 Do not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer, who deserves to die. He must surely be put to death…33 Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.’”Numbers chapter 35 verses 16-33, NIV
Neither capitalist nor socialist, God values human life above property, the weak above the powerful. We see that from how we’re told God made humans in his own image. As someone wisely pointed out, it’s a
which I take to be a nicely indirect way of reminding us that we have statues of God everywhere — living and breathing human beings. That’s why God refused to allow any idols to be made representing him in wood, stone or metal.
We all do well to remember that.
Those are the statues we should defend; especially those living and breathing statues God has sent our way to care for.