While the Old Testament law promotes an eye for an eye and life for a life. God does support a scenario of life in prison without parole. Following the murder of his brother, the Lord refused to allow anyone to kill Cain, essentially allowing him to suffer a lifetime of regret, a living hell on earth.
But the LORD said to him, “Not so, anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. – Genesis 4:15
You don’t have to commit murder to experience a living hell. Those who have suffered a car accident may have to live with the regret of having a friend die while they were driving. Soldiers often endure post traumatic stress syndrome following a horrific life event in the line of battle. Meanwhile, parents who lose a child to drowning, SIDS or fatal illness may never recover from this painful tragedy.
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. – Hebrews 11:4
The voice of Abel cries out today to anyone who has dealt with a living hell on earth. Although the Bible is unclear about what Abel said, whispers of grace, hope and mercy extend to souls torn in two. Despite these wounds, life moves on with or without you. Therefore, as you search for a source of healing, may the promise of Psalm 34:18 mend the broken hearted and lift up those crushed by a living hell.
by Jay Mankus