This is a question we would rather not think about, until murder happens. And then the deep gnawing question of motive rises. Why destroy? Why harm when you can help heal?
We are reeling again because of yet another horrific killing. This time in a high school in Parkland FL, and 17 innocent people were victims to someone else’s rage, and hatred. Our thoughts and prayers are with those family members.
And as I watch unbelievably the coverage and interviews of other students who saw and heard the mass murder, you are crushed just to think of what these young minds are going through and how they are processing the emotions and struggles of such an ordeal. And so we must pray for that entire community.
Our society needs to talk about many things in light of these disasters. And the tragedies force us to do so. How can we help? How can we engage our politicians? This is the question of what. What can be done? We will address that below. But there is a different question I would like to answer first. That is the question of why? Why would a human do this?
Why would someone kill someone?
Why commit the offense that can never be taken back? How could someone do something so abhorrent! With the amount of deaths in the South Florida school shooting, people ask and try to answer this question. They search the criminal’s social media, search history, and try to get into their mind to find out why?
The action seems insane. And it must be considered this in one light, for no reasonable person acts this way. And yet they did reason and they had reasoning that brought them to the conclusion to buy the ammunition and destroy someone else. The Bible actually does give an answer.
The Problem of “I want!”
James explains that our fighting our quarreling, and yes even our killing comes out of the heart of desire. Look at James 4:1-2:
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”
Why do you murder? It is because you do not have. This really gets to the heart of the matter for all murders. It begins with a want, a desire. This man wants a drug, so they enter a persons’ home. They want to get out of the house with money to buy drugs and they want to leave without anyone stopping them, so they must shoot them.
A boy wants this girl’s attention and she does not give it to him. And so he kills others in rage. Or someone wants others attention and they don’t give it so they act out in rage. But the root matter remains the same. The problem is the want. This verse gets to where the rubber meets the road. It gets down to a person’s “wanter.”
A dictator wants supreme power so they kill.A person w ants revenge so they kill. The rage doesn’t make sense most of the time. And so we wonder about people’s sanity when they react this lethally in response to losing something. A person wants to be in front of this other person so they take out a gun and kill them! I’ve seen people fighting over it and threatening life.
Another person wants to be right. Another wants money. Another wants power or political office. A person may want a political office. At times, this want turns into struggle, and often struggle into fighting, and fighting into death.
Actually, this is the root of all sin. I want something that I do not have. I want. And when that want is not a God given item or experience it is sin. If I want something that God does not want me to have, I am sinning. And so we really have the root of all sin, but also the solution.
A Lasting Solution.
We can think of many society safeguards. But no society safeguard will be enough. You see the lasting solution is having our “wanter” fixed. And that is what God fixes. Think of this Psalm:
“The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.”
The Bible says the problem of murder starts in the heart that wants. I want what you have. I want this experience. I want this revenge. I want. And so that is not only the why of murder, but it is also the solution. If the Lord is my Shepherd, I don’t need to want. I trust Him as the good Shepherd to take care of all my needs.
I saw a guy carrying a sign in midtown this week. It was a big sign very illegibly scribbled on there, so maybe he was mocking the idea. But it was the truth. It said, “Jesus is the answer.”
You see the solution to the want problem is having the right Shepherd. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.
I don’t have XYZ; I don’t have this relationship; I don’t have this food, or this car, or this promotion, or this revenge, or this power… But I have this Shepherd, this good Shepherd Who is guiding me and leading me from one pasture of life to the next. So I won’t want.
The Lord is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want.
I don’t need to take anything from you because the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
If you are anxious, or wanting or needy, let me introduce you to the Good Shepherd Who can heal you so that you can say too, “The Lord is My Shepherd; I shall not want.” When our communities find their wants satisfied in the good Shepherd, they too will fall away from violence and murder and find contentment in God and what He gives.
Trust the Lord and don’t want.