Blood revenge is the system of justice for the common man in the Middle East. It is essentially an eye for eye system that drives a lot of the thinking of people who are victims of crimes. It also results in all kinds of crazy. Accidental killings in car accidents result in murders of uninvolved family members. Tit for tat retaliations manifest themselves in downward-spiraling cycles of violence and destruction. It is one of the factors that makes life so difficult here and politics so impossible. It is for these reasons that this story is so absolutely incredible. The pastor of a Muslim Background Believer house church shared this story a couple of weeks ago.
“My nephew, Zaid, was involved in a car accident that killed one of the passengers, his friend, who was in the vehicle with him. When a death occurs and the one involved with the killing is not part of the family, then it is a ‘required’ custom for the families to meet. The family of the survivor is at the mercy of the family of the victim. Anything can happen, even the survivor’s own death. The meeting occurred on an agreed upon location – a tent in a field. 500 members of the victim’s family came to meet 300 members of our family. I was praying and praying the entire time. As we approached the victim’s family, the patriarch of his family met with the patriarch of our family and the conversation began. The victim’s family representative began by pontificating on the grievousness of the loss his family had experienced. But then when it seemed he was going to ask for an eye for an eye in blood revenge, he did something extraordinary. This Muslim man bestowed forgiveness upon our family. His belief was that by granting forgiveness, it would actually cause more grief on our family because we could not make a payment for their loss. I was shocked. I have never seen that happen before in my life, and it made me think of our God. It made me think of how He bestowed forgiveness, how it cost him a great deal to forgive, how it cost another life – a perfect life. It reminded me of the need to accept His forgiveness and celebrate life this life we have in Him.”
After he shared this story with the members of the house church, they were incredulous. To a person, they were convinced that God blessed the entire proceedings because of the presence of the believing pastor in the tent. They were sure that the Holy Spirit’s presence affected the outcome of this potentially horrible event and brought a peace that passes all understanding to the outcome.
As I continue to read about the events going on in and around our country in the Middle East, I am encouraged by this story. I am encouraged by the fact that the blood of Jesus is sufficient to pay any debt and restore any brokenness. I praise Him for the lamb that was slain, the blood that was shed, and the fact that vengeance is His. There truly is power in the blood. Hallelujah that we have a Savior who is our ultimate satisfaction for blood revenge.
Please continue to pray for us as we work to recruit worshippers of God Almighty here. Pray that God will open more opportunities to share the beautiful hope we have that our debt has been paid, and that blood revenge is no longer necessary.