Shalom and welcome to this edition of Through the Lens. I’m Rabbi Eric Walker.
It would be far easier to imagine a battlefield littered with bodies – with medics running from one wounded to another trying to assess who needs immediate attention –which life can be saved and which cannot. We can easily tell who is injured and who is not by the outward signs. A blood-spattered shirt or a profound limp – a bandaged wrapped arm or someone doubled over in pain. The images from Social Media and the News are vivid and our hearts are touched by the tragic scenes of the walking wounded. The toll from wars and terror number in the hundreds, maybe thousands and we are moved to tears at the loss of life and the devastation – life as these people know it will never be the same.
But, what about the millions or tens of millions of walking wounded here among us? The victims of a careless word or insult. The victims of emotional or physical abuse. Those whose wounds are not outward but deeply seated within. Those who have suffered at the hand of another. What about those who are watching this carrying the hurt of years gone by or even a more recent hurt of one who has slighted us, overlooked us, insulted us, belittled us. What do we do about the millions or tens of millions who walk among us every day whose names we know as family or friends? What do we do when we recognize the perpetrator as Mom or Dad or Pastor or Rabbi or husband or wife or son or daughter? What do we do when there is division and the very thought of seeing that person sends us reeling and fill us with dread? How do we handle it when we are thrown into the very presence of those who have hurt us or when the phone rings and it is them? How do we deal with those emotions when they call or even worse when they don’t call?
Matt 18:23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
We do not forgive to let the other person off the hook. We forgive so that we may be released from bondage to the offense. It is by grace that we enter the kingdom of G-D. We must release those who have offended us and abused us.
We are called by G-D in Luke 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Many years ago I had formed a business partnership and merged my company with another to form a new software company. My new partner had been a prominent executive of a major bank and was the VP of HR. We had grown over the years into a company worth several million dollars when I found out He had taken all the money. It was devastating and I had not been a Believer for very long and was very convicted to do what the Lord instructed. I sought council from my rabbi thinking there must be a way to retaliate, sue, file criminal charges, but that was not the counsel I received. I was quoted one scripture after another and my only biblical option was to forgive – so I forgave him for this. It took me a while to convince him to meet with me and he was visibly shaken when we sat down to lunch. He required that it be in a highly visible public place and I knew he was fearful that I might do something to him. He was 20 years my senior and looked like he had aged another 20 years when I saw him. It was obvious he was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Right away I told him that although what he had done destroyed the business and left me personally responsible for certain financial obligations, I wanted to meet with him to tell him in person I forgave him. The effect on Harry was profound – the was no relief in his eyes, only more fear. He perceived it as some kid of trap or ploy and left right after I said I forgave him. Within a few weeks he had a stroke in absolute fear that I was saying this so I could get him even bigger! In fact, I was so relieved that I did not have to carry the burden of that offence any longer.
Heb 12:15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Prov 17:9 He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Prov 19:11 1 A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Rom 3:21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Messiah Yeshua to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Messiah. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Yeshua.
Yeshua himself spoke these words found in Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
If you have not yet received G-D’s plan of forgiveness, He is just waiting for you to ask Yeshua/Jesus into your life and be set free from the past sins that haunt you. And if you have already said yes to God’s plan of salvation and need to release an offense and forgive another then do not let one more moment go by locked in the prison of offence and unforgiveness.
Be reminded that people who cannot forgive have forgotten what they have been forgiven of.
And that my friends is this edition of Through the Lens. Visit ignitinganation.com for our guest lineup for our daily Broadcast of Revealing the Truth, seen Live Monday through Friday from 10:00AM to 1:00PM CST. Download our apps, subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and please consider supporting our ministry through the donate button on our website. Until we see you for the next edition of Revealing the Truth we thank you for watching and bid you Shalom.