2 Chronicles 28:9 “But a prophet of the LORD named Oded was there, and he went out to meet the army when it returned to Samaria. He said to them, “Because the LORD, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand. But you have slaughtered them in a rage that reaches to heaven.
(28:10) And now you intend to make the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves. But aren’t you also guilty of sins against the LORD your God?”
Israel broke into two kingdoms after King Solomon’s death. Southern kingdom aka Judah with headquarters in Jerusalem. Northern kingdom aka Israel with headquarters in Samaria. Both kingdoms were required to be obedient to God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Prophets from either side served both sides. Though divided into two kingdoms they were to still treat each other as brothers and sisters. God also expected Edomites who were descendants of Esau twin brother to Jacob (Jacob is the Father of all Israel) to treat Israelites as brothers and sisters.
In the chapter of our passage (2 Chronicles 28), king Ahaz of Judah and his kingdom sinned greatly against God. God punishes Judah by allowing them to be defeated in war by the King of Aram and by the King of Israel or Northern kingdom (2 Chronicles 28:5-7). However God takes exception with the way the king of Israel and his people treated the people of Judah.
As the king of Israel and his people march back to Samaria in victory over Judah, God sends prophet Oded with a message. Prophet Oded condemns use of excessive force by Israel against Judah. Prophet Oded reminds them that God only used them, otherwise they are as guilty as the people of Judah, therefore they should have been merciful while carrying out the punishment. The people they killed, the property they plundered and the slaves they carried in shame were treated by God as excessive force.
God who was offended by sin was much more polite in handling the sinner than fellow sinners sent to execute punishment. God condemns use of excessive force! Human beings have a tendency to use excessive force, that is why David asked God to punish him Himself rather than use human beings (2 Samuel 24:14 & 1 Chronicles 21:13). God still condemns use of excessive force even today.
All sins are against God. We must treat people and particularly sinners they way God would treat them. Whether they sin against us or against the church, the state or others, remember excessive force is condemned by none other than God Himself. We have no right to use excessive force, since we ourselves are equally guilty of the same sins. We have no right to use excessive force since God perceives us as guilty too, regardless of what we think about ourselves. We have no right to use excessive force, since revenge is God’s forte and not ours. God condemns use of excessive force!
This tells us that God weighs the force we use against those we have responsibility to punish or correct or teach the right way. How do we treat orphans? How do we treat domestic workers? How do we treat our juniors? How do we treat our students? How do we treat our spouses who we catch cheating or offending us? How do we treat people caught stealing? How do we treat those who wished and planned our downfall and now they are at our mercy? If you must use force, remember, God condemns use of excessive force!
Look at how God treated people who greatly offended Him vis-a-vis how we would have treated them. How did God treated David who killed Uriah and took his wife and how would we as individuals, church or family treat David? How did Jesus treat the woman caught in the very act of adultery and how would we as individuals, church or family treat that woman? How did God treat Saul who persecuted the early christian church and how would we as individuals, church or family treat Saul? God condemns use of excessive force!
This is why discipline and punishment should be inflicted at a time when we are not angry. Wait for some time until you recover from anger. Discuss the problem with the offender briefly, lest your anger bursts again, then give a measured reasonable punishment. Anything excessive offends God!
Excessive force triggers self defense on the one being punished. Excessive force causes the one being punished to get distracted from seeing their mistake to wishing and planning for a revenge some day. Children and anyone else excessively punished never learn from their mistakes but develop resentment against the punisher. God condemns excessive force!
Excessive force could be remarks made, actions taken, etc. Excessive force could be false stories we peddle around against those we hate politically or in other matters. Sharing privately recorded pictures, videos and conversations as a way of punishing an offending lover or even killing them or their new relationship is use of excessive force. Going to the social media platform and destroying someones character is excessive force. God expects us to mix more mercy in any required use of force. Excessive force offends God!
How do church boards treat members who need discipline? How do those with powers to hire and fire, treat those who offend organizations and institutions? How do individuals treat each other? How do we treat our competitors? If force must be used, God condemns use of excessive force!
May God forgive us for using excessive force, and may we receive mercy when we are on the wrong…may mercy come with blessings today, in Jesus name, Amen!(c)firstname.lastname@example.org (do not delete any part of this post, including this. You are free to share these posts but don’t edit the authorship or content… thank you and be blessed!)