Power and Prohibition

God gave to humankind such a place of priority over creation that “the fear and dread of [you=humankind] shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are delivered”(Genesis 9:2).

Did God mean “fear and dread” like you shall boss the — out of those creatures that I have made? Or you shall have their respect because you are in charge? “In charge” of course, connotes responsibility.

Has humankind really focussed too much on power to control and subdue, power to exploit, sometimes mercilessly, without remembering power to protect, power to preserve, power to live in harmony which is part of human responsibility?

Don’t get me wrong. I eat meat. I take verse 3 at face value. “Every living thing that moves shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” So, I’m not going to quarrel with anybody who thinks that it is ungodly to get from animals some proteins that we cannot, or do not from plants.

Then there is talk from God about blood, on which some have built treatises about raw blood and cooked blood and bloody blood and blood transfusions, etc. And this introduces a statement about shedding human blood, “whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person’s blood be shed; for in his own image God made humankind.”

Confusing eh? If one is to kill the one who kills the human, then this thing will not stop until all humans are killed. Right?

Wrong? is that the case for the hangman? For now, I prefer not to think of inclusive language and add the term ‘hang’ to the female gender.

Call me blind if you will, but I close the eyes of my mind to the suggestion that killing can stop the killing.

God, help us to stop this please, and grant us peace in our time. Amen.

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