“Then the LORD spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.” 1 Ch 21:27
The Lord is sovereign; therefore he should be responsible for all the suffering and atrocities that man has ever experienced in this world. Indeed he should be hold accountable for all the dead that have died in human history, right?
This is right if we follow human logic strictly. He created humans with a free will, and whatever we do by our free will, good or bad, should all be attributed to the Author of the will. How can we be morally responsible if we are by nature incapable of choosing to do the right thing all the time? Original sin has rendered us incapable of remaining holy at all times.
When will the angel put his sword of punishment back in to the sheath?
We are terrified, for we constantly hear the footsteps pounding behind us, following us every step of the way, and the sword may fall at any given moment. We are all fugitives and the vassal of justice is following hard a few steps away.
We may win some in our battles against sin, but we seem to lose most of the time. At the least that’s my case, for no sooner do I overcome an assault from the mortal enemy, my carnal self, then another foe rears its ugly head, and the battle goes on endlessly.
Woe is me, I cry out.
Indeed, all my sins have been cleansed and forgiven and I can always derive some comfort from this eternal truth, but it doesn’t seem to eliminate my strong sense of guilt when I fall into one temptation after another. I may seem to be quite at ease with myself outwardly, but there is always warfare waging within my heart - whether to submit to the Holy Spirit or to the evil force that dwells within my flesh.
Being a man with a free will, I am responsible for all the moral choices I have ever made and the sovereign Lord, being just and merciful, has done what’s necessary to do away with the punishment that I rightly deserve. Surely, “therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
As long as we dwell in the flesh, our struggles against our carnal selves will be ongoing and our victory over sin is always a possibility. We seem to be fighting and struggling in a ballgame where the final victory has already been secured, yet we still have to play the game as hard as we possibly can until the end, as if our winning were still pretty much in doubt. Indeed, we should play more like winners, not losers. We may be losing battles here and there, but we will win the war, for it was already won two thousand years ago.
“Then the LORD spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.” The sword was out for a season, but it has been put back into the sheath, and it will remain there. There is no punishment for our sins necessary if there is no more condemnation remaining.