“Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD have done as you pleased” Jonah 1:14.
REFLECTION The prayer of the mariners raises some serious moral issues and one such matter relates to accountability. The context of Jonah’s case is indeed, unusual. The course of action contemplated was to cast Jonah overboard, believing that the violence of the waves would finish him off. That was their human perspective.
Situations do arise to convince some persons that death is better. Take for instance a child that is mercilessly provoked by a parent, to the point of contemplating suicide, believing that to die is better than to live.
Let us look at another example. You had the responsibility of caring for an invalid. But you became derelict in the discharge of your duty which resulted in the death of the invalid. Do you think you will escape the judgment of God? Did not King David in the Bible arrange the death of Uriah to make it look like he was a victim of war? Did not Jezebel set up Naboth and falsely accused him of blasphemy and then had him stoned to death?
No matter what our schemes are to conceal or justify our acts of deliberate wickedness against our fellowmen, we are accountable to God for all of our actions and for the damage we have inflicted on others be it emotional, mental, physical or spiritual.
PRAYER Lord, help me not to plot the death of others by ‘hands off’ design. Amen