In Jeremiah 7, verses 30-31, the Lord says, “The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes. They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it. They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!” Again in Jeremiah 19:4-5 He says, “And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children. They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!” And again in Jeremiah 32:35, “They have built pagan shrines to Baal in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!”
Do we serve a God who would command that innocent people, including children, be blown up in His name? Does it even make sense to us that doing something like that would please Him and get us straight into Heaven? Of course not. But that’s exactly what Jahar thinks. He truly believes that there is a God who asks us to kill innocent people for Him.
Jihad often boggles my mind. If Muslims want everyone to come to Allah – how does killing someone who is not Muslim accomplish that task? It doesn’t. It takes away their ability to come to Allah. No matter how many times I try to understand it, I can’t.
As I read the above passages in Jeremiah, they remind me of my fervent prayer that Jahar would somehow realize the absurdity of all of this….that he would wonder how there could be a God who would want us to kill innocent people…..and that he would come to the realization that there isn’t. I pray that Jahar would realize that what he actually did that day was not to please God but to utterly shatter His heart….that instead of drawing himself closer to God, he separated himself from Him. I pray that as he comes to this realization, he is filled with shame and regret for what he did. I pray that he stays awake at night and struggles to sleep because he can’t stop seeing those victims’ faces. And I pray that all of that brings him to his knees, crying out for forgiveness and redemption from the One True God who can offer it.