Wednesday, October 4, 2017
“The Vegas shooting: Not an excuse but maybe an explanation - Hurt People Hurt People.”
Everyone is asking, “How could someone kill all these people and then kill himself?” No doubt only God knows. This question is so complex that even the most trained psychologists may not be able to provide a satisfying answer. However, I want to offer some possible answers, and once again, God’s Word helps us.
In Mark 5 Jesus encounters a man who is so troubled, demonized, and harmful to self and others that he was living in the tombs, cutting himself, overcome with mental and emotional anguish, and even exhibiting supernatural strength such that he could break free from chains. This oppressed man likely hated himself and others, and would have today been diagnosed with all kinds of mental, social, psychological, and spiritual disorders. Had he gone to a doctor, he would have been put on all kinds of medications, and they might have helped. But Jesus loved him and did something to him no one else could do. Jesus sets him free by casting the many demons out of him and into a herd of pigs to be drowned. A side note: it is good this didn’t happen today or Jesus would have likely been arrested by the animal rights’ people for animal abuse. Anyway, after this amazing act of love and power by Jesus, the troubled man was set free, clothed and in his right mind. We see in this story how Jesus did indeed come to set the captives free. The Good News is that Jesus is more powerful than Satan and still does this today, for those who call upon Him for help and deliverance.
I see a lot of similarities between the demonized man in Mark 4 and the Las Vegas shooter. I am not even going to mention his name because I am opposed to giving him any more attention. I offer the following possibilities to the Vegas shooting:
1. His father was a very sinful and sick man (i.e., bankrobber). The bible says, “The sins of the forefathers are carried to the 3rd and 4th generation.”
2. He probably never received much love. Those who don’t feel love have a hard time giving love.
3. He was a loner and thus more susceptible to the lies of the enemy.
4. He mistreated his girlfriend, and this often has roots in self-hatred.
5. He was likely very bitter at others and life, and this makes someone want to hurt others. Hurt people hurt people. “The wages of sin is death.”
6. He was looking for life and meaning in all the wrong places: money, gambling, and sex. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
7. He likely had a very poor self-image, and at the core hated himself and thus hated others. Hurt people hurt people.
8. His mental and emotional pain likely made him want to put that same pain on others. “They might as well suffer like I am. I sure can’t stand to see all these thousands of happy people at a concert. They don’t deserve to be happy while I am in misery.” Satan will indeed feed people lies like this to lead them to “steal, kill and destroy.”
9. Therefore, once he decided to end his own life, he figured he might as well take down others with him. Hurt people hurt people.
10. As sick as this is to all people of sound mind, he may also have wanted to do something that would put his picture before the whole world to somehow validate his worth. This is why I am personally opposed to the news showing the picture of people who do such things.
11. John 10:10 says, “Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy.” Satan is ultimately behind all acts of evil like this. One thing I am certain of: this man was clearly demonized at a very severe level, likely at the level of the demonized man in Mark 5.
The good news in the midst of this horrible tragedy is the rest of John 10:10, “But I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” The love and power of Jesus can transform not only a person like this, but anyone who is hurting.
I may be off in some of the explanations, but I am not off in the solution. Whatever is hurting and troubling you today, Jesus wants to help you. He loves you; He created you; He died for you; and He rose again for you. Turn to Him with whatever pain you have. He can do for you what no one else or nothing else can do. He came to set the captives free. I just wish this man had turned to Jesus. A lot more people would be living today had He done that.