Parenthesis: The Intercession for Saddam

A modern retelling of Genesis 18 and 19

Now it came about in those days that the Lord appeared to the President.  And they were standing together before the house of the President and they were looking to the east.  And the President said to himself, “Shall I hide from the Lord what I am about to do?  For He has chosen me, and I am surely the leader of the greatest nation in the world and all the nations of the world will be blessed through me.”

And the President said to the Lord, “Behold, I am seeking for Saddam, for the outcry against him has been great and when I get him I will know what to do with him.”  And the messengers of the President went out to seek the man Saddam, but the Lord remained before the President.

And the Lord drew near to the President and said to him, “ Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there are ten innocent people in the city of Saddam.  Will you indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the ten innocent who will be collateral damage?  Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the innocent and the wicked are treated alike.  Shall not the judge of the earth deal justly?”

And the President said, “No, but I will destroy the city, even if there are ten innocent victims.”

So the Lord said, “Behold, I have ventured to speak with the President.  What if there are five additional casualties who are innocent.”

And the President replied, “I will not spare it for the five and the ten.”

And the Lord spoke to him yet again, “What if there are twenty who are innocent that are killed?”

And the President replied, “Though there may be twenty civilian casualties, be they men, women, or children, I will not spare the city.”

Then the Lord said, “Oh, may the leader of the free world not be angry.  What if there are thirty civilians who are killed?”

And the President said, “I will not spare the city for thirty.”

And the Lord said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak again.  Suppose forty are killed there?”

“No, not for forty will I spare the city.”

And yet again the Lord said, “Oh, let not the President be angry and I will speak this one more time.  What if there are fifty or more who will be collateral damage?  Will you spare the city for this many?”

The President replied, “No, not for fifty.  And not for more.  This man must be punished regardless of the price I have to pay.”

And the President departed from the Lord to do what he would do, and the Lord departed to do what He would do.  And behold, the fire of the President was rained down upon the city for many days and many nights.  But it came to pass that before the destruction came upon the city the man Saddam had gone out from the city, with his wife and children, and he had gone to a little town.  But he was afraid to stay in even a little town so he hid himself in a cave and dwelt there.  And so it came to pass, when the innocent died, that the man Saddam was not harmed.

And behold, it came about that when Saddam was leaving the city through one gate, the Lord was coming into the city through another gate.  And He spent the night in the city square (for there was not a lot who would give Him shelter) and He dwelt there while the fire of the President came upon the city.  For He did this that the word of the Lord through the Prophet might be fulfilled, “Whatsoever you do to one of the least of these, you do it to Me.”

2 Comments on “Parenthesis: The Intercession for Saddam”

  1. havepenwillscribble Says:

    So you mean to say the United States was wrong to attack Iraq, which seemed like a vendetta against Saddam Hussein, and kill innocent people, as happened, rather than that you were actually interceding for Hussein?

    • Mainly I meant to contrast a Biblical model of justice with a worldly, and American, one. Abraham interceded for Sodom judging rightly that God would let off the guilty to spare the innocent, that justice in God’s terms is more about protecting the innocent than punishing the guilty. In my contrast it is God who intercedes for Saddam, interceding for the guilty for the same reason Abraham intuited, to spare the innocent, but He is met with the worldly view of justice that insists on punishing the guilty and accepts the “collateral damage” as an acceptable price. It is the contrast between Christian standards and a “Christian” nation.
      But ultimately God contrives to bear all the suffering Himself.

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