“The heart is devious above all else;
it is perverse—
who can understand it?
I the Lord test the mind
and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
according to the fruit of their doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
One feature of the Bible is the honesty shown about human nature. St Paul, no less, writes “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” and pinpoints this as a law, the law that leaves us feeling trapped and makes us feel failures.
We live with this moral awareness which constantly challenges our actions and consciences, and also with a strong concept of justice, which leads us to want to see evil dealt with. Jeremiah warns his morally corrupt contemporaries that the Lord does deal out justice. That cry for justice, for punishment, for intervention gets no simple answer because the law of love takes precedence: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive…”.