When God gave Moses the law recorded in Exodus, He did say if men strive and mischief results, then they should give life for death, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. Also in Leviticus 24: 20 and Deuteronomy 19: 21, this same law is stated and to be practiced.
Therefore, during the earthly ministry of Jesus, the Pharisees, who not only taught the law, but added many of their own laws to Moses’ Law, made it impossible to keep them.
Then in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged this former teaching. He did not nullify that former law by teaching men should not be punished for wrongs by the government, but as individuals, are not to practice revenge but forgiveness.
Jesus knew the human instinct of man is to fight back when he is threatened or attacked by man or animals. And I don’t believe He taught that man is not to defend himself. Because during that time and in our society there are many who are a threat to our lives: if one breaks into my home or yours and tries to rob, rape, or murder us, we should defend ourselves.
During a murder trial, when one had killed another and self defense is proven, he is sentenced. Even in that circumstance, it would be difficult to live with the fact that I had taken the life of another person created in the image of God.
Father, what an awesome God we serve: thank You for protecting us and for Your love and grace. And we pray and thank You in Jesus’ Name who made these blessings possible for sinful humanity. Amen.