Hugo says in this chapter that Napoleon finally reached his limit of immorality at Waterloo, where God had had enough of the death and destruction brought by his hand. Hugo seems to mix the karma idea in with a personal God of justice. He says:
“Reeking blood, overcrowded cemeteries, weeping mothers – these are formidable pleaders.”
Hugo says God hears the human sufferings and enough is enough.
The optimism makes sense to most people, whether they believe in a just God, or karma or whether they believe that people are basically good so that good will eventually win out over evil: most people believe that what goes around comes around. And I believe that most people know that they deserve worse than what they have gotten in life so far. I am definitely of that opinion regarding myself. Despite that I often play the victim in stories that I tell or complaints that I offer, when I honestly weigh the motives of my heart against the standard of right living to which I aspire in my clear-headed moments, I know that I have it really good and the other shoe could drop if I am exposed.
This is consistent with Genesis where we read that God spoke to Cain, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground” (4:10).
But the jiu jitsu of it all was the work of Christ as described in Hebrews 12:
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
Whereas the selfish hurtful actions of each person bring consequences that are noticed by a just God, i.e. the “mornings from the deeps which the heavens hear,” the blood of Christ speaks better and provides a way again for us to approach a loving heavenly Father. Because his blood speaks better than the blood on the ground which I have spilled, I can speak better by my personal living.
- I can walk in freedom and gratitude without fear and anxiety.
- I can speak better for those who don’t deserve my mercy or kindness.
- I can please that God who made it possible for me to come to His mountain by speaking better for me.