[by Dean Smith] Land has an unusual place in Scripture. It was God’s “Promised Land” that enticed Abraham to leave Ur and follow God’s calling. For the patriarch and his descendants, this new land would not only be a place of destiny, but blessing as well — overflowing with milk and honey.
But it seems land can also be affected by the sinful actions of men and women who walk upon its soil.
After Cain murdered his brother Abel, God said, “Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10 NASV). This verse suggests that when horrific crimes occur, the effects are embedded in the soil.
In Leviticus 18:24-28, God speaks about the land being defiled by man’s sin. Filled with iniquity, it can reach a point where the land will vomit out its inhabitants. The “Promised Land” eventually did this very thing to Israel.
Then in Numbers 35:33, God warns of the land being polluted with violence. Some have suggested this pollution gives the demonic a foothold and the legal right to inhabit a particular area.
But God also says that people can redeem any land affected by sin. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says He will heal the land if people will repent and pray.
‘Butler Mansion’ — a house of murder
After five college students were brutally murdered on April 17, 2014 in a home in Calgary, Canada some believed the best thing to do would be to destroy the 50-year old building and rid this quiet Calgary neighborhood of any memories of the horrific crime.
In their mind, the house could not be redeemed.
For decades, the residence, located near the University of Calgary, had been rented out to students attending the school. It even had its own name “Butler mansion” because of its location on Butler crescent. The word “mansion” was a bit of play on the house’s older and less than majestic appearance.
That all came to an abrupt end in April at a party at the house. Shortly after his arrival, Mathew de Grood who had been invited to the party began stabbing people using a knife from the home.
By the time he was finished, three people were dead and two critically wounded — they would later die at the hospital.
Using K9, the police eventually tracked down de Grood who had fled the scene. The police charged de Grood with murder and turned him over for psychiatric evaluation.
It is the largest mass murder in Calgary’s history. It would take a few months, but the owner of this ‘house of murder’ eventually put the residence up for sale.
This is when Kadin Osborne, 23, a Christian became interested in this house. He knew of its notorious past but wanted to redeem this property for God.
According to an article in the National Post, Kadin and some friends had even showed up at the house the day after the killings in April to pray for the families affected by the horrific crime. At that point, Kadin had no thoughts of buying the home.
But when it was put up for sale a few months later, Kadin, who works as a plumber, looked at this as an opportunity to redeem the property for the Kingdom of God.
In an interview with the National Post, Kadin said:
My first thought was ‘Wow, what if somebody bought that house and took what was bad and turned in into good.’ And there was this little voice in the back of my head that said, ‘Kadin, you’re just the guy to do it.’
Who does that? Who goes out and buys a house like this? The people I talked to, they thought I was crazy.”
Kadin, who committed his life to Christ at 18, purchased the house in mid-September. There are now four Christians from different churches living in the home. The National Post described the group this way:
The men don’t belong to any particular Christian denomination; they said they just believe in Jesus and the Bible.
The group even installed a poster at the home describing their mission statement. It reads:
Let it be known to all who enter this house that all who dwell under this roof stand as light unto darkness, just as Christ stands as a light unto the darkness of the world.
Those who live here serve as His ambassadors and make a stand against evil that once ruled here. Just as Christ will not let evil have the last say, those who dwell here follow that example and will not let evil triumph over good.
More than just that, Kadin told the National Post that “he wants to heal the neighborhood.” This may already be happening. In late November, someone broke into their home, not to steal, but to leave the group a Christmas tree.
and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NASV)