Alfred Packer
STRENGTH FOR TODAY - Dr. Harold J. Sala (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.?  – Galatians 6:7

In November of 1873, Alfred Packer and five companions walked into the mountains to mine for gold in Boulder, Colorado. Their provisions ran out and, trapped by the blizzard, they faced starvation.

On April 16, only one man walked out alive with a grisly tale. Alfred’s story was that one member of their group got into an argument and killed the other four, then attacked him. Acting in self-defense, Alfred overcame his opponent. The bizarre twist in this strange saga is that Alfred actually ate his companions to stay alive. Keeping alive the somewhat sordid memory, a restaurant at the University of Colorado is named “The Alfred Packer Grill.”

When Judge Gerry sentenced Packer he said, “Whether your murderous hand was guided by the misty light of the moon or the flickering blaze of the campfire, you only can tell . . . .

“I say these things to impress upon your mind the awful solemnity of your situation and the impending doom which you cannot avert. Be not deceived. God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. You, Alfred Packer, sowed the wind; you must now reap the whirlwind. As the days come and go and the years of our pilgrimage roll by, the memory of you and your crime will fade from the minds of men. With God it is different. He will not forget, but will forgive. He pardoned the dying thief on the cross. He is the same God today as then . . . and it is to this God I commend you.”

Alfred Packer was hanged for his crime.

Long ago David cried out, “But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared”(Psalm 130:4, esv). Some things never change – man’s innate sinfulness, and God’s gracious mercy and willingness to forgive.

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