The Atlanta Public School’s cheating scandal is back in the news, but it is not for expected reasons. A recent bombshell has sent tremors that are far more devastating that what a jury could even begin to contemplate.

Beverly Hall

AJC online reports, “… that indicted ex APS superintendent Beverly Hall is ­battling breast cancer. Earlier this week, the death of  former APS principal Willie Davenport, one of 35 educators indicted on charges of cheating on standardized tests along with Hall,  was announced.

Davenport was 66 and facing criminal charges of racketeering and two counts of making false statements.  She was scheduled to go on trial with others accused of cheating next spring. The cause and date of her death had not been released.  Davenport was the principal at D.H. Stanton Elementary School in central Atlanta in 2009 when a state investigation into cheating said she falsified attendance records and failed to properly monitor standardized tests.

In a statement about  Hall to the AJC, Atlanta attorney Richard Deane said, ‘As has been reported to the court in connection with her bond determination, Dr. Hall has been diagnosed with breast cancer, a serious medical condition for which she is receiving treatment. As a matter of her personal privacy, Dr. Hall does not choose to say more.’ “

Throughout this whole judicial process, many have been skeptical about what kind of conviction might occur if any. After all, some of the best defense lawyers represent those indicted. However, the death of one and cancer for the other in the midst of this certainly makes us think twice about the justice of God. Even so, only God knows why He does what He does, and cancer can come upon anyone at any time: righteous or unrighteous.

Nevertheless, Scripture does reveal to us that certain people clearly received their punishment from the Lord’s hand directly. Jezebel was eaten by dogs for many abominations (2 Kings 9:30-37); Nebuchadnezzar was reduced to a beast because of his pride (Daniel 4:33); and Herod was eaten by worms when he did not give God the glory (Acts 12:20-23). God is serious about His holiness, and so should we be as well.

We must not be quick to say that theses particular women who are involved in the Atlanta cheating scandal received their maladies because of their respective involvements, but we must stand before a Holy God and tremble because we know that God can and has revealed his exact motives for such rebelliousness in the past.  We should tremble, for such could come upon as well when we take the grace of God for granted.

Let us therefore bow humbly before our God, who is Lord of lords and King of kings, and know that we are all unworthy of life because of our sin. God is gracious, and we ought to fall on our face every moment of every day and give thanks, lest we think little of God’s goodness and mercy.