Summary: Question and answer series message dealing with the violence in the Old Testament.
TOUGH QUESTIONS: BIBLE ANSWERS
July 16, 2008
Pastor Brian Matherlee
Tonight’s question: Why, since God is loving and caring, does He command so many killings?
This is an important question. It has broad implications into the character, heart and motivation of God to a lost, dying world. Here are some additional questions I thought are borne out from this first one:
1. Does God care about everybody or just Israel in the Old Testament?--One Rotten Apple principle
a. Deuteronomy 7:26, “Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.”
b. God’s motivation for the killing of people recorded in the Scripture is because of their influence upon the Israelites. God’s chosen people would be wooed away and reject God as Lord. The implications of this would be devastating.
c. Remember that God had set Israel apart to be a kingdom of priests. If they compromised they could not be the vessel to communicate salvation to the world around them.
d. God cared about the foreigners and the role of a nation of priests was to demonstrate the holiness and power of God to the world around them that they might turn away from their evil and turn to God.
e. God was preserving a people and a message.
f. The toughest part is when we read that God had them kill women and children. Why would He do that? The women were the temptation that drew Israel away in Numbers 25. The children had grown to view and accept the practices of their parents. In some instances young children were allowed to live and it was because they would have no memories and could be taught what was true and right.
g. There are many things today that people compromise on and God hates them.
h. “A little yeast works throughout the whole batch of dough.” I Corinthians 5:6
i. Are there areas of compromise in my life? Actions, attitudes, inactivity?
2. Is God above the Law?—Did He mean it when He said Thou shalt not kill!
a. Observe the obvious. God said, “you shall not kill.” He wasn’t talking about himself. The Ten Commandments are guides for people, not for God. Why not? He doesn’t need them…we do.
b. We are bound by the commandment because we don’t understand everything, we don’t always have pure motives and we are certainly not without fault or sin ourselves.
c. We murder out of rage, anger, selfishness, etc.
d. God understands perfectly every motive and thought. He can discern the outcome of every action. God knows the potential choice of every soul and when time is up for each individual.
e. God’s wrath is not uncontrolled rage but a measured judgment preserving the greatest holiness and good.
3. Does God enact vengeance anymore?
a. God struck down Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5.
b. God will exact judgment on the entire world as recorded in Daniel and Revelation.
What should we take from our discussion?
• Sin is serious—Jesus said, gouge out your eye, cut off your hand if it causes you to sin.
• Holiness and being different from the world is honoring to God and a testimony of a better way to live.
• Faith is necessary to carry us through and beyond these questions that seem contradictory.