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3. The God Under Your Rug: Why the Old Testament God Appears So Mean?

Andy Im

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Andy Im

Associate Director for the Dept of Public Campus Ministries in the Michigan Conference. Director of the Institute of Adventist Apologetics for C.A.M.P.U.S. 

Conference

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  • December 31, 2015
    1:45 PM
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This message was presented at the Jew I see twenty fifteen conference. Cold. Chosen in Louisville Kentucky. For other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web company Father we thank you so much once again for this time as we discuss issues in the Old Testament. Attacks that are leveled by prominent atheists that you committed genocide. And that some of the killings in acted. Are harsh and arbitrary. And nor does. As human beings who want to see and desire to see us a God of love. And one who has mercy and is a long suffering Lord help us to come to grips with with some of these things. Some of these questions are are challenging. We don't have all the answers per se but at the same time lord where we have shortcomings we pray that you would give a sufficient face. Faith on which or evidence on which to base our faith and to we think you Nord be with our thoughts. Put your divine thinking cap on our heads and help us to grapple with these things we think you so much Lord. And we ask all this in your name Amen. As I just stated this is a very very challenging topic I know every one of you are probably in here because you've read the Old Testament. And you've. Read some tax where you found to be very very challenging. And most pacifically claims that only a evil god would commit. The so-called. And I'd call it so-called genocide. That we see in the old has to been or. The claim that is made that it is genocide in the Old Testament so we're going to wrestle. Today. This is a result of personal study. I don't claim to have all the answers and certainly. I have done enough study where I can do a presentation like this. Having said that I want to share that. It is also still challenging for me in dealing with some of these concepts. But the Bible does provide. I believe sufficient evidence on on which to rest and hang our hat on that God did do some of these things in the Old Testament and yet. He can retain the character of an all loving God that we know him to be. And so we're going to do that are we going to start off by looking at some of the. The arguments that are leveled at the Old Testament God. And it's coming in the shape of. What's what they've termed. I don't know if they've termed it or others have termed it. But there's four individuals who fall under this category the new atheist one of them died recently. I think several years ago. Christopher Hitchens with cancer. But they are the new public. Popular face of atheism and. And so here you see Richard Dawkins and I just want to read this statement. This is something that I think all of us have to consider this. In terms of what he says here. He says Isn't it a remarkable coincidence almost everyone has the same religion as their mom and that rhyme and it always just happens to be the right religion. Religions run in families if we've been brought up in ancient Greece we would all be worshipping Zeus and Apollo. If we had been born Vikings. We would be worshipping and Thor. How does this come about well through childhood indoctrination. Right. And I think you raise a really good question that we shouldn't be Seventh Day Adventists Christians simply because Mom and Dad are. But because we have ourselves intentionally studied out some of these issues for cells and came to come to the conclusion that the Seventh Day Adventist Church is the run the church. And I believe that that every one of us need to do that. CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS That's what he looks like we're not going to take the time to read that is he just basically saying hey you know. Atheist today can now say what we couldn't before could we woulda had our to head chopped off. But now Christianity is coming with all the the rosy smiley. Mommy Daddy kind of love a dog be kind of feel about it. And so Christianity has changed because it's been forced to. And that's that's something that he's sharing in regards to Christianity and he's the one that. That parish several years ago. Sam Harris a philosopher. From Stanford. He's one of the guys right at the forefront of leveling attacks we're going to look at a quote that he shares. Later on and then there's or. There's Daniel Dennett and. He's also one of the for atheists and these are some the claims of the new atheist and we're going to start with Richard Dawkins. And notice what if than Every time I do the slide I got to review what he says because there are a lot of tongue twisters in how he describes God. He said The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character. In all fiction. Journalists and proud of it a petty. Unjust. Unforgiving. Control freak. A vindictive bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser a massage a mystic homophobic racist. Infanticide old genocidal feel a Seidel pestilential megalomaniacal sadomasochistic capriciously malevolent bully. Our style is challenging. Will admit every time I do that it's challenging but you can just see the adjectives there. And how he's describing the Old Testament God specifically. And those are very strong words. Now I do want to qualify that we're not going to have time to address all the issues that would take a week long seminar to do that but we are going to hit specifically. The claims of genocide. And also some of the so-called arbitrary killings that we see in the Old Testament for example the Egyptian who was collecting a Kindle ing on the Sabbath and then stoned to death right. At the command of God. And so we're going to look at some of those tax. As we move forward so we don't have time to address all these things but. But this will be a good start for you as you. As you study some of these issues. So this is what Christopher Hitchens speaking of the Canaanites in the Old Testament. Kinda nice were perilously driven out of their homes to make room for the ungrateful and mutinous children of Israel in the Old Testament. There's a warrant for trafficking in humans for ethnic cleansing. For slavery for a bride price. And for in discriminant mass a curve right very strong language. Language that typically we would reserve for terrorists. Today. Right. And so very strong language. Sam Harris. Not only is the character of God diabolical or devilishly in the Old Testament. But there are explicitly prescriptions for how to live that are not metaphors. They are not open to theological Judo. God just comes right out and says. Stone people. For a list of offenses. So preposterous and all complete encompass encompassing that the killing. Never stops. You have to kills people. For working on the Sabbath I've often thought myself. You know in sharing and be vulnerable here. Reading about it was deserving of death. If you cursed. Your parents that would. That would mean that I would not be here today. Right. I would not. Yeah I would not be here to share this presentation and. Praise God that. That he has read he rescues us from the pit and sin in which we live. But there are a number of sins in the Old Testament that you and I would not be alive. To be present here at your wife see if we perhaps live. Back there at least that is the assumption. And CARE least that is the assumption we're going to look at some of these things so Targus against God. Charges against God. So if you look at all of them there's in food. Inferiority of women slavery. Joel a self-centered God the universality of the Mosaic Laws. Ethnocentrism. You have bride pricing the binding of Isaac. Genocide. What we're going to cover today and some arbitrary laws and the question is what are we to do with these tax if we're honest with ourselves. How do we address some of these challenging incidents of the old past a man. I want to read is either Nona Abbott's their bodies. Is a conservative all Testament. Scholar. Bible believing. Individual that has wrestled with some of these questions. And he kind of articulate what all of us are thinking OK. And so this is what he says some of us wince when we read. Dawkins words. Not just because we find them offensive. But because if we're honest. We sometimes find ourselves thinking the same thing. When we read the Old Testament. What are we to make of the Texas speak of God beating out horrific punishments. On whole families like Akin and Cora. Or a God who smites a man dead for touching a sacred object we're going to talk about that or for offering the wrong kind of sacrificial fire. How are we to understand the language of God's anger jealousy or vengeance. Alongside what we have been Todd about God love his mercy. And his compassion. Very good question that I believe. Comes to the mind of many of us as we read the Old Testament. This is what he says in this is where I get derived my title for this message for this part of the discussion. He says Bible believers shouldn't shot of these Old Testament. Ethical challenges under their holy rugs. And this is what happens when we do that as people of the book. Christians we should on Asli of course reflect on such matters. Unfortunately most pastors and Christian leaders and he's speaking broadly here are reluctant to tackle such objects. And the results are fairly predictable. When uninformed Christians are challenge to about these text. They are not just maybe they are rattled. In their faith. And so he's he's also being on Este and he's saying hey we can't run away we can't shove it under the rug. Let's deal honestly with what the Bible is saying and try to make sense of it. And we have to bear in mind a couple of things. Number one the Old Testament is a far removed. Book in time and culture. The new atheists aren't theologians keep that in mind. They're not theologians they are not unbiased students. Of scripture. These new atheist. They aren't rigorous in their attempts to understand we complex city of scripture. We've got to keep that in mind. And they do not give due consideration for the historical context. And they don't do justice in responsibly applying what Scripture has to say about God in its entirety. So keep in mind. They come to Scripture. There on their approach you get from the perspective that they are looking for those tax. To nail God. Right. They're not trying to study the whole of scripture the entire scripture to come to some of just a conclusion based on the entirety of scripture. But this is precisely what you and I must do. When we read scripture to be diligent. Students of scripture and read what all the stripper has to say. Concerning these things so I'm going to start off with some rules of thumb. Number one. We really have to humbly admit that we don't have all the answers. So we humbly admit. We don't have all the answers. God has not revealed. Everything right God hasn't revealed everything and much of what's revealed right or at least some of what revealed. Isn't clear. Regarding some of the intentions of God. And some of the why questions that we are riddled with. And so we should accept this. In faith and humility. I want to read a quote from ministry of healing. She says men of the greatest intellect cannot understand the mysteries of Jehovah. Divine inspiration asked many questions which the most profound. Scholar. Cannot answer these questions were not asked that we might. And serve them. But to call our tension to the deep. Mysteries of God and to teach us that our with them is what is limited. That in the surroundings of our daily life there are many things beyond the comprehension. A finite beings skeptics like the for atheists refuse to believe in God because they cannot comprehend the infinite power by which God reveals Himself. But God is to be acknowledged and I love this quote. She says But God is to be acknowledged as much from what he does not reveal. Of himself as from that which is open to our limited comprehension. Both in divine revelation. And in nature. God has given mysteries. To compander faith. This must be slow. We may be ever searching. Ever inquiring and ever learning. And yet there is an infinity beyond an infinity beyond. Second point that we need to some rules of thumb. We need to recognize that our thoughts aren't. God Staats and spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Keep in mind that the new atheists are not spiritual right. They're not spiritual individuals. And they're not this. They're not interpret scripture. With with a converted heart. In Isaiah fifty five. My thoughts are not your thoughts nor your ways my way says the Lord for as the heavens are higher than the Earth so or my ways higher than your ways. And my thoughts than your thoughts. In first Corinthians Chapter two fourteen the natural man. The natural person you and I outside of God. Unconnected from God does not receive the things of the Spirit of God. There are foolishness to him. He cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned. So point or two as a rule of thumb. We have to understand the spiritual things are spiritual under START. Number three. You're not going to win a close minded atheist. With heated argument Taishan right. You think an atheist ever bit one because they were humiliated because you dislike made them look like a fool. And they were like oh now want to be a Christian. That's probably not going to happen. Right. And so let's keep in mind that that the. The purpose of this is not to have Abby edition or bazookas the like launch at people. It's for us to number want to come to an understanding ourselves. About the character of God and that when others have some confusion in regards to these things. We can be helpful in explaining some of these passages to them. Number four. As a rule of thumb in the great controversy. And this is a very important point and I want you to really consider this. In the great controversy God. Attains the ultimate victory. That is true. But the victory is achieved with losses. The victory is achieved with losses. In other words. There is an absolute winner. But then when. But it's not an absolute win in the sense that there are casualties in the war. Right. People are going to be lost in the great controversy. As a result of decisions made for rejecting God and so forth so although we do have an absolute winner in God and in that sense I had to use that. That that term. A competitive term there. But. But God is all to believe victorious. But it does come at a loss in K.. And the old has to been is is a testament to that. That very fact. So it's not an absolute when although we do have an absolute winner. So to speak. Now. One sin entered the earth. And this is just expounding on that thought one sin entered the earth. Every viable option on the table. Involve people dying. Eternal death. And K.. And so. And that is because the free will of humans. The free will of humans which is the basis of love you cannot have love. Without the freedom of will. The free the will of humans. Precluded in absolute option where all would be saved. We can talk a little bit more about that when we discuss the issue of evil. And so that's just something for you to consider and think about. If you want some more additional resources to read I would encourage you to read the chapters in pay trucks and prophets and great controversy where. Well and why deals with the subject of evil. And the permitting of evil and so forth. So let's look at a Biblical response here. To some of these things. Scripture if you re scripture. Scripture assumes the righteousness. The love. And the justice of God in K.. You can see that in a variety of passages the one I chose. Is in Jan. Genesis Chapter eighteen verse twenty five. Now in the scenario you have the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra you remember that scenario. And so here you have Abraham kind of wheeling and dealing with God You know you finds out that that Jesus himself is going down to to do an investigative judge been. If you will. And so as he is going down there. You know he's wagering with God and he's saying hey if there's fifty. If there's fifty. Won't you spare that. And of course the the says yes. I'll spare them. And he says. OK. Hey I got fifty. What about forty five. And then of course forty five is agreed upon. And then he goes in increments of of ten after that or. We go to forty. Then he goes to thirty. And then he goes to twenty. And then he goes to ten. Right. And in Genesis Chapter eight hundred twenty five. These are the words of Abraham he says Four be it from you to do such a thing to put the righteous to death with the wicked. So that the righteous fair as the wicked. And then he says Four be that from you that is not like you. Right. And then he says will not the Judge of all the earth. Do the right thing. Right. Will not the judge of the earth do the right thing so so Bible whiners and prophets of old themselves. Had this assumption that God dealt. Justly and fairly with his people. Even in the context of destruction like we you see here in Sodom and Gomorrah. So when you look at for example. The Canaanite genocide. As one. One theologian says it's midway the most difficult. Old Testament. Ethical issue. Is this divine command to kill the Canaanite So what are we to do with these tech that I'm going to share one of them there's several places where you can find passages like this. But it says here in Deuteronomy twenty. DRITON in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance. Usual save alive nothing that breathes. Whoa. Right. But you should devote them to complete destruction. And then goes on to list the Canaanites the Hittites am right and so forth. The parasites. As the Lord your God has commanded that they may not teach you to do. According to all their abominable. Practices that they have done for their gods. And so that you with sin against the LORD your God by the way that. That's one of the reasons that God is giving in the book of Deuteronomy four for the destruction of the Canaanites. So moving forward. Let's go ahead and start with what we do know about God. And what is revealed in Scripture. About God first and foremost. And that is that God is patient. And that is slow to anger you. All of you know as good admin It's no the Texan Exodus Chapter thirty four verses. Six to seven. The Lord passed before Moses and proclaim the Lord the Lord. A God who is merciful gracious. Slow to anger and a bounding instead fast love and faithfulness. Keeping steadfast love for thousands for giving iniquity. And transgression and sin but who will by no means clear. The guilty. By the way this verse in and of itself. Assume than think about this for a moment. This verse here assume that this. This notion of by no means clearing the guilty. Is is not mutually exclusive. From the other actually beats of God like Mercy and graciousness and love and faithfulness. OK so there is no necessarily a contradiction between justice and and mercy. And you see that right here in this passage or. It's at least assumed. In this passage. So on that basis in the context of the Canaanite so-called genocide. We're going to look at some of the things. Some of the considered things we need to consider. So God. We looked at the character of God in mercy and the positive attributes and also the actress dealing with justice. We also understand that when it came to the Canaanites that God provided. Probationary time in K.. It wasn't just a sudden boom. You're done. Kind of scenario. When he when. When God called Abraham. Initially And in this discussion with Abraham. Notice what he what he says here in Genesis Chapter fifteen verses fifteen and sixteen. He says asked for yourself. You shall go to your fathers in peace another was even to end up resting in peace and die a good old age right. And there your people all the Israelites will come back. Back to Cain in in the fourth generation. Wine because the iniquity. That the amber of the Amorites is not yet complete and other words. Sooner or later. At the appointed time the non jewish people who occupy the land right while you're in Egypt. There will come a time where they all will be calm. Ripe for judgment and then God will use your posterity. So to speak as as a means of judgment and to possess that land in K.. So this passage suggests that the Canaanites. At the time of Abraham were not yet so wicked. Asked to warrant a comprehensive judgment. So at the very least we understand. The end we're going to expound on this that. That the reason why. Or the justification that. That God had been in and again. It's hard to use the right word that that doesn't portray God. Someone as harsh but when the command was made to wipe out the Canaanites in K.. It was a moral consideration we see that in the passage it was a moral consideration that they had not reached a point of no return. So to speak. And so they were not to possess the land. God's people were to wait. And by the way God's people had to wait a long time in other words. They waited four hundred plus years. Right for the iniquity. To reach that. That threshold. If you will. And we see that in Genesis Chapter fifteen versus thirteen to fourteen. Says it's really a prophecy your offspring will be soldier nerds. In a land that is not there. Speaking of Egypt they'll be servants there. They'll be afflicted there for four hundred year. But I will bring judgment on that nation that. That they serve Egypt and afterward they shal come out with great possession so God is telling him. Hey the am right the wickedness is not yet for your people are going to be in Egypt and after these years. They're going to come out and K.. So God did provide probationary time. Another consideration is is point three that there were that there were grounds. For culpability. In other words the Canaanites did know better. If you read in Deuteronomy Chapter two verses twenty five So in other words. When I look at some pathogens going to fly through some passages. Are you not going to have time to open in your bible or else we're not going to get done with this. But go ahead and jot them down also these presentations I'm going to try and make them available for all of you to utilize as a resource. And will make that happen some way. But. But notice what do they are on me Chapter two verses twenty five says in this is before the conquests takes place. He says this day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you. Upon the nations under the whole heaven. Who show here the report of you and chill tremble and be an anguish. Because of you. And we're dealing with this question of head to the Canaanites really no better did God it's just you know without them really knowing right from wrong did it just wipe them out. And how can they be judged when they didn't. They had so little light and. And it's light spanking a child when he doesn't even know any better. How could God do that and so the argument that I am making here. That scripture is also affirming. Is that the Canaanites did have a knowledge of God. So Deuteronomy two twenty five at least provides some suggestion of that. And then we see it more clearly and more explicitly in Joshua chapter two verses nine through eleven These are the words of Ray I have. And notice what she says here. Right this is prior to the conquest of Jericho she says. I know that the Lord has given you the land for we meaning our people. The Jericho ites if you will. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for four. For when you came out of Egypt and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites whom you are really destroyed as soon as we heard these things or. Our hearts melted neither did the revealing any more courage in any one because of you for the Lord your God. He is God in heaven above. And on Earth. You need. So here it's there's a suggestion is made very strongly and explicitly that they did have access to knowledge of God and His Barac you list. Intervention in behalf of Israel. All right and so in commentary on this. Patriarchs in profits paid for ninety two. Then habitants of Canaan had been granted. Ample opportunity. Did you know that Ellen White was also an apologist. By the way she was aware of these issues and notice what she says. They have been granted. Ample opportunity for repentance. Forty years prior the opening of the Red Sea and the judgments upon Egypt. Had testified to the supreme power of the God of Israel. The holiness of his character and his of Horan's of impurity had been events the judgment visited upon Israel for their own iniquity. Right. And then moving forward all these events were known to the inhabitants of Jericho. And there were many who shared re Habs conviction. Though they refused to obey it. That you hope of the God of Israel is God in heaven above. And upon the earth beneath. Like the man before the flood the Canaanites live. And notice what it says here. They lived only to blast team. Have been and defile the earth. And both love and justice to attributes of the character of God. Demanded the prompt. Execution. And of these rebels against God and foes to man. Think of it like this. God God. Pronounce judgment on the inhabitants of the Canaanites or the. The Canaanites for the same reason that we would pronounce judgment on terrorism and terrorist activity that we see. Taking place where you have people who are doing things that are just I mean when you read the news it's unbelievable. The the extent of evil. That we're seeing in this world. And so you have some of the. The same ideas going on here. That that the same justification for for the for terrorists today. Would be the same justification that we would see. Against a Canaanites. OK Number four. There was the criteria. Right. There was some logical basis for the decision made against the Canaanites that we've looked at several factors us for and and Firstly the Canaanites or wicked so I mentioned before there were there was a moral justification for the judgment not one based on race or or simply a nationalistic endeavor. Deuteronomy nine five says not because of your righteousness. Or the uprightness of your heart are you going into possess the land. But because of the wickedness of these nations. The Lord your God is driving them out before you. And that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers to Abraham to Isaac and to Jake up in case so when you look at some of the Canaanite since. We're going to look at some of them here in Leviticus Chapter eighteen. Vs twenty three thirty and there are some of the sins that we see. Taking place today. Right. You should not lie. Sexually with your neighbor's wife. So the sin of adultery. Was taking place. You should not give any of your children children to offer them to Molech So there was child sacrifice is going on and I am a father of a fifteen month old. I don't. I can't even begin to comprehend what it would take the thought press. Process behind. Sacrificing an innocent young child. To some god. And so this was obviously one of the key sins that are emphasized in the old has been not just year. You should not lie with a male as with a woman so you also have homosexual. Homosexuality taking place. And then you and you should not lie with any animal so there was beastly ality. Also taking place. And then he goes on to not make yourselves. Unclean by any of these things for by all these four by all these in other words these sins the nations I'm driving out. Before you have become unclean. So that I punished. It's iniquity. Do none of these abominations less the land. Vomit you out now how many of you have ever vomited before. Probably most of us have have vomited. Ed. You only vomit. Something when it's just reaches a point. Right. A threshold where your stomach just says no more. I'm confident about right. And you don't have a choice sometimes in the matter is just going to come out and. So this language is very strong. Right. They had reached the such an extent of distaste right in terms of the level of wickedness the maturity of the wickedness. That God uses this language of vomiting. That they were vomited out. Because of these abominations to several point that can be gleaned from these passages. The basis for their destruction and Judge bit. Was fundamentally on account of their wickedness. There were moral grounds for their judgment. Wraith an ethnicity were never the costs for their the mites. This is implied in the passage itself. When the warning is given to the Israelites. Right. Not to partake in partake in the same sins that the judgments of the Canaanites would be fall. Them. Should they also commit the same. Abominable. Practices and by the way they did commit the same abominable practices. Therefore you have the demise of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Seven seven twenty two seven twenty one B.C.. And then you also have the demise of the southern kingdom of Judah in about five eighty six B.C.. And so the same thing that did happen to the Canaanites. Also happened to the Israelites. And that they were displaced from their homeland. And by the way. And scholars widely recognize this fact that not all the Canaanites and you find that when you read the book of Judges that not all of the Canaanites were exterminated. Much of the language used in the Old Testament is not to annihilate them. But to drive them out. Right. And so. So if you if you do a careful study of the Old Testament there is more language. In the context of the Canaanite that have to do. We'll deal with driving them now than they do with annihilating them in K.. And so many have concluded that. That the statements or the text that deal with annihilation. Have to do with those who remain behind the Warriors the fighters. And those who were blatantly standing their ground wanting to maintain the possession of Canaan. Whereas the assumption is that many of the children perhaps young people left and and fled before. The terror of Israelites. If you recall he also mentioned that he was sent Hornets to drive them Al right. And so you had that language of a God didn't just sit there and wipe everyone out many were driven out and moved to other areas and places. Alright. It's a lot of heavy stuff year and a lot of things to consider the second thing is for is the thought process behind it. The Israelites were to purge the land right there. There was a rhyme and reason. Other Israelites were to purge the land of corrupting influence is. So the same reason why you may throw away your C.D.'s and your your former the things that you listen to or whatever God wanted to prepare a people with a very high calling to be a savior so to speak to the world. As his instruments is share. The Word of God to the surrounding world and nations. So they were to purge the land of the corrupting influences. The warning was given. And we saw this alluded to in the. Another passage says. In Deuteronomy Chapter twenty verses seventeen and eighteen. Usual devote them to complete destruction the Hittites in the Emirates and so forth. As a Lord your God is commanded and then it says that they may not teach you to do according to their abominable practices. They have done for their gods. And so that you will sin against the LORD your God. Right so that with one of the reasons now. They didn't do that and so what was the result. The song missed. Actually reflecting backwards. On the experience of Agent engine Israel. And not in not believe with the Canaanites and not driving them all out. Notice the result as a sourness declares in songs chapter one o six. This is versus thirty four through thirty six thirty seven through thirty nine. This is they're speaking of the Israelites did not destroy the peoples. As a lord commanded. But they mingled with the nations and learned their practices and served their idols. Which became a snare to them. They even sacrifice their sons and their dodder their children and shed. What the Bibles described as innocent blood the blood of their sons and their daughters you noticed how. That's emphasized here. That these child sacrifice fucker Feiss thus they became unclean. In their practices and played the Harlot. In their deeds. So. So there were certainly some moral justification. There was also some practical considerations in getting rid of harmful influences. We also have to keep in mind that. That God had the end in mind. He had the ultimate end in mind. The probationary cessation or. The end of probation of the Canaanites. Made it possible for God to enact justice and initiate the Canaanite conquest. For the establishment of Israel as his light bearers. To a fallen world. God had a two full purpose for Israel. First to employ ancient Israel as his instruments of justice which angels also have done. At the command of God as well. Keep that in mind. First to employ engine Israel as instruments of justice and secondly to prepare his people to become vehicles or instruments of salvation. To the world. We find this in Genesis Chapter twelve three and also in twenty eight fourteen in the original promise in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. And then it goes on when he's speaking to Jake up. Re in aerating the promise in the contents of the OS bring he says and in you speak in a Jabe and Jacob. And your OS bring show all the families of the earth. Be blessed. So the ultimate purpose God had the end in mind that his people would be a blessing to the surrounding nations. And it was imperative that they remove all those influences that they were so inclined to follow. And we see that from the get go we see it from their demand to have a king in in line with the practices of the heathen nations around them. They just had a penchant to do that and by the way. Do you and I also have struggles in our lives. Are there practical reasons why you and I me. May need to remove ourselves from certain friends and societies I have a little. In my own testimony. You know whenever I share this with people people are their jobs away. Drop down like nowhere. But. But God save me out of a condition where. When I went to the University of North Carolina. At that point I wanted nothing to do with God cells like you know what and this is often the mindset of admin if and don't follow. Into my example it's like. We can go into it's streams I was super hard core. Vegan all true. Come on. Like I did. Like I would not even need oil. You know I was I wouldn't step on grass because I didn't want to stick her grass. I mean I was that crazy. But you know I was pretty out there. Right. And so when I said no to God I was like you know what I'm going to try the world. All the way. And I Merced in got immersed in drugs. And so forth. And God had to rescue me out of a pit of of whore and sin. That I knew there was no way possible I was going to get out of and praise God that he did that and only and only God can do that and one of the things that I the. The point of the matter is the point I was going to make is this that that there were some certain friends that I had to make a decision that I just could not see any more. And I remember after I quit smoking a certain drug that. You know I was like three weeks victorious. And I was like you know what. Like I I got this now. You know I'm I'm I'm I'm good and I remember going to my friend's house. And what do you think I did. I did it again. And then I realized you know what I really really cannot go back and and soul. So in this vein. God understood that the influence of the Canaanites would be destructive. Not just physically because they would do. Physical harm to the Israelites. But also morally and spiritually which are even more important factors. So on the destruction of Jericho. Which was an act of both judgment. Which it would. Which was the act and act both judgment. And also mercy. I want to read a quote from pay trucked in profits. Notice what she says here in in this passage here page for. The utter destruction of the people of Jericho was but a fulfillment of the commands previously given through Moses concerning the have inhabitants of Canaan. National smite them an orderly destroy them. Of of the cities of these people that will save a life nothing that breathe it. Then it. She says this she had knowledge is that these commands. Seem contrary. She says to the security of love and mercy that are enjoying to other portions of the Bible and such a huge stark contrast. When you read Matthew five through seven right. Verses reading. Deuteronomy right. Or numbers for example. So she she's she's making that point. And then she says. But they were in truth. The dictates of infinite wisdom remember God can see things that we cannot see God's ways are not our ways. They were dictates of infinite wisdom and goodness God was about to establish. Israel in Canaan. To develop among them a nation and a government that should be a manifestation of His Kingdom. Upon the earth. They were not only to be inheritors of the true legend. But to disseminate its principles throughout the world. The Canaanites had abandoned themselves. It's the foulest and most the basting heathenism. And it was necessary that the land should be cleared of what would so surely prevent the fulfillment of God's gracious. Purposes. And so God needed to create two to have a people or risk wiping out no one being saved at all. And this was the plan. He chose. I also want to say something about the judgement. The judge of been is is legit. Right the judgement is legit. To use a millennial term I trying to be hip and cool your Even though I'm not. The judgment is legit. So God is the God of blessing. But he's also a judge who at times. For reasons only known to him. Pronounces judgment on specific nations. And people groups furthermore. God local immediate judgment on nations in history. Serves as a prototype of God's all to man and final eschatological judgement or end time. Judgment it's a prototype these local judgments or a type of the final end time judgment that will take place where all timid vindication of Justice will take place. And keep in mind that there was a moral or legal framework of judgement. It wasn't just some arbitrary. Walking down the street and killing someone. Kind of of thing. Notice what one. Thinker has said he said he says there is a huge moral difference between arbitrary violence and violence inflicted within the moral framework of punishment. This is true in human society. As much as in divine perspective. There is a moral difference between the execution of a criminal. Convicted as guilty within a system of law versus a random. Murder of an innocent right. It's the same reason why you. We can legitimately and legally get rid of of terrorists and rapists and killers not necessarily killing them or putting him in jail in prison. And so forth. I also want to explore this thought and this is. Probably one of the most important concepts that the. In regards to God that we need to understand. God is wrathful. Because he is love. Does that sound like an oxymoron. To you that's non-contradictory. Let's think about this for just a moment. In fact. Love can be the impetus of anger. Even intense anger. And let me give you an example. You know every day you read the news of Hollywood stars. And people in the news and. You read about famous people wives cheating on husbands. Men raping women. And it's also vice versa I've seen it the other way as well and individuals. Committing murder. And keep in mind we're talking about love being the impetus of anger an intense anger or God is wrathful because he is love. We see these things taking place on a daily basis. And guess what for most of us. When it's someone out there that face you and I know it's. You just read it and then. It doesn't infect impact you at all. You just move on but it's not until you're cheated on or your daughter is rate. Or your brother is murdered. That you become what. Wrathful Exactly. An angry. The extent to which you are wrathful. Depends on the extent to which you love. The extent to which your wrathful is contingent upon the extent to which you love. The more you love. The more wrathful. You will be. When someone you love is hurt or pained by another individual or murdered or killed. Now imagine God's infinite. Boundless love. When he reads those newspapers and God doesn't read newspapers. Right. But when he see these events happening. Keep in mind that God has infinit boundless love. For every single individual that he would have come. And he would have died. For one person. And you imagine that love and then think of the wrath that he must feel. Every single day every single day. And that wrath is restrained. Because remember. God is slow to anger. Six thousand years. Approximately. This world has been going on and we're seeing and what we're seeing today. Has taken place throughout human history. And his law is wrath. Has been restrained and held back. Truly is a patient God because He is merciful gracious slow to anger and abounding. Instead fast love. I love how this one man puts it. He was a Croatian who lived through the ethnic strife in former Yugoslavia and. He thought really hard because his own people were slaughtered. Murdered raped and killed. And he says I used to think that wrath was unworthy of God isn't God Love shouldn't Divine Love be beyond wrath. God is Love and God loves every person and every creature. That's exactly why God is wrathful again some of them. My last resistance to the idea of God's wrath. With the couch the of the war in the former Yugoslavia. The region from which I come. According to some estimates two hundred thousand people were killed over three million were displaced my village of the cities were destroyed. My people shelled day in and day out. Some of them brutalized beyond imagination. And I could not imagine God not being angry. How did God react to the carnage. By doting on the perpetrators in a grandfatherly fashion by refusing to condemn the bloodbath. But instead of firming the perpetrators basic goodness. Wasn't God fiercely Embry with them though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God's wrath. I came to think. In other words he came to a conclusion that I would have to re bell against the God who wasn't wrathful. At the sight of the world's evil. God isn't wrathful in spite of being love God is wrathful because he is loved and we need to see the justice and judgment of God in that contacts in that light and frame it in that way. And then you better begin to understand that in justice there is love and God is love. We're going to close we're will have four minutes left. Some challenging tax I'm going to pry skip one of the examples that ends a discussion on the genocide. Portion. But some of the challenging text like the Egyptian stoned to death for collecting kindling on the Sabbath. In Numbers Chapter fifteen it talks about who is gathering sticks on the Sabbath and. And of course the. Combat is a given to stone him to death. And we have to keep in mind that when we read these passages that we have to look at the whole entire context. See the passage in context. And when you do that you notice that in the verses previous to that passage. This statement is made that the person who makes the mistake when he sins unintentionally. He shall be for given right. All unintentional sins. Would be forgiven. But the person who does anything with a high hand. Right and that synonymous with premeditated defiance in that person will be cut off. So number one we understand that that was not a sin of ignorance but one of defiance against God. Right in PE trucked in prophet. Speaking of this very thing. The Lord and Nords announcement that he would. And I do have the right. Oh yeah oh so if you. Let's a skip to the bottom to save time. The act of this man was a willful and deliberate deliberate violation of the Fourth Commandment. A sin. Not of thoughtless this. Or ignorance. But of presumption a notice. There's other context there was some defiance going on and anger and rebellion. That was involved in that. You also have an incident where an Egyptian a stoned to death for cursing God. You find that in Leviticus Chapter twenty four verses ten eleven thirteen and fourteen. He blasted in the name of God By the way I would. I would point you to pay trucks and prophets and read her statements on that is very and light. But notice it says the Lord spoke to Moses and of course. The congregation. Stone him. And in picture of the prophet she says and Page forty four await. There are those who will question God's love and his justice in visiting soul says Vere a punishment for a word spoken in the heat of passion. But both love and justice require it to be shown that utterance. Utterances prompted by malice against God or a great sin. The wreck your view Sion visited upon the first offender would be a warning to others in case so. And then she says and this man sin. Had this man's sin been permitted to pass. Unpunished. Others would have been demoralized. And as the result many lives would eventually have been sacrificed. Right. So what she this actually stating is that if he were not. If justice was not met fair. Many more would have been killed. You also have the case of or I should say not kill but would have been think that it's OK and then you would have more people committing deliberate. Outright sin against God. You have the case of us are right God struck him down you've find that in Second Samuel chapter six. And I'm not going to go through all the. There's three reasons here. And I'm going to go ahead and skip that because we do need to end. But I want to mention. You want me to summarize it at least. OK. Because I'm hearing some of the finance and rebellion out there. And I don't want you to be struck down. All right so why we have to keep in mind that you want the verse. It takes place in Second Samuel chapter six and. And that's really all you need to know you can read the entire passage there. The question is why. Number one he disobeyed an explicit command. If you read the first chronicles of version of the story. It says in verse thirteen because you did not carry it the first time the Lord your God. Broke out against us this is a reference to that scenario. Because we did not seek Him according to the rule. Now. When you read these virtues passages here are not going to state them all the ark wasn't to be carried on a cart. Things were supposed to be carried on the card. I remember when I think it was President Obama when he met the pope I think he sat down and one of the cardinals like rebuked him because he was dishonoring. The Pope. And so this was in some respects. Considered disrespectful to God things. And objects were placed on on carts. Not royalty and the things of God Only priests were to handle the Arkansas he carried utilizing poles inserted through rings on the right. And it was to be supported using the shoulders. So in some Asian. This was insulting and disrespectful to a large extent. And the ark represented keep in mind the ark represented the very presence of God. You. And I cannot see God and live in our sinful state and the arc of God represented the the very presence of God I mentioned that carts were utilized to carry things not royalty. And it was a. It was a manifestation of a lack of concern for God. And of course their relationship and and of course. To set an example and to minimize additional consequences. This was a public event. There were at least thirty thousand people in attendance. And I want to read what patriarch the Prophet has a say in re in regards to some of these passages. She says the fate of us was a divine judgment upon the violation of a most explicit command. I was sharing that earlier through moles if the Lord had given special instruction. Concerning the transportation of the Ark and their neglect of these instructions was dishonoring to God upon others are rested the greater guilt presumption transgression of God's law. Had lessened his sense of its sacredness meaning the ark of God God can accept no partial obedience. By the judgment upon us a HE designed to impress upon all Israel the importance of giving strict he. Thus the death of the one man. By leading the people to repentance. My prevent the necessity of inflicting judgments. Upon thousands. I do there's two passages where Ellen wife suggest that in order to save the many the few were sacrificed I don't want to give the impression that God acts on this principle. At all times. And in all ways right. That principle in ethical theory is called utilitarianism. You know the greatest good for the greatest amount. Determined every decision you make. We have to keep in mind that God is consistent with his with the law of God in His own nature and. And I want to also mention this one. And this is the last flight here. That God being a mission. Makes truly objective decisions. He considers all the relevant data. For example the command to stone the Egyptian or to put other to death. His decision may have been based on the fact that he also knew that those individuals had reached the point of no return. This isn't out of the question. He is God. And so we just have to keep in mind that when God. N.X. this justice. That a certain level or at every level. We need to trust that it will also be in accord that it's in accordance with who we are as a loving gracious and merciful God. We've got to end on that note and. Let's go ahead and powerhead forward a prayer. How many Father we have covered a lot of material certainly not mature. All the material something we can remember. And so we thank you for audio verse. We thank you for the ability to go back into listen to some of these messages and to clarify the notes. And we just pray Lord that this is just the beginning that we will begin our own personal study into the Word of God and into the spirit of prophecy that we may better and more clearly understand your character who you are. And at the same time for the things that you have not revealed. Or give us the faith to believe even in our weakness and even in our own belief we thank you Lord. Your name Amen. This message was recorded at the Jew I see twenty fifteen conference cold. Chosen in Louisville Kentucky. Supporting Ministry of a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Seeks to inspire young people to be bible based centered. And so when Christian to download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web.

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