Monday, March 12, 2012
Welcome to Day 71 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Deuteronomy 19, laws concerning cities of refuge for those who have killed another, intentionally or unintentionally, and enforcement of these laws.
Deuteronomy 20, when going to war… “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. 4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
Deuteronomy 21, in this chapter provision is made for the putting away the guilt of blood from the land, when he that shed it had fled from justice, for preserving the honor of a captive woman, securing of the right of a first-born son (though not the favorite) for the restraining and punishing a rebellious son, for the maintaining of the honor of human bodies, which must not be hanged in chains, but decently buried, regardless of the offense. [Excerpts from Matthew Henry’s Commentary]
v 18, “If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 they shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.”
Galatians 3:2, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?”
v 28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Even when there was a promise, 19:8 “If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he promised on oath to your ancestors, and gives you the whole land he promised them…” They still had to fight, war, drive out those occupying the land.
Again they were commanded to completely obliterate all those living in the land the LORD has promised them… if they had to go to war against them. If they offered a treaty, those living there became servants. If war broke out, the men were killed but not the women and children.
Sometimes you may have to fight for what God “gives” you. No question that God had given them the land, but they still had A LOT of work to do to occupy it.
They weren’t fighting the PEOPLE of those territories… they were fighting their gods and their practices. God was concerned that his people would be led astray…
This is difficult for many people to digest, that “the God of the Bible” is THE God… according to who? “What makes THEIR gods worse, or less-than.”
In our world that is becoming more and more polytheistic (believes in many gods) and has a, “whatever works for you” viewpoint… that we maintain that there is ONE God… Sounds really narrow-minded. “And what about Jesus? How is he connected to the God of the Old Testament??” (John the Baptist referred to Jesus as “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”) “And, why was God so cruel to those people who worshiped other gods. There weren’t hurting anybody…” (Many of their practices were detestable to God. Involved child sacrifice and sexual acts.)
One of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 is “You shall have no other Gods.”
All roads don’t lead to God… Different roads lead to different places.
It all makes sense to me… although at times I still wonder about some of those same questions, but I still land on, God… is God.
Makes me think of Matthew 11, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.”
Ephesians 6:11-12, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
There is always a tension between the Law and the Spirit. Following the Spirit, there are still “laws.” But we are not “under the Law.” Even though we are not “under the Law” adultery and murder are still wrong.
The bigger picture is about righteousness… Where it comes from. For believers in Christ, righteousness is “imparted” because of what Jesus did. “When I see the blood (of Christ) I will pass over (Passover) you.”
Hard for me to imagine ever taking my son out and stoning him for rebelliousness, not matter what he had done. (Imagine being brought up on charges for that in court today. The story would make CNN…)
Lord, I thank you that I don’t have to answer for you… I can’t. I’m ok with “Your ways are higher than my ways.” These are the same questions people have been asking for centuries… I just trust you along the way.