Tag Archives: Old Testament

What about God killing people in the Old Testament?

18 Mar

English: Anthroplogy - human skull of a boy. T...

There are some questions that trouble non-Christians that really don’t trouble Christians.

  • “Is there such a thing is as truth?” seems so self-evident.
  • “Is the crucifixion cosmic child abuse?” is easy to answer if you’ve read the Bible yourself.
  • “Is Christianity anti-Semitic?” seems ridiculous when you know the church was founded by 12 Jewish guys who followed another Jewish guy who was fulfilled the great Jewish hope.

Although we are happy to answer the questions of our friends and family, these things rarely ever make us struggle.

But there are some questions that do.

One such question is about God killing people in the Old Testament. God seems utterly brutal to do such a thing. How can we reconcile this with the loving God of the New Testament?

Dave Bish has put up an excellent blog post entitled “What about God killing people in the Old Testament?” where he discusses these issues. I would urge you to read the post for yourself. Let me summarise the main arguments here and then add some thoughts of my own.

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27 Apr

Slaughtered LambNext in my ten books I would take to evangelise a desert island is one of the most controversial on the list: Leviticus.

What’s the book about?

Leviticus is the death blow of “Read the Bible in a Year” programmes. Christians tend to get bogged down in this book and give up. It’s mainly about sacrifices, priests and the way God’s people should live.

Why did I choose this book?

Leviticus foreshadows some big themes in the new Testament:

  1. God is morally pure (or holy) and will destroy anything unholy.
  2. If we’re not holy, a life must be taken in our place.
  3. A priest must mediate between us and God.
  4. God’s people must live in a way that honours him.
  5. God’s people willingly offer sacrifices in thanksgiving for their salvation.

Leviticus is a difficult book, but read in light of the fact that Jesus is our sacrifice and priest it can be a life-changing book.

Thinking about the Old Testament sacrifice system helps me to love Christ more. Thank God I am not separated from Him as I deserve, but through Jesus I am his son!

Leviticus is a hard book and you’ll need a road map. Go to the At the Castle website. At Christmas 2005 Justin Mote gave spoke on Leviticus, and I found it immensely helpful. Have a listen, and I hope this book will be as much a blessing to you as it has been to me.

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26 Apr

Moses with stone tabletsContinuing the series of the ten books I would take to evangelise a desert island with we come to our next book, the book of Exodus.

What’s the book about?

At the end of Genesis God’s people are in Egypt. In Exodus, God frees Israel from captivity. After they’ve been set free, the Israelites are given the 10 commandments and the tabernacle, a meeting place with God.

Why did I choose this book?

Like Genesis this book is essential to understanding the Bible and introduces some key ideas:

  1. The name of God (Yahweh).
  2. God saving his people from a sinful world (setting free from slavery).
  3. God’s people being saved by the blood of a sacrifice (passover).
  4. God living with his people (tabernacle)
  5. Certain laws must be kept if God’s people are going to live with him.
  6. God’s people inevitably fail to meet God’s standards but he loves them nevertheless.

These ideas will be essential for the islanders to get. I’m sure they will be a great help to you too. If you haven’t read through Exodus have a try. As with all Old Testament books, they’re more important than you think.

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