Moses in his farewell addresses warned Israel not to chase after other gods and remain loyal to the Lord and his covenant. If they refused to heed his warning then God would punish them. Israel failed to listen and attempted to have a pluralistic society; worshiping the one true God along with fictional gods. As Moses predicted God punished Israel and they went into captivity. In 539 B.C. the Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the temple. The Jewish people learned that God was serious about what he said.
What Moses said was true then, and it is true today. And we, like Israel, really don’t think God is serious about what he says. We pretend that God does not see or hear us, and therefore, our particular sin doesn’t count. The Jewish people had to learn the hard way; God was serious. Maybe it is time we got serious about God before he gets serious with us.
Is it fair for God to punish people for the wrongs they do? It is if you consider this: If Jesus is God, and he is, and he died on a cross as punishment for our sins, and he did, then the God we proclaim is the kind of God who is willing to take his own punishment so others will not have too.
This thought helps us to understand Grace and mercy. Grace is a favor rendered by one who does not need to do so. Mercy is withholding of a judgement that is deserved. It has been said, “On Calvary’s mountain God’s grace and God’s mercy met and God’s salvation was offered.” Salvation means: The cell doors have been opened, the chains have been loosed, and the prisoners and the slaves have been set free because their price has been paid.
Jesus, What a Savior,
Christians continue to fall into the trap of arguing the Bible’s validity on scientific ground. The Bible is not a science book; it is a book of faith and as a book of faith it requires it own skill-set to understand.
Science is uncaring about what it compiles, believes discovers, and states; compared to the Bible it lacks beauty. The Bible brings to the reader, through the use of literary languages, an offering of prose and poetry in very complex ways. The Bible’s speaks to the reader through allegories, allusions, archetypes, biographies, cyclical logic, euphemisms, hyperboles, ironies, metaphors, metonymies, narratives, parables, personifications, prophecies, puns, repetitive wording, satires, similes, songs, symbolisms, synecdoches and wordplay to tell the reader about God and God’s attempts to draw man to him.
Science teaches some truth, but our world is not solely defined by science, for example science cannot explain God, morals, right and wrong. Just as the Bible believer looks foolish explaining science with the Bible so the scientist looks dopey trying to explain consciousness with science. Taking the Bible to places it was never intended to go will never persuade anyone. What does persuade is personally living out what the Bible teaches.
Paul said, “Who are you Lord” (Acts 26:15). He thought he was about God’s business only to find out he was not.
At the age of six I learned to ride a bike in front of my house. Between the house and the corner were three oak trees. With each practice I went a little further, and each time the practice ended with me hitting a different tree. Finally I made it to the corner without one of those trees stepping in front of me.
Shortly after learning to ride my bike I was allowed to take it to the store by myself. After rounding 12th street it was a straight shot to the store. I looked ahead and saw that there were no cars in front of me so I thought, “I wonder how far I can ride with my eyes closed?” A few seconds later I was lying on the trunk of a parked car thinking, “That was not a good idea.”
Isaiah 8:11 says, “The Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand.” Sometimes in order for us to learn, God has to allow things to happen to us.