What would you think of a powerful leader who sanctions rape, pillaging, the destruction of thousands of lives for the wrong doings of one, racism and genocide? No matter who we are, if we have a conscience in any way tuned to the sanctity of human life, we would have to label them a monster – a maniacal psychopathic egotist. Sadly, there are many who read certain parts of the Bible and handily conclude that the God of the Bible – the Creator of all things - is such a being. They call Him out for the horrible and harsh things written in the Old Testament and boldly claim that a God who presides over those things is no god at all – He is instead a monster. Now look – there are terrible things written in the Old Testament, but do they point to a heartless dictator or is there another explanation?
Defining God is a monumental task. The measure of its difficulty is such that very few will ever follow through with it, for the world is overrun with contradictory myths, stories and legends about the nature and purposes of God. So many stories, so little truth! Defining God requires us to look into things beyond our natural sight. It requires us to grab hold of things beyond our physical reach, and it requires us to believe in things that are beyond our earthly capacity. To know who God is means we would know His character, His mind and what drives Him. Can we know these things? Can we know God’s heart and mind? Can we know God’s plans and purposes? Will knowing God help us to better know ourselves?
We all know that Jesus taught us to forgive. If your brother trespasses against you seven times in a day, Jesus says to forgive. Okay, while this may be difficult, we can see its value and strive to live up to that standard. But, but what about when someone commits a horrible crime – what about when someone guns down in cold blood, innocent God fearing people in church – at a Bible study? Is the same lesson of forgiveness relevant? Do the teachings of Jesus include forgiving those who are simply and purely evil in their actions?
The Old Testament Law provided a way for Israel to function as an individual society as well as a society that interacted with the world around it. So, how did this Law treat the less fortunate, the sick, the indebted, the slaves, the aliens, and so on? What kind of “social programs” were available and how did they operate? Was there justice? Was there mercy? Did the Old Testament Law promote individual accomplishment at the expense of others? Did it promote a socialistic approach of spreading the wealth evenly to everyone? Stay with us as we take a fascinating walk through God’s unique Old Testament model for society.
"Trayvon Martin"...mention that name and you unleash a flood of emotion and turmoil. This young man was tragically shot to death at age 17 and his death has raised a firestorm of controversy. Was it self-defense? Was it racially motivated? Should his killer have been arrested immediately? Will there be justice? These are all questions that we have no answers for – sorry! What we do want to discuss though, is the emotion, reaction and desire by some for vengeance. Is vengeance ever appropriate for us to take? What if justice is NOT served? Does vengeance give closure? What does it really mean to leave things like this in God’s hands? Are the Old and New Testament different on this? Stay with us as we look into this important question.
We all have at one time or another wanted revenge – the act of not only getting back at someone or something, but being sure that they were delivered that little extra dose of humiliation so they would know to not ever mess with us again. Yeah, revenge – so often looked at as sweet and so often sought after as a dramatic answer to our woes. But is it? Is revenge sweet or desirable or even good? Well, the Bible says “vengeance is mine saith the Lord!” If God wants vengeance, then why shouldn’t we? Stay with us as we put revenge on the table to find out where or even if it should fit into our lives.