Violence of God and the Love of Jesus

violence in Old TestamentThis is a summary post from much of what I have been writing over the past two weeks or so about the violence of God in the Old Testament. The reason I am summarizing it is because I want to begin looking at some of the key biblical passages which are affected by my proposal to see how we can read and understand these texts.

I know that most of your questions and objections to this view have not been answered, but hopefully as we look at some the key texts of Scripture, what I am proposing will make more sense.

So here is the summary…

Violence of God in Light of the Love of Jesus

When we read about God telling Israel to go slaughter men and women, the natural, right, and godly response is to read such depictions with revulsion, loathing, and disgust. Neither Jesus nor God ever wanted such things to occur. Jesus never laid a hand on anyone to harm or hurt them, nor did He ever command His disciples to do anything of the sort. To the contrary, Jesus always helped, healed, comforted, restored, fed, loved, and forgave, and He always commanded His disciples to do the same.

In previous posts (see the list below), I have argued that since Jesus fully reveals God to us, we can also be certain that God never actually commanded the Israelites to kill and destroy, or to go to war with their enemies. But when Israel set out to do these things, God took the blame for their actions by inspiring the biblical authors to lay the guilt fully in His hands. The violent things that God commanded the Israelites to do in the Old Testament were not actually His will or His commands. The Israelites set out to do such things because this is how nations and countries behaved at that time (and still sometimes today). When God saw that their heart was set on doing these things, God issued the command for it to happen so that later generations could lay the blame for these bloody deeds directly on God Himself.

Though God is not directly guilty for these actions, He knows that He is indirectly responsible, for He created a world where these sorts of actions are possible. So He takes the blame by commanding human agents to carry out the violent actions which they had already set their hearts and minds to doing.

Just like Jesus, God became sin for them. He bore the guilt and the shame.

Biblical Passages on the Violence of God

Right about now, a whole string of biblical passages are dancing through your head. It is one thing to make a proposal such as I have, but it is quite another to apply it to biblical texts.

Furthermore, even if this proposal explains things like the Canaanite conquest, it does not explain things like the flood, or the death of all the first-born sons of Egypt. No human agent was involved in these events, but seemed to be carried out solely at the command of God. The flood killed millions—possibly billions—of people. Didn’t God directly cause that horrible event?

violence in Old TestamentSimilarly, no human being lifted a finger during the 10th Plague in Egypt. The text indicates that God sent a destroying angel to kill all the firstborn sons in Egypt.

Or what about the drowning of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea, the earthquake the swallowed up all those who followed Korah in rebellion against Moses, or the things that God allows Satan to do to Job, or even some passages in the New Testament such as the death of Ananias and Sapphira, or the bloodbath that takes place in the book of Revelation?

Or what about the greatest horror of all, the decision of God to condemn some people to eternal suffering in hell? Don’t all these passages show a dark side to God, a side of God that was not fully revealed in Jesus Christ, but will be revealed at the end times? Don’t these passages (and many others like them) contradict everything proposed in this chapter?

No.

How so? In future posts we will look at each one of these passages, reading them for what they say about God and His involvement within the world.

As we do this, I believe we will see a picture of God emerge from the Old Testament that looks more and more like Jesus Christ with every passing page.

Are you ready?

God of the Old Testament and JesusThis post is part of my ongoing series on how to understand the violence of God in the Old Testament. Specifically, I am trying to answer this question:

How can a God who says "Love your enemies" (Matthew 5:44) be the same God who instructs His people in the Old Testament to kill their enemies?

To see what I am arguing so far, click here.

Also, when I am done with this series of posts, I will be publishing them as a book. If you want a free digital copy of this book when it comes out, make sure you have subscribed to my email newsletter.




Comments

  1. Bobby Gilbert says

    The violence of God . . . I begin with Daniel’s 7 7’s.

    First of all, I have an assumption which I believe is true. Daniel is speaking of specific weeks. Jesus never physically harmed anyone. What if to complete a week from Adam to the birth of Jesus, the “whole” had to die in a flood.
    Brief explanation of God’s weeks according to Daniel’s oracle, Seven weeks with middle of the week event and end of week event for reference

    Middle End
    one week – Creation – 4th day – separation of darkness and light – seventh day(?)
    two week – Ark of the covenant – the passover – Ark of C

    three week – 2 temple – the fall of the first temple – 2 Temple

    four week – Birth of Jesus – Flood -Christ child
    five week – Passion week – Cross – Resurrection

    six week – Pentecost – cross/veil of the temple rips – Upper room
    seven week – second coming – mark of the beast – death of the believer – Jesus returns and we become like him.

    You have a very brief explanation of Daniel’s oracle. You have the (7) of the (7)+62+1=70

    There is a question mark by the seventh day. The creation story does not end properly in understanding the weeks. The possibility which I use to work with helps gather the logic in weeks. I have creation week at a 1000 years = an hour. It brings weeks into making some sense. If you look at the father, son and spirit, whether literally or figuratively in the beginnig, you cannot “approach” them. The last week and first week end at almost the same time. You can now “approach” God in his fullness in Jesus.

    I jumped way ahead of myself.

    In each incident, God reveals himself in some way. Maybe the better question is: Where is the spirit?

    Getting back to jesus, God and violence, did God, the father, or Jesus cause the flood?

    To better understand the violence or maybe the statment, “that you will know me” is to look at the weeks Israel goes through. If you take these weeks just as a reference, it is easy to approach them. If you reach in them, they take up large sections of the bible. They have themes unto themselves.

    If the flood had to happen to complete a week that travel from Adam to the flood to the birth of Jesus, who caused the flood? The father or the son?

      • bobby gilbert says

        you are probably right. it pretty lonely doing this. what you see is the basic structure, very simple, identifiers . . . i am looking for people who sees this. if i was to be bold, daniel’s seventy sevens is about the whole bible. daniel was completely worn out after receiving the vision/prophecy . . . it is not about 490 years. it is about 7 + 7 + 1 is 50 which is crazy math. 7 weeks for god. seven weeks for israel. 1 week for adopted. you probably asking . . . 7+62+1 = 70? yes,

        7 weeks has seven sacrifices . . . in God’s case, one sacrifice. these are the tabernacles.

        7 weeks has 62 sacrifices better understood as workers working weeks.

        1 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 1 = 62. the short version is the eldest and the youngest prophecy by joshua. joseph and benjamin . . . the rest is 12 tribes.

        1 week is the adopted.

        The problem and confusion over this one week is that it involves the holy spirit and the adopted. the week has a two count. we call that week the tribulation week.

        this thing or my explanations are all over the place. the problem that i have accepted as the probems is people either have preconceived or presuppositions that they will not put aside and look or the main problem is people don’t read the bible. they don’t know what I am talking about. they have themes that settle into what they feel important is to the gospel. or living or whatevers.

        i am trying to simplify it and begin from the very beginning. four metaphors start with the first four chapters of genesis. i am learning. Shechem and the rape of dinah is a massive metaphor. The first four chapters you begin with a week with lots of identifiers and structure with 4th day as being a big clue, adam and eve leaving the garden . . . there is a backward structure. you see them nude. they are punished. they leave with clothes on.

        The sevenfold and the seventy . . . The seventy was not a problem. the sevenfold was a problem. it means seven times lord. that is not a week. well, the lord woke me up and showed me in Isaiah 30:26 “the light of seven days”.

        these chapters i want to establish that it is seventy specific weeks. the weeks play out as I wrote. there are 7 + 7 + (1) weeks in reality there is only 7 + 7 weeks.

        you would be the third person who sees or maybe sees. two kids in germany want to know. one has some bible knowedge. one is catholic with some bible knowledge. he lived for 4 months in israel.

        yeah, I wanted to write a book, but the book runs all over the place. I have mixed feelings about selling this information. it was given to me for free. i just have lost a lot of sleep over it.

        cool . . . the seventy weeks are about god’s revelation or how he reveals himself, the chosen people and the adopted people.

        I guess my first heretic point is we never left the creation week. We either live in seconds, minutes or hours . . . not days. each one of those seconds, minutes or hours is 1000 years. I have used hour is 1000 years for easiest understanding and explanation. It has to do with the weeks in their most pure form , a week has 48 hours or rather 12 hours in a day. this is how god teaches weeks in its purest form. there are times he uses 9 plagues plus death or 7 kings and 70 years to make up a week . . . the trick is the identifiers and structure. once you know the main points, the rest starts to reveal itself. God does the rest.

        creation-
        arc of C-
        temple 2-
        child christ-
        jesus man/passion week-
        holy spirit-pentecost . . . each one points to where God is . . .

        where is the temple?

        eventually – second coming where we will be like him.

        every one has beginning of what you think it should be, there is a middle a sacrifice and end of what it really is.

        The best example is jesus on the donkey (Oh, the king) to jesus dies on the cross to resurrection (ah, there is the king).

        The problem with the passion week and most important week is the shift. to explain the shift . . . would take a while.

        The simple part of understanding the shift is jesus walks out of the week.

        If I was to get esoteric . . . all life begins in the week. all life dies in the week. nothing gets outside of the week. only one man walks out of the week, jesus.

        no religion can take us out of the week. only christ can. it is like hell in a way.

        anyways . . . i am working on it.

        • bobby gilbert says

          creationist and evolutonist . . . hmmm

          i wil begin with creationists. they reduce the week to 24 and 7. you pretty much left with ony one week and the passion week and tribulation week. you deal very little with revelation, reconciliation . . . etc etc etc. by this route, you cannot make any sense out of the the other weeks. the creation week is the longest week. how long? i don’t know. for my model, i give it 84,000 years with a hour equals a 1000 years. it could be minutes or seconds . . . you start running into numbers where it makes it difficult to tell the rest of the story of the other weeks.

          evolutionists . . . they pretty deny the week. all weeks have an end. they don’t have an end. they don’t even have a beginning. all weeks have beginning.

          things that wake me up in the middle of the night. i had this past week two wakes ups at 033:33:33 accord to my watch. that was a first. one was for the sevenfold. the other was for a new graph of the weeks structure in relationship to God’s weeks.

          so . . . i guess he biggest that I can start you with is israel has completed their weeks. they are metaphorically walking down the road to emmaus. we, christians walking in christ, are technically the ones up next. holocaust and israel becoming a nation are two different weeks. holocaust is the 6th week zebulun. israel into nation is the 7th week benjamin. birth of abraham 42 generationss to the death of rachel’s children to 42 generationss to israel (actually date that mirrors the birth of abraham). If you knew exactly the date of abraham’s birth, you could exactly know when the week was up. this is a classic 42 to 42 hour example.

          6th week, Holocaust is actually classic numbers too. 1897 begins zionism. the holocaust goes from 1933-1945. the middle of the holocaust is the middle of the week, 1939. classic 42 count. the end putters out with the question, “what about the jews?” in the seventies-80’s like walking to emmaus.

          peace

          the “ark” is most likely over Israel. it might be the safest place to be. I don’t know all things. Israel is done.

        • Mark Brown says

          Wowzers! :) And I thought I was often off on my own tangents…
          In all your studying and postulating, don’t forget to give your neighbor a cold glass of water (or hot tea… up here in Canada).

          Peace up,
          M.

  2. Titus Mwangi says

    The comparison is great and I believe your post will reveal the Mightiness and Glory of God in truth of who HE is to us.
    Please send me the post on the mail as I do not always access twitter as i do the mail. I really don’t want to miss this one.
    God bless you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>