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“Is God a Moral Monster?”

 

Today, the men of Big Springs Community Church continued their study of “The Gospel According to Joshua,” based on the White Horse Inn series. Lesson 2’s title is striking, “Is God a Moral Monster?”

"The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites" by Nicolas Poussin,  1624-25 (click image to enlarge)

“The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites” by Nicolas Poussin, 1624-25 (click image to enlarge)

Over and over again, God was glorified by the men. “He is Sovereign.” “He does what he pleases.” “He’s in control of our lives.”

Some points that we discussed were:

  • God’s judgment is not only against the “_ites”—Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, etc. (Jos 3:10)— but also against Israelites. God says to Israel before they were destroyed by Babylon, “Because you have not obeyed my words… I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. (Jer 25:8-9).
  • In fact, God’s wrath is against everyone who is disobedient and unrepentant. All of us are liable to God’s punishment, but for God’s unspeakable grace and mercy.
  • God chose Israel not because they are good or powerful, but because of his covenant promises to Abraham (Deut 7:6-8). Since he set Israel apart from the nations, he did not want them to be like the unbelieving nations (Deut 7:2-4).
  • God’s commands to “devote to destruction” (Jos 6:21; Deut 20:17) the people living in the Promised Land is a picture of two things: the Christian’s spiritual warfare against sin, and the wrath of God on Judgment Day against unbelievers.
  • Today’s culture, both Christian and non-Christian, are so averse to judgment and discipline (exhibit: churches that don’t exercise discipline) that it sees the God of the Old Testament as a non-tolerant, bigoted, unloving God as opposed to the New Testament God who loves everyone. This was the God of the 2nd century heretic Marcion. But Jesus himself spoke so much about Judgment Day and hell. And Hebrews 12:29, quoting Deuteronomy 4:24, says, “our God is a consuming fire.”

Everyone invited for our next session, Lesson 3, “Holy War,” on Saturday, November 8. Don’t worry, it will be as provocative as it was today!

 

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