Friday, November 16, 2018
Many times, people resent God’s standards, feeling like they keep them from doing what other people do. They do not realize that the same standards that kept them from receiving eternal life also help keep them in a place where they can experience God’s blessings. Once again, the Old Testament Law provides us a valuable example.
In Exodus 15:26 God told Moses, “… If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”
In Leviticus 11, God gave some specific instructions as to what animals the Jews were permitted to eat and what was forbidden. While it seems quite restrictive to us, there were definite health reasons for following this standard. For example, pigs are susceptible to many of the same diseases humans are, and avoiding them would reduce the danger of exposure. Predators and scavengers were likely to be exposed to harmful diseases and microbes that herbivores were unlikely to come in contacts with. Similar things were true of different types of fish and sea animals. Even today people are advised to avoid certain types of fish and shell fish because of diseases that have been found in them. Obeyinbg those laws would go a long way in preventing certain illnesses.
The laws governing sexual behavior served a similar purpose. For example, nearly all of the sexually transmitted diseases originated from sexual intercourse with different animals. Incestuous relationships greatly increase the danger of genetic abnormalities by increasing the likelihood that both parents may have the same genetic mutation. Promiscuity and homosexuality often cause emotional problems as well as exposing people to various sexually transmitted diseases. While it is not a homosexual disease, seventy five percent of all new AIDS cases in the U.S. are still found among homosexuals, while promiscuity accounts for nearly all the other types of STD’s.
Laws governing the treatment of molds, and different infectious diseases using disinfectants or quarantining those who were infected and avoiding contact with potential sources of infection served to prevent the spread of other diseases, as did keeping rodents and insects out of the homes. Laws about treatment of other people, and personal property kept the society healthy by preventing unnecessary conflicts and minimizing fear, limiting people’s ability to interfere in one’s life. Because some people deliberately ignore the rights of others, penalties were established to discourage and deter them.
People tend to rebel against God’s standards because, like Eve, they have fallen for Satan’s lie that God is just trying to keep them from enjoying their life to the fullest. If they understand God’s love, some will turn and begin to obey his commands. Others reject God’s authority, insisting on doing things their own way. Romans 1:28-32 describes their state. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
God has allowed them to go their own way for a while so that they can learn the physical, emotional, and societal effects of their behavior. In their heart, they know that what they are doing is wrong, but in their rebellion they not only do those things themselves, but encourage others to do so as well. They will eventually face God’s judgment for their actions. The situation is complicated when people try to substitute their own standards for what God has set.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Leviticus 8 and 9 describe in great detail the consecration of Aaron and his sons mentioned in Exodus 40:12-15. When they finished making the sacrifices, Leviticus 9:24 tells us, “And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”
In Leviticus 1-6, God gave detailed instructions about how the different sacrifices were to be made. Leviticus 6:12-13 made a point that the fire was never to be allowed to go out. “And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”
Every morning and evening the priests were to burn incense on the altar of incense, according to Exodus 30:7-9. “And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations. Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.” Nothing but the incense God had prescribed was to be offered on that altar. In Leviticus 16:12, God describes how incense was to be offered on the day of atonement. “And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil.”
Apparently, Nadab and Abihu found I a hassle to try to catch coals from the fire on the brazen altar that God had started, so they took coals from another fire to burn the incense, assuming that it wouldn’t make any difference. Leviticus 10:1-2 describes what happened. “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”
Moses explained that they had died because they had failed to sanctify God, in Leviticus 10:3. “Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.” Although the fire they used appeared the same as what God had started, it was the product of man’s efforts and cheapened God’s glory. It is the same reason Moses and Aaron were not allowed to enter Canaan after all their years of serving God. In Numbers 20:10-11, Moses had disobeyed God striking the rock to get water rather than just speaking to it as God said, leaving the impression it was his power rather than God’s. As a result, Numbers 20:12 tells us, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
By doing it their own way rather than following God’s instructions, they had taken his glory, and in both instances lost blessings they would have otherwise had, even though the initial results appeared the same on the surface. Sadly, I suspect that many today are doing the same thing, doing things in their own power and to attain their own goals. While the results appear the same superficially, the glory goes to the person rather than to God, and they will miss many of the rewards they could have had in heaven. John 3:6 tells us, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Emotional, psychological, or other motivational techniques can never produce spiritual results. God’s way is still the best even though others may seem easier or faster.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Various groups have insisted that we should not teach people God’s law so that they cannot be blamed when they do wrong, because they do not know any better. Leviticus 5:14-17 addresses this issue. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him. And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.”
Whether a person realizes it or not, he has done wrong, and he is responsible for the results of his actions. If he makes amends for his actions, and offers a sacrifice, the wrong will be forgiven, because he didn’t realize what he was doing. Leviticus 5:18-19 describes the sacrifice that was to be offered. “And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him. It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.”
Leviticus 6:1-5 describes how amends were to be made. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.” The people who were injured by his actions were to be recompensed for what had been taken or destroyed, and in general, an additional twenty percent for the loss of its use and time spent recovering or replacing it. There were special cases where twenty percent might not cover the person’s expenses.
He was also to bring a trespass offering to God, so that God would forgive him, according to Leviticus 6:6-7. “And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.” In addition to hurting the other person, they had violated God’s law, and they had to pay the penalty for breaking it.
Christ has paid all our penalties for breaking God’s law, and will forgive us when we ask, but we still need to make amends to the people we have hurt.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
I John 2:2 tells us, Jesus “…is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” He has literally paid in full for the sins of the entire world. Hebrews 10:12-14 tells us, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” As a result, some believe that all are saved. Unfortunately, that is not true.
As a promotion, a store may offer a free item to anyone who comes in on a certain day, but the offer is only for those who come personally on that day and ask for the gift. They will not save the gift for those who do not bother to get it. God’s forgiveness is much the same. While it is offered to anyone who wants it, unless the person makes the effort to receive it, it will not be given him.
In the Old Testament, the priest constantly offered animals as sacrifices for sin. The person offering the sacrifice was required to place their hand on the sacrifice‘s head, identifying it as being for their sin, as described in Leviticus 1:1-4. “And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.”
The person had to personally identify the sacrifice as being for him for it o be accepted as an atonement for his sin. This principle applied to every person, as is demonstrated by the various repetitions in Leviticus 3 and 4. It didn’t matter whether the person was one of the rulers, a priest, or one of the common people, nor did it matter whether he was rich or poor, it was essential that he personally identified the sacrifice as being for his sin, acknowledging that he had sinned and needed forgiveness. The priest could not do that for the person.
Although Christ died on the cross just once to pay for the sins of the entire world, each person has to personally identify his sacrifice as being for their sin. I John 1:8-10 tells us, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” If we take responsibility for our sin God will forgive us, but if we refuse to accept responsibility, we imply God lied about us being sinners, and we will not receive his forgiveness.
Romans 10:9-14 tells exactly what we need to do in order to be saved. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Anyone who recognizes they are a sinner and cannot save themselves, and believes that Christ died for their sin and was raised again by God’s power can be saved by simply telling God they believe in him and want to be saved. Anyone who asks for that forgiveness and salvation will be saved, regardless of their race or background, but they have to do it themselves, while they are still alive.
Various groups have taught that other people could act on a dead person’s behalf. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus said, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” He has told us how to get into heaven, and those who get saved on earth will be saved in heaven while those who do not will be imprisoned in hell. He repeated that statement in Matthew 18:18. No religious ceremony or church can change where a person is going after they die.
Monday, November 12, 2018
God directed Israel to build the Tabernacle in Exodus as a place of worship. Many elements of the design portray or illustrate different aspects of serving God. They were designed that way deliberately to help people more easily understand what God wants, using physical objects to illustrate spiritual truths.
As one approached the Tabernacle, one of the first things they would notice was a seven and a half foot tall linen fence surrounding it, preventing people from coming in except through the gate on the eastern side. Revelation 19:8 tells us, “… the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” In Matthew 5:20, Jesus said, “…except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” That fence of white linen represents the minimum standard of righteousness God has set for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. As we saw in the previous post, the Old Testament Law described that standard. The white linen fence represents the Law,, shutting out and condemning anyone who does not meet that standard.
On the eastern side of the area enclosed by the fence was a large gate representing Jesus Christ. Even those who had met the specifications of the law had to go through that gate to get in. Romans 3:20 Tells us the same is true today. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” While different religions say there are many ways to God, the scriptures tell us the only way is through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Salvation is a gift from God, and cannot be earned by our own efforts. In fact, Isaiah 64:6 warns, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Even the best we can do is not suitable for God. In fact, as Ephesians 2:10 tells us, our ability to do satisfactory work is the result of Christ saving us.
Because Christ’s death frees us to be saved without keeping the law, many believe we can be saved without concern for God’s standards. I Corinthians 6:9:10 tells us, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” The Old Testament Law forbade these things. And Paul is quite specific that people who live these life styles will not be in the kingdom of God.
People do not go to hell because they do these things, but they do them because they are not saved. I Corinthians 6:11 continues, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” While that may have been who we were in the past, we are no longer that person. II Corinthians 5:17-18 explains, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” The standard does not change, God changes the people. If they are continuing to do these things, it implies Christ has not changed them and thus that they are not saved. The primary reason I Corinthians 5 says we are to put such out of the church is in hopes of getting them to make sure of their salvation.
Interestingly, the same fence that shuts others out keeps the ones who belong in, protecting them from danger. The fence prevents them from going too far.
Friday, November 9, 2018
One frequently misunderstood aspect for many Christians today is that of the Christian’s relationship to the Old Testament Law. Some want to insist we have to follow the Old Testament Law exactly. Like the Pharisees, they are concerned with keeping even the tiniest detail. If they are correct, their concern is justified, according to Galatians 3:10. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Many people want to focus on some of the law while ignoring other parts. James 2:10-11 makes it very clear that this is unacceptable. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.”
For sinful human beings, keeping the law completely becomes an unbearable burden. Despite their best efforts, they constantly mess up. Fortunately, as Christians, we no longer under that burden. Romans 8:2 tells us, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” When we receive Christ as savior, he places his spirit in us, and as Galatians 5:18 tells us, “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
Knowing this, some have taken the position that the law is irrelevant in our day. In Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
As long as this earth remains, the law will be in effect, and violations will be punished. Only those who have been saved have been freed form punishment, and that only because as Romans 3:24-26 tells us, we are “… justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Galatians 3:19-25 explains the Christian’s relationship to the Law. “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
When one graduates from school, he is no longer under the authority of the teachers, but the things they have taught do not change because he graduated. Two plus two still equals four, whether you are in kindergarten, or have a doctorate. The law taught what was right, and getting saved does not change the standard. It provides a guideline for how we should live, even though we will not get an “F” if we make a mistake.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
God’s standard is so completely different than man’s. In Genesis 9:5-6 we looked at his standard for murder, “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” As we saw, murder is an indirect attack on God since man was created in his image. During the forty years in the wilderness, God repeatedly emphasized that murderers were to be executed. God directed Moses to refresh the people’s memory as to how killing a person was to be dealt with, shortly before his death, in Numbers 35.
It is relatively easy to kill a person, and can happen accidentally. God made special provision for such cases, in Numbers 35:9-15. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment. And of these cities which ye shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge. Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.”
Israel had no police force. If a person accidentally killed someone, there were six cities set aside, three on each side of Jordan, that a person could flee to for protection. He would be tried and if it turned out he was innocent, he would be allowed to stay. If found guilty, he was to be executed. Numbers 35:16-21 gives the guidelines for determining if it was murder. “And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him.”
If a person used what would normally be considered a weapon, whether club, knife, spear, or some kind of projectile, it indicated he was willing to kill the person, and thus was to be considered murder. Similarly, if there was a history of hatred between them or a deliberate effort to catch him by surprise. The designated person was to execute him, whether he went to the city of refuge for trial or not.
If, on the other hand, there is no history of them being enemies and no evidence of intent, then the people were to allow him to live safely in the city of refuge, according to Numbers 35:22-25. “But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait, Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm: Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments: And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil.”
Though it was accidental manslaughter, the sentence was essentially a life sentence, although it would end with the death of the high priest, it was up to the person to stay within the boundaries of the city of refuge if he wanted protection. Numbers 35:26-29. “But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled; And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood: Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession.” If he left the city of refuge, before the death of the high priest, he could be killed without reprisal.
These were mandatory sentences, according to Numbers 35:29-33. “So these things shall be for a statute of judgment unto you throughout your generations in all your dwellings. Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death. And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.” No plea deals were allowed when someone was killed. There was no way of restoring the victim’s life and making things right for him. What a difference from the case where a man who committed murder is suing to be released after six years on the grounds that it is cruel and unusual punishment since the victim is dead and cannot be hurt any more.
In our world, human life in general is not held as particularly valuable. Abortion, murder, euthanasia, political killings, and genocide are considered acceptable in different cases. To God, human life is sacrosanct, and indiscriminate killing makes a land unfit for use, according to Numbers 35:33-34. “So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.”
God warned that allowing murder to go unpunished would bring God’s judgment on the people in Deuteronomy 19:10-13. “That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee. But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.”
Leviticus 18:24-25 warns of the consequences of ignoring murder and other sins. “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.” History is replete with stories of nations which have lost their land because they ignored God’s standards. Throughout history, God has used a nation to destroy another nation that refused to follow his principles of right and wrong.