Last week we talked about how God does not tempt us to do evil, and how evil is different from punishment. Many people struggle with what they see as the difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. I think this is because they’re not seeing the situation as it truly was, and they aren’t seeing themselves as they truly are.
What happens when evil goes unchecked and is allowed to grow?
A small child throwing a horrible tantrum in a store because they aren’t being allowed to take home a toy they want is disturbing and can be destructive (actually selfish and evil), but because that child is still small those around that child still have the ability to curb that behavior, resist that child, and even forcibly remove that child if necessary.
But what happens when evil remains unstopped and becomes so powerful people can no longer stop it?
Let’s picture that same child now all grown up and the leader of an extremely powerful nation who decided he wants the land and recourses of a neighboring nation. Who is going to stop that powerful leader?
We often perceive God’s instructions to the nation of Israel as if God is telling them to go take their neighbors’ land and wipe them out, but really what is happening here is that God is using the nation of Israel like a police force, who is coming in and restoring law and order to the land because the nations in that land are those who are engaging in unchecked evil. God uses Israel to punish those nations and bring back law and order.
When Israel as the police force begins to be corrupted by the neighboring nations they haven’t punished as God asked them to and instead joining with those nations in doing evil, God cleans His own house until law and order is restored there as well.
Without law and order there is chaos and evil. The innocent and guilty are both harmed.
I think we would all say that really we would prefer to live in a society where there is law and order rather than in a place where anything goes. If there were no police to call, nor court to issue judgement, and no punishment to enforce it, what would our world look like?
God brings punishment on evil, and wether we’re willing to acknowledge it or not this is something we all need and really all want.
The God of the Old Testament who stood against evil and taught and required obedience to what is good and right, is the same God who sent is Son to ultimately stand against evil, who taught what was right, and who provided a way for us to meet the requirements of obedience to what is good.
God didn’t change. He simply completed in the New Testament the judgement necessary to fully and ultimately destroy the evil that we see Him fighting against in the Old Testament.
Evil unchecked is horrible harming all in its path and only growing worse as it goes. We need someone more powerful than evil to stand against it and destroy it, and God did, does, and always will do that.
Col 2:13 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
Challenge: We need to pause and realize that we should not be judging the judgment until we actually understand the crime. God’s judgement is always righteous and never evil.
See also: Saved From What?