3/31/16: Did God Really Mean That?

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The Old Testament laws were rough. God didn’t mess around. He expected sin to be exposed as quickly as possible and wiped out. If someone suggested, “Let’s go and serve other gods of the people around us,” that person had to be put to death (see Deuteronomy 13). If someone testified falsely against his brother, whatever he wanted done to his brother would be turned on him (see Deuteronomy 19). And both the man and the woman were put to death who participated in sex outside of marriage (see Deuteronomy 22).

Parents were not exempt from God’s directions about handling their wayward, grown children either. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 says, “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.”

Has God changed since the Old Testament? Has he gotten softer on sin? Not at all. God still detests following other gods, lying, fornication, and dishonoring parents. We graciously now have the forgiveness of the Cross to look to and God holds back His immediate wrath. However, He’s just as dishonored and we are just as guilty. Consequences of our sinful actions will also catch up with us just as surely if we don’t change our ways.

Still, don’t utterly ignore the point behind the discipline plans of the Old Testament. We are still responsible for training our children in the way they should go and disciplining them when they are wrong. As in Deuteronomy 21, we need to admit the faults of our wayward children, and if they refuse to accept our rebuke and correction, we need to let go and allow the authorities – the teacher, principal, boss, or police – to do their job in disciplining them. (It’s tight; but it’s right.)

Let’s allow the rules of the Old Testament to remind us of God’s holiness and of His determination to form holiness in us. God has not changed. Let the grace of the New Testament drive us to want to live holy before Him.

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©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

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~ by sanewriter on March 31, 2016.

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