Moses' second speech, Part 25
Aug 21, 2012
After telling us in Deut. 7:11 that we are to keep God's commandments, statutes, and judgments, the next verse says,
(12) Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers.
We understand, of course, that Moses' intent included the commandments, statutes, and judgments. However, the word itself focuses upon "these judgments," as if to imply that putting the judgments aside would cause God to set aside "His covenant and His lovingkindness" in return.
Men have always disagreed with God's judgments. The judgments are the penalties of the law that the judges were to render when men broke the law. The judgments include restitution, or working off debts incurred through sin. It includes whipping for such crimes for hooliganism where no restitution is required. It includes the death penalty when restitution is not possible due to the nature of the crime--or when the criminal refuses to make restitution.
The judgments follow the basic principle found in Exodus 21:23-25,
(23) But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, (24) eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, (25) burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
In other words, the judgment must always fit the crime. Of course, the lawbreaker and the victim should always negotiate and come to an agreement on their own if possible. It is only when they cannot come to a satisfactory monetary agreement that the judges would impose a literal "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" penalty. And, of course, the victim always carries the right to forgive any or all of what is owed him.
The judgments of the law do NOT include eternal torture in "hell." The only time that any form of torture might be used is if the lawbreaker was a torturer himself. In such cases, what he did to his victims would be imposed upon him in equal measure, unless the victim (or his guardian) saw fit to forgive.
Hence, if a churchman has burned someone at the stake, he will receive the same penalty at the Great White Throne. The Church in past centuries burned people at the stake for "heresy," thus violating the judgments of the law. They justified their torture on the grounds that God Himself would do this. Their misunderstanding of the fire of God caused them to disconnect the fire from the law itself--as if God had put away His own judgments and substituted eternal torture in its place. For a fuller study of God's "fiery law" (Deut. 33:2) and how fire was a metaphor for the law itself, see my book, The Judgments of the Divine Law.
Moses said that if they violated the judgments of the law, that God would not keep covenant with them nor show them His lovingkindness. The doctrine of hell as eternal torture is a clear violation of the judgments of the law. No one was burned alive under God's law. The worst that could happen was that their bodies were burned after they were stoned, as we see in the case of Achan (Joshua 7:25), whose sin had caused the deaths of 36 Israelites. It says, "and they burned them with fire AFTER they had stoned them with stones."
Many Christians today recoil at God's judgment of stoning, but show no concern over the idea of eternal torture. They even consign us to a special place on God's hate list if we dare to assert that the judgments of God were designed to correct sinners and that in the end all men will be saved when God is "all in all." See The Restoration of All Things.
Deut. 7:12, then, says that we break God's covenant when we refuse to judge according to the law of God and when we prefer to judge according to the traditions of men. In so doing, we cut ourselves off from the blessing of God. Conversely, the blessings for obedience are given to those who hear and do His judgments in Deut. 7:13-15,
(13) And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you. (14) You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle. (15) And the Lord will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will lay them on all who hate you.
Because we as a nation have set aside God's judgment against the premeditated murder of children (abortion), we have destroyed over 50 million of the next generation. To compensate for this loss of workers supporting the elderly, we must then import workers from other countries to pay into the Social Security fund to keep it solvent.
Because we have set aside God's judgment on Monsanto, allowing them to alter seeds and make them sterile, we allow men to usurp the creation of God. Now it is becoming illegal to grow one's own garden.
In the guise of protecting the public from food-borne illness, the government wants to ban gardens along with regulating all food production in the country.
In Phoenix, AZ it is illegal to give out water bottles to people without government permission, even when the temperature is 112 degrees.
Why are we having this problem? Moses says it is because the people have refused to agree with the judgments of God. When we do not judge sin, the sinners are multiplied in the land, and the righteous perish. But when we implement the laws and judgments of God, we are blessed. Our food is blessed with nutrients and can be distributed without government restrictions or corporate patents on frankenfoods. But under the Babylonian system, both food and people are becoming sterile or homosexual. People are then told that all of this is "normal." It may be normal in Babylon, but all sin is abnormal in the Kingdom of God.
Deut. 7:16 says,
(16) And you shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.
This does not mean that Israel (or anyone else) had a mandate to kill everyone else without pity, as some have interpreted it. The Kingdom of God will grow until it fills the whole earth (Dan. 2:35). His glory will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14). In that way, the Kingdom of God will "consume all the peoples," that is, it will assimilate all people and save all mankind in the end.
The flesh always cries out for mercy, hoping that we will take pity on it. But we are to crucify the flesh without pity and set all men free.
This is the twenty-fifth part of a series titled "Moses' Second Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones