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Why so much killing?


Why is there so much killing in the Bible?

Steve Answers:

The Bible could be rated "R" for violence. From Genesis to Revelation you can find story after story about people killing one another eventhough the sixth commandment reads, "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13, KJV).

So why is there so much killing in the Bible? Because there is so much rebellion against God. Clear back in the Garden of Eden God warnedAdam and Eve to obey Him rather than to rebel, otherwise they’d die (Genesis2:17).

It sounds absolutely absurd, but humans who receive life from God will end up dying and/or killing each other when they rebel againstGod, their source of life (Genesis 2:7). It’s a form of suicide, yet people continue to do it! Isn’t it amazing that so many people in rebellion against God continue to be oblivious to the fact that it’s the goodness of God that sustains them, even while they rebel (Matthew 5:45)?

God really is merciful. In the Bible when entire groups of people got killed via God’s orders, as brutal as it sounds, God had alreadygiven these people years—often centuries—to get their lives back on track with Him. Instead, they persisted in their rebellion. For example, God gave the Amalekites 400 years to turn their lives around. Talk about being stuck in arut!

You can find another example of God’s grace in action in His instructions to the Israelites after He freed them from slavery in Egypt. God’sretaliation rules mercifully went against current custom. In Exodus 21:24, 25 you can read about an "eye for eye" and a "tooth for tooth," etc.

At that time if you poked out one of my eyes, current custom dictated that I could poke out both of your eyes. And if you knocked out one ofmy teeth, I could knock out 10 of yours to teach you a lesson. Trying to teach His people to be more merciful than those around them, Jesus took retaliation to another level. He said to "turn the other cheek" instead of repaying an "eyefor eye" and "tooth for tooth" (Matthew 5:38-42).

The real reason there’s so much killing in the Bible is that the Bible records the stories of God and His people on a planet in rebellion.But let’s up the stakes even higher!

The two largest massacres spoken of in the Bible originate with God. The first one already happened—the Flood (Genesis 6-8). Only Noah andhis immediate family survived, even though everyone received an invitation toenter the ark Noah built and be saved. (Those are very important points toremember.)

The second massacre will take place in the future in the lake of fire that consumes all who aren’t with Jesus at the end of the millennium—1,000 years after He comes a second time and takes His followers to heaven. (An important point to remember is that everyone receives an invitation to go to heaven with Jesus.) Then Jesus will bring His followers back to Earthand set up a New Jerusalem on a clean Earth (Revelation 20:7-9; 21:1-4).

I could actually respond to your question with a counter question: "Why is there so much living in the Bible?" People would’ve wipedeach other out long before now if God hadn’t intervened and provided life even for those in rebellion. There’s God’s mercy at work again.

To help us understand how we should act during this war, Jesus said, "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purposeis to give life in all its fullness" (John 10:10, NLT).* His followers do thesame, taking life to so many on a planet full of killing until He remodelsEarth and makes it new.

*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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