One: A time to kill: Putting the Old Testament in Context
Two: The healing touch
Three: A time to break down
Four: A time to build up
Five: Laying foundations one home at a time
everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under
time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time
to build up;
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Day One – A time to kill: Putting the
Old Testament in context
Yikes! Now there’s a Bible study
Killing is not something we chat about
around the dinner table. It’s a horrific word that has a hard time
rolling off my tongue. I do well in my current cultural context,
where war is not my daily reality, and I can avoid the homicide report
on the 11 o’clock news by going to bed early. (Thank you, Eastern
The Old Testament makes us uncomfortable. It is full of killing, that almost always relates to battle or sacrifices. It can be a hard pill to
We are commanded “Do not kill” in
the 5th commandment. Yet, it’s a huge part of our
history as the people of God on this earth. How do we reconcile it?
The answer may be easy for you, but don’t forget your neighbor. It
may not be as simple for them and part of the reason that we study
and grow and learn in the Scriptures is to bring the Word to those
dear ones around us. Most of us don’t open an evangelism message with “You see there were all these killings and sacrifices that lead up to Jesus…”
Let’s look at that Old
Leviticus 14:24-27 – First, the
killing of sacrifice…
the priest shall take the lamb of the guilt offering and the log of
oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before
the Lord. And
he shall kill the lamb of the guilt offering. And the priest
shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the
lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, and on the thumb
of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. And the
priest shall pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left
hand, and shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil
that is in his left hand seven times before the Lord.”
Keep in mind that the lamb always
points to Jesus, the Sacrifice for all of us, but reading the Old
Judges 3:26-30 – Second, the killing
escaped while they delayed, and he passed beyond the idols and
escaped to Seirah. When he arrived, he sounded the trumpet
in the hill country of Ephraim. Then the people of Israel went
down with him from the hill country, and he was their leader.
he said to them, “Follow after me, for the Lord has
given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down
after him and seized the fords of the Jordan against the
Moabites and did not allow anyone to pass over. And they killed
at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied
men; not a man escaped. So
Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land
had rest for eighty years.”
people killed. Israel rejoicing. Granted at the end of this passage
we have a glimpse into the seasonal aspects of war, but when you read
the Old Testament these are the stories you cannot help but see.
New Testament believers we can embrace that the Sacrifice is paid and we can understand
the sacrificial system as a giant red blinking light pointing the way
Ephesians 2:14-16 tells us
himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken
down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by
abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that
he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so
making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one
body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”
have peace! Our life as Christ followers looks so much different from
the Old Testament, that it becomes hard to wrap our heads around.
carefully back at verse 16 “…thereby killing the hostility.”
In the New Testament context, God talks
about killing in His Word, surrounding whatever divides us from God. The death
toll, the turmoil, the killings of the Old Testament, all necessary
for us to understand that
don’t live that way anymore!
Praise the Lord!
Glance back up to the Ephesians 2
passage. Dividing wall, gone. Hostility between us and God, killed. All that stuff that kept Israel separated from God,
longing for His temple and sacrifices to appease Him, destroyed, and
lifted up in the death of Christ Jesus on the cross.
Deuteronomy 32:39 below, says it so
beautifully. We cannot take God in pieces that we like, that are
pretty. We may not fully understand Him, but we take Him at His Word,
for Who He is. I’m so thankful that I don’t live in the context
of the Old Testament, sister. But I am thankful, for a God who does
things in fullness and gives even killing beauty in His work.
now that I, even I, am he,
there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
wound and I heal;
there is none that can deliver out of my hand."
He is in charge, but He is also a God
that broke down every wall, killed every bit of hostility within us
and between us for our benefit. Praise Him today for the parts of Him
you have yet to quite understand, thanking Him for simply being God.
What stories of the Old Testament are
harder for you to hear?
Do you ever remember being sacred of
something in the Bible when you were a child?
What kinds of hostility have you seen
God kill, in your life or in the lives of others?
Labels: 5th commandment, division, kill, Old Testament, wall