Stone the Sabbath breaker!

One of the Old Testament laws that unbelievers like to laugh at, is that God commanded the Israelites to stone a Sabbath breaker.  For example: I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath.  Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.  Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

#  The Sabbath was a brilliant design of God.

We read of only one example in the Bible where a Sabbath breaker was actually stoned. The Israelites understood why the Sabbath was important:

  • It allowed them a weekly day of rest after their ordeal as slaves for 400 years in Egypt. 2
  • It reminded them to give glory to Almighty God who created in six days and rested on the seventh. 3

#  The Israelites lived in close knit communities under God’s laws.

  • The Israelites, as a nation, settled in various towns in Canaan, after 40 years in the desert.   Wherever they were, they lived in close knit communities.
  • They accepted the Law given by God through Moses.  God told them what the punishment would be if they harm themselves or others.  There were laws against theft, murder, Sabbath breaking, immorality and adultery, idolatry, wrong relationships, et cetera.
  • If they disregarded the laws, the community would have become lawless and a dangerous place to live, as often happens in lawless societies.

#  Some of the laws for the Israelites are irrelevant in our societies.

  • Today there are no homogeneous communities of people who follow Jesus.  God’s elect are scattered all over the earth, where they have to obey the laws of their countries.  Those laws would not include stoning a Sabbath breaker.
  • Jesus signified with the Gospel of the Kingdom that the Old Covenant (a unified nation who had God as their King) is finished.  Now God gathers citizens for His Kingdom individually.  They sign up person for person from any nation.
  • Jesus warned that even families are no longer united under God.  Some members of a family follow Jesus, and others don’t.  ‘…I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 4
  • Disciples of Jesus might meet in churches, but they live as strangers in the world. 5

Conclusion

Societies no longer stone Sabbath breakers, because the Old Covenant was abolished by Jesus.  The Old Covenant was meant for a very specific group of people, as is the New Covenant.  To suggest that any person can go and stone a Sabbath breaker is a display of complete ignorance about the Bible.

References

  1. Numbers 15:32-36
  2. Deuteronomy 5:12-15
  3. Exodus 20:8-11
  4. Matthew 10:35
  5. 1 Peter 1:1

The forbidden subject/the big bang

It is quite risky to question the big bang when you are among ‘Christians.’  It is because many believe the big bang ‘reconciles’ the Bible and ‘science.’  The ‘science’ they consider is not operational science, but naturalistic explanations for the origin of the universe (evolution).

God is not unfamiliar with people who don’t believe His Word.  The history of the Israelites show that they would not believe that God could do what He promised.  Let us compare the unbelief of the Israelites with the faith of Abraham.

#  Abraham

In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham to pack his bags and move to some far away country.  Shame, the poor man and his childless wife had to leave their family, friends and everything they were familiar with.  Abraham obeyed God because he had faith that God can deliver.   When God promised him a son in his old age,  ‘…he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.’ 1

#  The Israelites

  • God miraculously saved the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and brought them to the border of the promised land.  Then God commanded Moses to send spies to investigate the land.  The report 10 of the 12 spies gave, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’ 2  They did not believe God’s promises that He will give them the land.
  • Psalm 78: 22 summarises their attitude, ’…for they did not believe in God or trust in His deliverance.’  The result was 40 years of endless wandering in the desert.  They never saw the promised land, because all the unbelieving adults died in the desert. 3  If they had trusted God’s Word, they would have enjoyed the blessing and goodness of God in the promised land.

#  Modern followers of Jesus

God promises us a country where we will live eternally in peace under His wonderful government.  But, Scripture is very clear: faith in God’s almighty power is of paramount importance.4  We are not to doubt the power of the Creator to keep His promise of an eternal new heaven and earth.  Despite all that is said and done for the big bang, it still cannot be proven by repeated experiments.  It is very risky to exchange God as Creator with the big bang hypothesis (guesses of how the universe began).

To summarise

Abraham’s faith in God never wavered, ‘…..he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.’ 5  Because God created the first heaven and earth, He is able to create the new eternal one.  Abraham’s faith should encourage us.

References

  1. Romans 4:21
  2. Numbers 13:31-33
  3. Hebrews 3:7- 4:10
  4. Hebrews 11:6
  5. Hebrews 11:10

Why God has no faith in the big bang

Many Christians (saints who obey God’s commands and remain faithful to Jesus1) don’t believe that God created the heavens and earth in 6 days. 2  They are convinced that God used the big bang to ‘create’ in about 13.7 billion years.  However, the big bang is supposed to be a completely natural, uncaused event which needed no ‘outside’ help from God.  Why would people foist the big bang on God, when He has serious problems with it, like:

# God’s ‘program’

Aside from the technical problems of the big bang (discussed later), Scripture tells us that God spoke, and the present heavens and earth and all that is in them, were created by His power. 3  Yet this creation is only the beginning of God’s plan.  He will finish His plan for man with the creation of the new heavens and earth. 4  So God’s problem is, if the big bang created the present universe (without Him), will it create the final new heavens and earth without Him?

# End of God’s ‘program’

If the big bang needed around 13.7 billion years to ‘create’ this universe, how long will it need to ‘create’ the next one?  Remember the coming one will be completely different.  It will never decay.  Will it take fifty, hundred or five hundred billion years?  What guarantee do we have it will happen? God is completely reliable.  He will do it.  He will finish what He planned: an eternal Kingdom of peace and happiness on a new earth.

# God does use a big bang

Please take note that there is a big bang described in the Bible,  ‘The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare….   That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.’ 5  That is God’s ‘big bang.’  It will reach the furthest reaches of the universe, and the deepest depths of the earth.  Just think how big that bang will be to destroy all elements in the universe and on earth, and then God will make everything new.

# God’s concern

It is dangerous to put faith in something that cannot guarantee what Christians hope for, namely eternal life.  God promises us new resurrected bodies for our new life.  Can the undirected big bang deliver the new heavens and earth and new bodies?  No, we have no guarantee that it can.  God’s concern is that His followers are led astray by the fanciful idea of the big bang, designed specifically to cause people to loose their faith in His Word.

The moral

If God has no faith in the big bang, neither should we.  In further blogs we will explore more issues God has with the big bang.

References

  1. Revelation 17:14
  2. Genesis 1
  3. Genesis 1
  4. Revelation 21:1
  5. 2 Peter 3:10,12
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