Before I get into the main topic of "The Ultimate Judge" (Part 2) I want to encourage people to read their Bibles! I have to be honest with you all it has been a good week since I have had a really good quiet time with God. I haven't really enjoyed just hearing from God and taking in his beautiful word. Christians want to be Christians, but have no idea that in order to be a Christian you must live like Christ did. In order to know how Christ lived you must open up your Bible and dedicate your life to understanding what it means to imitate Christ.
This brings me to my next point, that Christians, including myself, tend to neglect the Old Testament, but the fact is if you wanna know what Christ used to fend off temptation from Satan himself in Matthew Chapter 4, it was not the New Testament (cause it had not been written yet) but it was the Old! The Old Testament brings so much understanding to the character of God that we see in the New Testament. The God between both Old and New Testaments is in no way different in character attributes.
I started reading the book of Judges today because I told myself that I would make today the day in which I would open my Bible back up and just hear from God. It was one of the most refreshing, convicting, and eye-opening times that I have had with God in awhile. I rarely ever read the Old Testament and I was pretty sick and tired of myself for that so I began reading a book in the Old Testament that I have never really thoroughly read by myself, which is Judges. I have heard Sunday School story, after Sunday School story from the book of Judges, but I haven't really dove into the book like I probably should have.
While reading the book of Judges I had to stop myself many times and just wonder...why? Why is there so much war and violence coming from a people who were to be chosen by God himself and why is it that this is the same God that I now look too and define as "Love" itself?
The words of my High-School theology teacher began to echo in my brain and those words were, "The Old Testament is just the foreshadowing of the reality to come in the New Testament." Once I realized that I began to start seeing the actions of God in the old testament as just pieces of his character rather than just taking the actions at face value.
An example of this would be in Judges 1:6-7 which says, "Adoni-Bezek fled, but they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and his big toes. And Adoni-Bezek said, 'Seventy Kings with their thumbs and their big toes cut off used to pick up scraps under my table. As I have done, so God has repaid me.' And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there."
When first reading that passage I was caught off guard by the gory nature of the people of Israel and the God who led them to do such things. Taking a step back I realized that this action that took place was not just something in the flesh, but it meant more than that. The point of the whole action was so that God could follow through with his word in which he says, "Vengeance is Mine!" Yes, he had people carry out these actions for him, but in the end Adoni-Bezek did not see it as the Israelites punishing him, but he saw it as the God of Israel repaying him for his cruel actions. The point was God's glory in the midst of such of terrible things. God is righteous in his justice and who are we to say that he is not?
I also found myself caught off guard by the fact that Israelites all throughout the Old Testament are found going to war with some other nation, and each time are lead there by God. When I think about this I become immensely confused because if there is anything that we are taught in church, it is that we should not be violent with our brothers. There are even Christians who believe we should not go to war with other nations in general (another debate for another time). I then realized that if we look at the Israelites as God's people going to war in order to proclaim the Glory of their God above the other gods in world and seeking to create some sort of kingdom while still here on Earth, then we can begin to see the link between the Old and the New Testament. The God who is there for his people and causes them to go to war does the same thing today, but it is in the Spirit and it is against the flesh and those who speak false things about Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 we are taught that, "...though we walk in the flesh we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take very thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete."
I know this was a little long but it is what I believe scripture to be teaching. I know there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to scripture and what is being in taught in certain churches so I thought I might be able to come alongside and give you some advice to what I believe that word teaches. Hope you are blessed by this.