Posts Tagged ‘Punishment’


Numbers 16:1-2,5,8-9,18-21,31-32,35,41,45-49 One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben. They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly… Then he said to Korah and his followers, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show us who belongs to him and who is holy. The Lord will allow only those whom he selects to enter his own presence… Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them?… So each of these men prepared an incense burner, lit the fire, and placed incense on it. Then they all stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle with Moses and Aaron. Meanwhile, Korah had stirred up the entire community against Moses and Aaron, and they all gathered at the Tabernacle entrance. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to the whole community, and the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Get away from all these people so that I may instantly destroy them!”… He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned… Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense… But the very next morning the whole community of Israel began muttering again against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the Lord’s people!”… and the Lord said to Moses, “Get away from all these people so that I can instantly destroy them!” But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground. And Moses said to Aaron, “Quick, take an incense burner and place burning coals on it from the altar. Lay incense on it, and carry it out among the people to purify them and make them right with the Lord. The Lord’s anger is blazing against them—the plague has already begun”… Aaron did as Moses told him and ran out among the people. The plague had already begun to strike down the people, but Aaron burned the incense and purified the people. He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died in that plague, in addition to those who had died in the affair involving Korah.

Oftentimes I turn to the word of God for hope in my difficult circumstances and am taught chapters like this one today and the question I ask God is how does this relate to where I am now? (more…)

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Numbers 15:14-16,30-36,41 “And if any foreigners visit you or live among you and want to present a special gift as a pleasing aroma to the Lord, they must follow these same procedures. Native-born Israelites and foreigners are equal before the Lord and are subject to the same decrees. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation. The same instructions and regulations will apply both to you and to the foreigners living among you”… “But those who brazenly violate the Lord’s will, whether native-born Israelites or foreigners, have blasphemed the Lord, and they must be cut off from the community. Since they have treated the Lord’s word with contempt and deliberately disobeyed his command, they must be completely cut off and suffer the punishment for their guilt”. One day while the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they discovered a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. The people who found him doing this took him before Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the community. They held him in custody because they did not know what to do with him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must be put to death! The whole community must stone him outside the camp.” So the whole community took the man outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses… I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt that I might be your God. I am the Lord your God!”

It is not hard to pick up how harsh God is to man as in today’s chapter and it leaves us wondering how the Israelites would have any hope if at all they were to live in peace with God? (more…)


Leviticus 26:1-4,14-16,18,21,23-24,27-28,36,40-45 “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD. “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit… “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it… “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over… “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve… “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over…

“‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over… “‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them… “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.’”

Never before have I had to select so many verses to draw what I believe God is speaking to us and I do hope you will read the chapter before your read any further because the above highlighted verses don’t fully draw out the essence of the chapter.

We are now living in times when many great thinkers and authors seem to be using their combined learnings of various religions and beliefs to create a concept of spiritualism, a mantra the seeking world is fast accepting.

Religion appeals to few but a watered down version is palatable and some ex-christians twist the word of God to their own benefit showing the character of God to be different from that of Jesus and revealing the God of the Old Testament as a hateful and heinous God, therefore not deserving of our love or care.

When we read chapters such as today’s passage, it seems easy to be misled by such questions and so what then is really the truth? (more…)


Exodus 32:1,4,9-10,21-22,24,27-29,33-35 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him”… He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt”… “I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation”… He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil… So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”… Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day”… The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.” And the LORD struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

After such a good run this far today’s chapter was a disaster in that the chosen people of God failed miserably. They chose to worship an idol because they had no patience for the God of Moses and therefore suffered the consequences.

What truly got to me was God’s wrath and judgment as displayed in the gruesome murder of the idol worshippers and worse still was the lie spoken by Aaron but how his life was spared. Is God really a merciful and gracious God? (more…)


Genesis 19:1-3,15-17,24-26 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate… When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. When they had brought them outside, one said, ” Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away”… Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

WOW! Today’s chapter is filled with hate, hurt, doom, destruction and brokenness and makes me wonder what we could ever learn out of it. I have taken a few verses but urge you to read the entire chapter before you continue.

God’s angels price to Sodom after visiting with Abraham and they keep God’s word to Abraham that God would spare those who are righteous. The only righteous found there were Lot and his wife and daughters.

Everyone else showed their true colors by demanding the life of the two visitors whom they knew had come to condemn them and their land. God’s was justified to condemn this land because of the utter brokenness of these people and we praise God for His swift action.

The question that lingers on my mind is why would God permit Lot’s wife to become a pillar of salt when He went through so much to save her, Lot and their daughters? (more…)


1 John 4:7-8, 13-18

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love… We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Yesterday, I was asked by a friend who is an avowed atheist how I could just forget my sinful past and live with this new found love for Jesus Christ who has offered to forgive me my sins? It is true that I lived in sin and sin so grievous that I fear its retribution and I often sit at the foot of the cross, including this morning, asking God if I am actually lying to Him and to the world of my new found love of Him just to cover my gory past and to be acceptable to this world and to God? How can I know there has been any real change in me and what is the assurance that I am saved and not living in state of consciousness where Jesus is my path to escape the horrors of this life? What is God saying to me and to those like me whose faith is being questioned at the very core? (more…)


2 Peter 2:1-4,9-10

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment… if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.

As a christian, I find it hard to accept and reject teachings that are supposedly word-based but seem rather disconnected from what Jesus taught. Several scholars of the word have taken learnings from the word and created ideologies or given christian walk a new direction and I always worry that I will be directed off the path God would have me walk if I am not careful. Contorting wisdom to benefit our own desires is not an uncommon reality of humanity. How do we as christians know what’s right and what’s not? How is our faith safeguarded and is there something the Lord is saying to us today through His word? (more…)