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Joined: 2009/8/29
Posts: 9

 Some questions about the old testament

In the old testament God seemed to favour the Jewish people and seemed to encourage full scale murder of anyone who stood in their way.

ie joshua 10:40 ...So joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, and the the negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the the lord, the god of Israel, had commanded...

Jesus seemed to agree with the law and the sciptures, but he seemed like a different God, telling us to love our enemies.

I'm not trying to be provocative, I just genuinely am interested to know how you guys see this. I'm just trying to work out if there is a God.

 2009/8/29 4:41Profile

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Some questions about the old testament

Hi agnostic, welcome to the forums!

I wanted to say that I hope that anyone that responds to you will do so with patience and wisdom from God. I can understand how you might feel because I've also had times where I've had questions and have had my share of struggles over all sorts of things. I think I know too what it is like to want to have answers to something, and not have them.

I feel like I've come to the place where I can be comfortable in not always having an answer for other's questions, or even my own(sometimes).

I do feel like I understand what God was doing in the history that you mentioned. Maybe He will help me or someone else to share that with you. If not, I wish you all the best in your search.


Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/8/29 5:45Profile

Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991


I dont have all the answers to your questions, but having thought upon these things myself, i have come to some ideas so called, in the OT everything was external, Israels enemies was external, ours is internal, we have no enemies in the flesh, israel battled the "ites" :-) and wherever they came they had to fight, we dont fight in that way, we fight against our own self and satan and this world, When Jesus came he came to give us the full revelation of God, and his kingdom could not be seen with our eyes, And we also have to kill our enemies, our sins and lust that keep us from entering the promised land, we do fight but God gives the victory.

Why god did it this way i dont know, but he did, he chose a people for him self, he has chosen us for himself, they battled, and we have to battle, cant remember where but i think it says somewhere God did not want them to become like the heathens around them, so they should not marry them or mix with them, so that Godliness could go from generation to generation, probably violated scripture severely there, but i think that is one reason, if we leave one little thing to "mingle" within, untouched, unchanllanged it will take over, if Israel left one enemy they would in the long run infected the whole people of God, so i think it is for us also, if we leave one area in our lifes alone, we dont battle, we dont let God kill it, it will in the end rule us and hinder us from enter into the land God has given us.

but as i said i have very little understanding of these things, but i know one who does, and that is the holy spirit, so we just keep reading and praying, and one day God opens our eyes and we see.

keep reading


 2009/8/29 5:55Profile


Welcome! I think it's wonderful that you have come here to look for answers in your search.
I could try to give a scramble of answers off the top of my head, but I really wanted to respond and give your question a better response than I could right now. The excerpt of the article below should help somewhat. (Also, read 2 Kings ch.6. Here God told Elisha not to kill the Assyrian army, but to release them back to their king, after showing them hospitality) Just an example~
Don't give up searching and come back with more questions! :)

Old Testament God vs. New Testament God?

The fact is that the Bible is fairly consistent in it’s portrait of God, when taken in context.

If you read the book fairly you’ll find that the God of the OT is very clearly the God of the New as well – virtually the same amount of love, same amount of things that dismay him as well, and that the grace that is offered in the New Testament and beyond, is available in the Old as well – the main change between the testaments is that the ‘mystery’ has been revealed, and that the New Testament is a universal text, with the offer of salvation, as was intended from the beginning, going out to all peoples, and not a text, like the old, directed specifically at the nation of Israel and the Jewish peoples

One thing to consider contextually is that a majority of the OT was written to apply to Israel at a national – not individual – level, and applied to the infant nation as it was developing and not as much to the interaction of individual people as it regards their personal relationships. Granted, you may pull verses out of context that seem VERY personal from your perspective, but in context they – at that time – were meant to act as Israel’s national law. The New Testament reveals God-made-Flesh, the intimate side: How individuals relate, and behave, as a correction to the very misinterpretations and misunderstandings you seem to abhor (or enjoy, it seems like) from the Old Testament law.

 2009/8/29 6:08

Joined: 2009/8/29
Posts: 9


Thanks for all of your replies,

Hquest I will read through that link tommorrow,I'd better get to bed as working tonight!

 2009/8/29 6:35Profile

Joined: 2009/8/29
Posts: 1


When God created the earth all was good.Then man corrupted that which was good and pure and fell into unimaginable abominations.Gods heart was grieved at the stench at mans wickedness and sent the flood.In the old testament we see one of Gods great attributes..Holiness.Gods Holiness demands Justice and therefore shall mete out punishment.God chose Israel as they were small in all the earth and He would dwell with them.Lets picture the land of Palestine in Joshua's day by using this analogy.It is littered with corpses in a dreadful state of decomposition.Would one inhabit in the midst of that stench or rid the land of that which would cause ones stomach to wrench.The nations that which Israel would conquer needed to be errateticated..why.Because that which is putrid might spread to that which is called clean and infectthem.The bible says i am the Lord who changes not and Christ is the same God.As Gods great attribute of Holiness is seen in the old so Gods great attribute of Love is seen in Christ.Jesus did say love thy enemies but that does not negate the fact that he said if my kingdom were of this world my servants would fight.Or told his apostles that when they went out on their journeys to take a sword..etc.I firmly believe that there are certain scenarios were one turns the other cheek and defends both cheeks..according to Gods leading.Theres is sooo much to say on what you have asked and i pray that you would seek the Lord while He may be and you shall find.

 2009/8/29 6:44Profile

Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703

 Re: Some questions about the old testament

Hello, agnostic. I encourage you in your search for God. Be assured that if you seek him with a pure heart, earnestly looking for the truth, you will find him.

First, let me echo what others have said ahead of me. It is important to read the Bible in its totality, not just once, but several times, with an open heart, a spirit of humility and a willingness to learn. This can be done quickly at first in order to obtain an overview of God's word.

What you will discover is that the God depicted in the Old Testament is the same God of the the New Testament. In both cases you will find that God is loving, but also holy and just. He is true to himself, and will not/can not discard his holiness to embrace an unrepentant sinner out of love. Neither can he discard his justice and forgive sin without just recompense. That is why, out of love, God sent his son, Jesus, to die in payment for the sins of man (justice), and to provide a way for us to be reconciled to him (holiness), so that we may (through his grace) be again embraced by him.

In answer to your question: one should not isolate a verse or a section of the Bible and then conclude that those pieces of text reflect the true nature of God. There is a reason why the Bible is also referred to in scripture as "the word" (singular). It must be treated as one complete and indivisible unit.

God bless you.


P.S. I know that suggesting that you read the Bible in its totality not just once but several times is not an easy task. But such is the wisdom of God - He will be found by those who earnestly seek Him. Knowing God is the reward for painstaking effort on the part of the seeker. I hope and pray that you will be willing to put in the effort.

 2009/8/29 11:53Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7474

 Re: Some questions about the old testament

In the old testament God seemed to favour the Jewish people and seemed to encourage full scale murder of anyone who stood in their way.

"God seemed" - glad you caught that. Now, go read Isaiah and note who the warnings were addressed to; also consider Jonah, Daniel and the wise men who came to Jerusalem to look for the baby Jesus. I suspect we do not have a complete record of people in other nations who feared God.

Jesus seemed to agree with the law and the scriptures, but he seemed like a different God, telling us to love our enemies.

To get a better explanation for your question, check out Matthew 5-7. There Jesus quotes OT law how it was but now he is taking the law to a deeper level and saying this is now how I expect my children to live, what will characterize them. At some point you may want to read, study the book of Romans and Hebrews. At the moment these books may seem too deep, difficult. But do not worry. If you still have problems reconciling these discrepancies I would urge you to ask the LORD to assist you in understanding. I promise you - He is more interested in this quest then you are! He is very gentle, not a tough taskmaster.

Blessings to you in your search...


Sandra Miller

 2009/8/29 12:51Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2003
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Some questions about the old testament

Hello Agnostic. Good to have you here.

I first want to say that I do not have all the answers, but that I do think I can help lay some framework on which you can think.

As was already stated, man was created in a perfect and sinless state, but he was tempted and fell into sin. Because of this sin, and the accompanying corruption and death, came upon all men. Romans 5:12. Because of this, man was separated from right relationship with God through spiritual death. Ephesians 21:1. (A side note but important. You are a spirit, a soul (mind,will, emotiont), and a body. When you hear a Christian talking about being "saved" or "born again", they are talking about a regeneration or a bringing back to life of their spirit which was dead in the sense of separated from God and from right relationship with Him.) The sacrifice that Jesus Christ paid was all about paying the price for sin and bringing us back into right relationship with God. God is Holy and just and a price had to be paid. Jesus did that for us, as we could not do that for ourselves.

But what about the time between Adam's sin and Christ? It is this time period that seems to you to paint a picture of a very different God than the God of Christianity that you find in the New Testament.

The Bible is divided into two sections that we call Testaments. Really, we could say these are the old and new covenants, or the way God dealt with man before Christ and the way He deals with man after Christ. It is the same God, just a difference in the way He dealt with man.

In the Old Testament you will find a lot of reference to the law of God. God chose the Jews (I am not totally sure why, but I accept it.) to be the people he would deal with and ultimately bring forth His Son. He instituted the law. This law is comprised of over 600 individual commandments and very harsh penalties. For example, backtalking your parents was punishable by stoning to death. No one could EVER keep these laws, and in the New Testament, we find that was the point of God dealing with man through the law. It was to cause man to despair of ever being able to be in right relationship with God by working really hard at keeping a set of commandments. You can find this in Galatians chapter 3. Paul the apostle told us that when the law of God came to him, sin revived in him and he died. In other words, he compared himself to the law, and it only made him aware of the power that sin had over his life. How could he ever please God by trying to live a good life according to the law of God? He could not. (Romans 7). God's original purpose was relationship with man. Man was created for His pleasure. The Old Testament, and the law, was a necessary step in bringing man back to right relationship with God.

The law of God was like a picture to man of how Holy God is and what His standards are. If we are to be right with God, we must be perfect in ourselves (impossible) or we must have a substitute, a savior. Jesus paid the price required by the law, and opened up the way that we can have right relationship with God through Him. He fulfilled the heart of God toward His creation. God's heart never changed, but the way he had to deal with man to bring about His perfect plan was different under the two covenants.

This is why God will be just in allowing people to go to Hell because they have refused to accept the free gift that was offered them of right relationship with God through Christ.

As to the question of murder, we have a wrong definition. Murder is a willful act of malice toward another. The commandment that said, "Thou shalt not kill." actually says, thou shalt not commit murder. War is a different creature entirely, and God did fight on the side of His chosen people. He also disciplined His people by allowing them to be decimated and defeated themselves when they did not obey and follow Him. When He told the Israelites to leave none alive, He was showing them the absolute purity He wanted among His people as a picture of the purity He desires in us.

I believe there is scripture to establish that all those who lived before Christ and the sacrifice he offered did ultimately have an opportunity to accept or reject Christ.

So, I hope that helps to clear up some of the questions. I would encourage you to continue to ask questions and remain open to answers. I know you said that you were trying to figure out if there is a God. I hope this does not sound too strange given that fact, but honestly ask God to show you if He exists. He wants to reveal Himself to you personally, not just academically.

Thank you for being open and honest enough to venture into Sermon Index and ask questions.


 2009/8/29 14:03Profile

Joined: 2009/8/29
Posts: 9


Do you think everyone has the opportunity to accept or reject God, such as people who don't hear about God or grow up in another religion getting to make that choice after death?

 2009/8/29 14:27Profile

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