Showing posts from 2012

Appointed to Eternal Life - Acts 13:48

When God Will Not Answer

I was struck by 1 Samuel 8:18 some time ago in my devotional reading

18 וּזְעַקְתֶּם֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא מִלִּפְנֵ֣י מַלְכְּכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּחַרְתֶּ֖ם לָכֶ֑ם וְלֽא־יַעֲנֶ֧ה יְהוָ֛ה אֶתְכֶ֖ם בַּיּ֥וֹם הַהֽוּא׃
18  "Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day."

It turns out that there are at least three other places where God said he would not answer:

1) 1 Sam. 28:6  When Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets.
 6 וַיִּשְׁאַ֤ל שָׁאוּל֙ בַּֽיהוָ֔ה וְל֥א עָנָ֖הוּ יְהוָ֑ה גַּ֧ם בַּחֲלֹמ֛וֹת גַּ֥ם בָּאוּרִ֖ים גַּ֥ם בַּנְּבִיאִֽם׃

2) 2 Sam. 22:38 "I pursued my enemies and destroyed them, And I did not turn back until they were consumed. 39 "And I have devoured them and shattered them, so that they did not rise; And they fell under my feet. 40 "For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me thos…

The Grounds of Human Culpability in Divine Justice

On what bases does God hold humans morally responsible, i.e., culpable, for their actions? This question is at the heart of salvation. God, who is just, must be just in His justification of those who trust in Christ (Rom. 3:26) and in His condemnation of those who do not believe (John 3:18).

I see in Scripture three grounds upon which God holds men responsible: 1) capacity, 2) knowledge, and 3) intent. Of these three, intent is the most frequently mentioned and most obvious.

Determination of culpability on the basis of intention is evident from Num. 35:16-34 and Deut. 19:4-6. A man who "without knowledge" (bivli da'at) or unintentionally (bishgagah) slays his neighbor “does not deserve to die” (cf. Josh. 20:3). If the one who commits unintentional manslaughter is killed by the "avenger of blood," God regards it as the shedding of innocent blood (Deut. 19:10). While intentional manslaughter receives the death penalty, involuntary manslaughter receives no …