Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Old Testament Evil (3) Tense Time

When the spiritual powers of evil tricked Adam and Eve into surrendering their authority on to them, they gained a huge victory against God, because they could prevent him from intervening on earth. Understanding this shift in the balance of power explains much of the violence in the Old Testament. God could only act if humans gave him permission, and that did not happen often, so the spiritual powers of evil had a free hand to work their evil.

Whenever God gained authority to act on earth, they reacted with dreadful violence on earth. The intensity of their evil attack often left God with no option but to use violence against them. This was the only tool that he had to restrain them. God would have preferred to use better methods for dealing with evil, but he could not do that until Jesus had come and defeated the spiritual powers of evil by dying on the cross. And God could not send Jesus until all the necessary preparation was complete. Otherwise, Jesus would have been destroyed as soon as he was born on earth (See God’s Big Strategy).

The Old Testament age was a desperate time. The spiritual powers of evil had gained a great victory, and God’s ability to respond was severely constrained. In this situation, God had to use violence from time to time, because that was the only way he could constrain the spiritual powers who were intent on using evil to wrecking God’s world.

Jesus victory on the cross changed everything. He destroyed the authority on earth of the spiritual powers of evil. The best way to defeat them is to preach the good news of Jesus in the power of the Spirit. They can be defeated with the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith. These are God’s preferred method for dealing with evil.

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