Murder, Manslaughter, and Mystery - Pastor Adam Kohlstrom
September 29, 2013 - Deuteronomy 19:1-21; 21:1-9
MURDER, MANSLAUGHTER, AND MYSTERY
What are some of your favorite investigative crime dramas (e.g.: NCIS, CSI, Castle, Hawaii Five-O, Law & Order; Adam-12, Dragnet, Columbo)?
Justice is about balance and harmony: the price paid in punishment should be equal to – not more or less than – the “cost” of the crime. How is this principle illustrated in Deuteronomy 19:21 (cf. Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19-21; Genesis 9:6)? How does this principle both discourage disproportionate revenge and inadequate punishment?
Deut. 19:21 (Ex. 21:23-25; Lev. 24:19-21). How does Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:38-48 personally call us to love beyond the demands of justice? Have you ever loved like this or received such love?
Deut. 19:4,11. Justice does not necessitate that all taking of human life be treated the same. According to these verses, what is the important distinction? What do you think this teaches us? What is Jesus’ message to those of us who have killed with our hearts but not with our hands (Matthew 5:21-22 and 1Jn. 3:15)? Why is this truth so difficult for us to accept and live out?
Deut. 19:14. Prohibition on moving a boundary marker is handled alongside instructions about killing because it threatened the livelihood, thus the very life, of another (cf. Num. 33:53-54; Dt. 27:17; Prov. 22:28; 23:10; Hosea 5:10; Job 24:2-4). What does this tell us about the seriousness with which the LORD regards such oppression? How are “boundary stones” moved today?
Deut. 19:15-21. False witnesses were to receive the punishment the falsely accused would have received had he been found guilty. How would this be a deterrent against perjury and frivolous accusations/lawsuits? How are we today likely to bear “false witness” against one another (e.g.: gossip, etc.)? These instructions address when the killer was mistaken (19:4-6), malicious (19:11-13), or a mystery (21:1-9). When a mystery, there was still “the guilt of innocent blood” for which the community was responsible and for which there must be purging/atonement (19:13; 21:8-9). How has Jesus Christ purged/atoned for the “innocent blood” you and I have shed with our thoughts, words, and actions (Romans 3:23-26; Hebrews 2:17; 1Jn 2:2; 4:10)?
Sunday School and Coffee 9:30 a.m. (nursery provided)
Worship Service 10:45 a.m. (nursery provided)