GOD − THE RIGHTEOUS KILLER

We live in an hour when faithless men recklessly violate the law of God with little or no apprehension.

Sin is erroneously considered universal and unavoidable, even under grace. “Everyone sins, no one can stop,” they say, so they logically, yet, unscripturally reason, “Why worry? Holiness is unattainable, so who can expect men to actually live righteously?” Hence, Antinomianism has undermined and sabotaged the fear of God, which is now regarded as vulgar and spiritually counterproductive. “He’s not to be feared!” they effeminately plead, “but revered!” They conveniently forget that the “fear of God” is specifically commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ
“But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” −Luke 12:5

Liberal commentators aside, when I read these words of Jesus, I get the distinct impression that ‘fear’ means exactly that, ‘be afraid’, not reverence.

Moreover, the Scriptures esteem the fear of God as the gateway to true understanding…

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” −Proverbs 9:10
Yet, the concept of divine retribution, even among professing Christians, is considered Draconian, inaccurate, and even cruel. As Isaiah the Prophet lamented in his day…
“…judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” −Isaiah 59:14
Thus, in our unbelieving culture, not many believe in a Scriptural heaven, but fewer still acknowledge there is a God-ordained hell. Our generation, reeling under one cleverly-crafted-religious lie after another, is filled with all manner of blasphemy and vice. All this while we collectively offer a confident grin because, after all, as the modern pulpit has constantly assured us, “God is love, there’s absolutely nothing to fear”. Yet, this should come as no surprise, we’re certainly not the first culture to embrace a perverted perception of God. Neither are we the only nation to be reprobated and turned over to our idolatry and sin. As the Prophet Hosea said of backslidden Israel in his day…
…there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.” −Hosea 4:1
No doubt, our day is very much like the days when the Prophet Jeremiah and the Prophet Ezekiel spoke for God…
I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness…” −Jeremiah 23:14
“Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life…” −Ezekiel 13:22
If you are indeed a believer in God and His Word, it’s my hope that this short article may inspire you to fear God, reject every lie, and cling to God’s Word which warns us in the Book of Hebrews
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” −Hebrews 10:31
Dear reader, let us together briefly consider one solitary verse from the Book of Genesis, an obscure verse taken from a short genealogy of Judah

“And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.” −Genesis 38:7

My desire in this brief discourse is to systematically and expositorily consider Genesis 38:7 and thereby promote a very simple thought, “God, the Righteous Killer”. It is my prayer that it will inspire a healthy fear of God.
Now, if we’re to benefit from the divine message in our text, we must rightly discern and acknowledge five Biblical absolutes…

First, We Must Concede Our Text Is No Less Than God’s Word.

 

“And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.” −Genesis 38:7
This record of Er is not preserved for us in the fallible writings of men, or some ancient account of Jewish history, but in the very book of God. And, as we know, the Scriptures are without mistake, blemish, or fault. They are God-breathed, infallible, inerrant, and always relevant. There is nothing contained therein that was not planned specifically by God with the utmost foresight, wisdom, and purpose. Moreover, may we wisely remember, the Scriptures authoritatively testify of themselves in 2 Timothy
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” −2 Timothy 3:16

Hence, we must acknowledge Genesis 38:7 is no accident, oversight, or mistake; it is the Word of God and it was included for a reason.

Consider for a moment, nothing else about Er, save this brief commentary on his life, is recorded in Scripture for our benefit. So here we have this son of Judah, who is in the lineage of Christ, and who is the grandson of the great Patriarch Jacob. Little else is known about him, but the few facts mentioned in this verse. Yet, God included this account in the Scriptures because He obviously wanted us to know that He personally killed wicked Er. Could we view this as anything other than an encouragement to fear God and a stern warning against rebellion? Yet sadly, many in the Laodicean, myth-driven, hireling-led modern church are so Biblically illiterate they assume the divine attributes of love and wrath are irreconcilable. “That’s not the love of our God!”, they cry. However, as we shall see, He may not be their god, but He is unmistakably the God of the Scriptures; it’s only logical that the ‘good news’ presupposes a crisis situation of dire proportions. There can be no heavenly love without godly hatred, no joy of pardon and mercy without the prospect of facing an unwavering justice. We would never consider a civil judge ‘loving’ if he refused to punish and restrain those who violated the law he is sworn to uphold. Yet, that’s exactly the self-contradicting ‘god’ the sin-stupid apostate church essentially worships and promotes.

Secondly, We Must Recognize God Is Immutable

 

“And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.” −Genesis 38:7
Lest we forget−the God that slew Er is the one and only true God, there is none other and He has not changed. There is no God of the Old Testament and a kinder, more gentle, more loving God of the new. We can know this is a fact because God is immutable. According to Scripture, immutability, or the unchanging nature of God, is without question, a divine attribute…
For I am the LORD, I change not…” −Malachi 3:6
The divine character of God cannot change in essence because moral perfection has no need to change. God is utterly perfect, in every moral sense, above even the slightest mistake, and has eternally been so, change would negate this absolute. The Scriptures teach…
“But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” −Psalms 102:27
“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” −Hebrews 1:10-12
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” −Hebrews 13:8
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” −James 1:17

Moreover, consider that God, as the Scriptures testify, is no respecter of persons.

“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear…” −1 Peter 1:17

The point is clear and obvious, the same God that slew wicked Er is the one true God, the God of the Bible. He has killed before, and He may indeed, if the situation demands it, kill again. There is absolutely no Scriptural or logical grounds to assume otherwise. Those who are uncomfortable with or deny this are uncomfortable with and deny the God revealed in Scripture.

Thirdly, May We Comprehend: Er Was Wicked

 

And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked…” −Genesis 38:7a
Hence, the testimony of Er’s life is summed up for us in this one phrase: (he) was wicked. What does this mean? How are we to understand this brief testimony of Scripture? Well, first we can surmise that Er was not a victim; neither was he prey to circumstance or situation. Likewise, we know that God is longsuffering, so we dare not assume it was for merely an occasional transgression Er fell under judgment. Therefore, Er was wicked not merely because he sinned, but because he apparently consistently and obstinately refused to turn from his sin.
Knowing his pedigree, he had no doubt been exposed to much positive spiritual influence. Yet, he apparently refused every attempt to godly reformation, tempting God by his ingratitude. Thus, we can only assume he was either insincere, or a religious game player, if nothing else, certainly a rebel. So, in his rebellion God saw fit to kill him and put him immediately into hell-fire. So many forget: God owes us nothing, we always are getting better than we deserve.

Fourthly, We Must Know God Is A Righteous Judge

 

“And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD…” −Genesis 38:7b
There can be no question: it was God who defined Er as “wicked” and God who ultimately slew him. So, we can absolutely know, without doubt, he was indeed wicked because it was in the eyes of the LORD he was determined to be so. Likewise, we can rest assured he was worthy of death because it was Almighty God who slew Him. Hence, His judgment was sure and His sentence was just.
“…shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” −Genesis 18:25b
No matter what anyone else thinks about it, God is right and everyone else is wrong. So, the righteousness of God’s judgment on Er is above question. It was just, holy, and even loving simply because it was the God of the Bible who executed it: this is an absolute.

Finally, We Are Wise To Conclude, God Is A Killer Who Is Worthy To Be Feared

 

“…and the LORD slew him.” −Genesis 38:7c
If you think such an assertion is cruel or below the revealed nature of God, you prove you reject the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, as we mentioned earlier, said, “fear him, which after he hath KILLED hath power to cast into hell…” (Lk 12:5). You see, I am only affirming what Jesus has already preached. The fact that God kills is found all over the Bible…
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” −Deuteronomy 32:39
“The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.” −1 Samuel 2:6
God has killed many, many wicked men, for example, in the O.T…
“And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.” −1 Samuel 25:38
“And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.” −2 Samuel 6:7
“And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick…and it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died.” −2 Samuel 12:15, 18
“And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.” −1 Samuel 6:19
“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” −1 Samuel 15:3
Don’t forget, in the N.T., God killed Ananias and his wife, Sapphira. Moreover, God has directly killed sinful men in many various ways: by flood, by fire, by opening up the ground, by plagues, by lions, etc…The Bible warns us of the dangers of sin, both temporal and eternal, but especially of being obstinate and unrepentant.
“Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed…” −Isaiah 65:12-13
Make no mistake, God is a righteous killer and He is worthy to be feared. After reading this, dear reader, may you fear Him and shun all sin…
“Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” −Isaiah 8:13
−B.W.