I feel like maybe the Israelites aren’t listening and that God is super annoyed. Chapter 20 is a repeat of Chapter 18 but with more severe punishments, as in, “Ok, you didn’t listen the first time, so now the consequences are going to be even more severe.” In Chapter 18, the punishment for violating the sins listed was excommunication. The punishment for some of the same crimes in Chapter 20, though, is straight up death. Kaboom! You’re outta here. I feel this way with my kids sometimes: lay the punishments on thicker so maybe they’ll listen harder. It doesn’t work with everyone, but it does work for some. The “scare” tactic reminds me of our friend from Mongolia who became a Christian in the early 2000s. She was a student in a discipleship training school I helped lead in 2014. We were studying evangelism one week, and one of the trainers shared a video that I considered “scary.” Like, it was one of those videos that said if you don’t accept Jesus right here and now, you’re going to burn in the fiery pits of hell for all eternity. I don’t like those. The video this trainer showed also had some handouts, and our assignment was to go pass them out to people at a nearby Buddhist temple. I said no way. Those pamphlets were gruesome. But our Mongolian friend popped up and said, “This is how I met Jesus.” She explained to us (in the English she’d learned during the previous months JUST to be trained as a missionary in our school. That girl. ❤️❤️❤️) that someone had handed her a similar pamphlet when she was in Mongolia, and after she read it, she was so scared of burning in hell for all eternity that she accepted Jesus! And let me tell you, that awesome woman of God is still in missions and doing incredible things for Jesus every day. So, after I heard that, I handed the pamphlets out and didn’t judge the trainer for his approach anymore (well, not AS much, anyway).
Writing prompt: anger & regret
Have you ever laid it on thick to someone out of anger and then regretted it later? Write about your experience and if you feel the issue has been resolved satisfactorily. If you don’t, pray about how to fix it!