Troublesome Topic: Murder by an Unknown Perpetrator

Lesson 4 of 6

The Mystery

In Deut. 21:1-9 we see what God wanted His people to do if they found the body of someone who had been murdered, but the body was not in any town’s “jurisdiction” (to use our term for it) and no one knew who had done it.

What God Wanted Them to Do about it

First they were to determine which town was closest. Then the leaders of that town were to bring a heifer, break its neck, and then ask for atonement for the blood that was shed. Someone had to give up a heifer, which, for many people of that day, was comparable in value to us giving up our car.

What We Would Do Today

Today we would call the forensic specialists and try to find out “who done it.” We would not want the authorities to close their investigation until it was solved. We would want them to make every effort to get to the truth.

Wasn’t God Interested in Truth?

He already knew who had done it, but apparently He did not feel obliged to keep man informed.

God’s Intent

His intent was not that man be able to know and then punish the guilty, but that His own holiness be satisfied, and the offense to His holiness be addressed.

What God Wants Us to Learn

Being humans it is normal that we view things from a human perspective. However, God wants us to learn to view things from His perspective. Learning to do that would mean that we always keep God’s holiness in focus.

Holiness Was a Commonly Repeated Theme

Holiness seemed to have been a commonly repeated theme in the lessons given to the children of Israel, and it is for us as well. It was taught in a variety of ways.

God is totally other, wholly different than we are. The definition of being holy, is to be “set apart”; to be “different or other than.” Even though God wants to be close to His people, He remains separate in the sense that His character is different from our basic character.

Satisfying God’s Holiness Must Be the Goal

This is true even when things man considers important are left unresolved.

His holiness must be appeased, not our curiosity.

The next lesson in the full series on Covenants is: Stone My Own Son? Are You Kidding Me?

The next lesson in Why Is That in the Bible? is: Why So Much War?