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True crime or false charges?

New students of the Bible may be shocked to discover that many horrible crimes are reported in the Holy Scriptures. It may be difficult to imagine that a righteous book that contains the inerrant Word of God would also detail criminal events like assassinations, bribery, burglary, sodomy, homicide, incest, slander, harlotry, and manslaughter. But it does.

God takes a dim view of all crime, but allows the Scriptures to present them as acts to avoid. Consider the following examples that are well known in the Bible.

In Genesis 4, brothers Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God. God accepted the sacrifice of Abel, but rejected the sacrifice of Cain. While overcome with anger and jealousy, Cain murdered his brother Abel, and then received a devastating curse from God.

In Genesis 27, we read about the crime of identity theft. The twins Jacob and Esau fought constantly about almost everything. But when it came time for their father’s blessing, Jacob and his mother Rebekah conspired to steal the identity of Esau so that Isaac would bless Jacob instead. The plan worked but it also led to much sorrow.

In Genesis 37, Joseph’s brothers plotted against him because he was their father’s favorite. Their first crime was to kidnap Joseph and throw him into a pit. But then, in an act of human trafficking, they sold Joseph to a caravan headed to Egypt. In the end, Joseph prospered and the brothers suffered greatly for their cruelty.

In Jeremiah 19, the horror of infanticide is revealed among the people of Tophet. They were known to sacrifice their own children to their heathen gods. God called this desecration “the blood of innocents,” and changed the name of the entire area to “the valley of slaughter.”

In Luke 10, Jesus told the story of the man from Samaria who had compassion on a victim of robbery and assault. While the priest and Levite ignored the battered stranger, the man from Samaria came to his aid. Jesus was teaching that we are to help our neighbors regardless of their origin or destination: “Go and do likewise.”

However, do you remember the crime that was not a crime? In Acts 25, the Apostle Paul was charged with crimes, thrown into jail, and dragged before Festus, the Roman magistrate. But after Festus and King Agrippa listened to Paul and his accusers, they agreed that no crime was committed. The accusers were actually making fabricated charges.

The false accusations against Paul are an example of an immoral society changing right to wrong. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” This confusing action is a frightening sign of the Last Days. People will cover their obvious crimes, and blame the innocent for “immoral” behavior (2 Timothy 3).

However, the Bible is still true and “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV). And the Ten Commandments continue to be God’s righteous standard for daily living (Exodus 20). The real felony is the crime of deception that has been committed by Satan who has deceived many careless people (Revelation 12:9).

Be warned! Don't let Satan deceive you!

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