The author reminds his readers about Israelís history with words from Deuteronomy 32:35-36. And he says that the same things are true about Christians today.
We have been studying about people who carry out evil acts against Godís holy things. In ancient Israel, it was not foreigners who carried out the worst acts against Godís holy things. It was certain leaders in Israel (see Leviticus 10:1; Numbers 16:1-3; Numbers 25:6-14). It was Israelís own leaders who set up false gods in Israel (1 Kings 11:6-7; 1 Kings 12:26-33). And it was Israelís own leaders who persuaded Israelís people not to be loyal to God (for example, 2 Kings 21:9-12).
It was against those leaders that God originally spoke these words. He had a right to vengeance (that is, a right to punish his enemies). So they would certainly not avoid their punishment. God is the judge who will rescue his people. And all his judgements are right and proper.
The first Christians had many enemies. Those enemies attacked them, and sometimes they killed them. But the Christians remained loyal to God.
However, the first Christians suffered even more because of a different kind of trouble. This trouble came from people who belonged to their churches. In fact, they were leaders in the churches. But they were not sincere. They were using their authority in the church to benefit themselves. They were teaching things that the Bible does not teach. Like those ancient leaders in Israel, they did not really care about peopleís relationships with God. They cared much more about their own authority, wealth or desires. And they knew that they were doing these wrong things.
The authors of the New Testament (the first Christian books) realised how serious this situation was. And they often warned about it (Acts 20:30; Galatians 5:7-10; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 2:18-19; Jude 8-16; Revelation 2:20).
Through history, there have been many Christian leaders who have urged Christians not to be loyal to God. Or, they have acted in a manner that can spoil peopleís relationship with God. Jesus warned that this is a very terrible thing to do (Mark 9:42).
Such behaviour is a sin (evil action) against the holy things of God. God considers that his people are holy. And they are much more holy than any sacred building or object that exists today. God has made his people holy by the blood (death) of his own Son, Jesus Christ.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.