Violence in the Bible
The Bible contains violence because it is simply the actual history of man. It documents man’s unwise choices and their sad consequences. Like any honest history book, the Bible narrates what actually happened without bias. God doesn’t hide the facts or cover them up. This gives credibility to the Scriptural record.
God created the world perfect. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Violence is one of the results of the original sin. Because of sin, the whole earth became subject to the rule of the devil and he in turn inflicts suffering and violence on all. Thus, “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all me” (Romans 5:12).
But God in His infinite mercy, planned a way of redemption for man because he was deceived by the devil (Genesis 3:15). God offered His innocent Son to bear the penalty of man’s sin in His body through death. Thus, every person that accepts Christ’s death on his behalf by faith and allow the Lord to change him, will be saved eternally. But he who rejects His sacrificial death will have to die for his own sins (John 1:12).
Jesus suffered violence more than anyone on the cross so that He may save men eternally. “For the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). And through Christ’s victory over sin, the believer may also be granted the same victory. The Lord promised that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
God Overrules Violence
Though violence is imposed by Satan, it is overruled by God for purposes of mercy. Thus, the afflicted one may find relief in the thought that though a “messenger of Satan” may afflict him (2 Corinthians 12:7), God will turn it for his good. He will make the trials and hardships of this life to work for his well being (Romans 8:28). If the Lord permits pain to come upon His people, it is not to crush them but to refine and elevate them (verse 17).
The believer should realize that joy and courage are based, not on external circumstances but on faith in God’s overruling providence and an intelligent understanding of His dealings with man. The apostle Paul wrote, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Pain can be utilized to refine and sanctify the believer (Romans 8:17).
The apostle James encouraged the believers saying, “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3). To the believer, the trials and pains of life can actually bring Christian growth and character.
The Bible records the violence that took place in man’s history in order to show the honest truth about humanity. The Scriptures are simply the record of man’s choices and their outcomes. But the Bible doesn’t stop there. It provides the effective redemptive solution to the sin problem. It tells of God’s infinite love that was poured to redeem humans from their sins. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no greater love than this (John 15:13).
In His service,