Various Instances

The wicked whose character is described from Adam to Moses, a period of twenty-five hundred years, are never threatened with endless punishment, nor is it ever said to have been visited upon any. The builders of Babel, Joseph's brethren, Pharaoh, many wicked people are there threatened and punished, but not a word is said of endless punishment. Is it credible that for twenty-five hundred years God should have led men along to the brink of the grave, threatening them with all sorts of things, and entirely conceal this doom, which, if true, should have been reiterated to all from the cradle to the grave?

The punishments of sin are thus described two thousand five hundred years after Adam:

It shall come to pass, if you will not hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, to observe to do all his commandments and statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your store. Cursed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cattle, and the flocks of your sheep. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The Lord shall send upon you cursing, vexation and rebuke in all that you set your hand unto for to do. . . He shall smite you with consumption, and with a fever, with blasting and mildew; etc. In the morning you shall say "Would God it were evening," and at evening you shall say, "Would God it were morning." Deut. 28: 15-29, 67.

All through the Old Testament, subsequent to the enunciation of the law, the wicked who are spoken of are never threatened with any but temporal penalties. Abimelech is a case in point:

Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father in slaying his seventy brethren. Judges 9: 56

So with Ahithophel, the suicide:

And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulcher of his father. 2 Sam.17: 23.

Is it asked how this suicide was punished? Paul answers:

Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment. 1 Tim. 5: 24.

Hence Paul tells us that under the Law

Every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward. Heb. 2: 2.

Now for four thousand years every wicked act was fully punished in this life. "Every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward." Would God have an endless hell and keep it a secret from the world for four thousand years? Would he keep sinners for four thousand years from a hell he had made, and then use it as a prison for other sinners no worse? No; the silence of God for forty centuries is a demonstration that he had no such place reserved for any of his children.

If God all the time he was threatening these limited consequences of sin, intended to inflict a doom compared to which all these are as nothing, then he deceived the people, for this is the full statement of the law:

These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses. Lev. 26: 46.

The laws of Moses enumerate many forms of punishment, many different penalties, but never lisp a hint of endless woe.

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