Injustices in the Old Testament

The Old Testament on numerous occasions points out cases of failure in the relationship between man and God and man and man. In such cases, the relationship either between man and God or man and man got broken. Among others, the following should be considered.

1. In Genesis 3: 1 ff, Adam and Eve broke their relationship with God and among themselves. They ate the forbidden fruit and failed to conquer the earth as commanded by God. Consequently, God punished them, resulting into a sour relationship between man and man and man and other creatures.

2. In Genesis 4: 1 ff, Cain out of selfishness and jealousy killed his brother Abel. This was as a result of God appreciating Abel’s sacrifice of the best lamb and God's rejection of his sacrifice. Consequently, Cain was punished for this act.

3. The builders of the Tower of Babel failed to relate with God through their building programme. They doubted God's existence arid used their, false wisdom to reach God through the tower. However, God intervened by destroying the tower and mixing their language. (Genesis 11: 1ff).

4. In Genesis 9:20-27, Noah cursed one of his sons out of drunkenness. This was because the son saw him naked after he had just taken wine and went to sleep without cloth: The cursed son suffered seriously thereafter.

5. In Genesis 34: 12 ff Joseph was sold by his brothers to the Egyptian slave dealers. This was out of jealousy because of their father's love for Joseph. Even before being sold he was tortured by being tied up with a rope.

6. The Pharaoh of Egypt enslaved the Israelites. They were oppressed and exploited through hard labour with little food and torturing. It was this kind of injustice that prompted God to call and commission Moses to go and deliver His people (Exodus 3: 1 ff).

7. In Genesis 34: I ff, Schechem, the son of Hames raped Dinah (the daughter of Jacob and Leah). This resulted into the murder of many people by the sons of Jacob.

8. There was corruption and bribery among the Israelites. This led to the suffering of some people who were denied the chance of using their own resources. (Micah 7: 1 ff).

9. The Israelites were subjected to forced labour during the time of kings. For example King Solomon forced his people to work so as to fulfill his building programme. (1 Kings 5:13-16)

10. The Israelites worshipped other gods. This was against the S1inai covenant in which God had stopped them from doing so. Therefore, this was a sin and an injustice against God and the Israelites themselves.

11. The Israelites were also subjected to heavy taxation. King David and Solomon over taxed the people to fulfill their selfish ambitions.

12. In 2 Samuel 1: 1 ff, King David was unjust to Bathsheba and her husband Uriah who was one of his faithful soldiers. He fell in love and had sexual Intercourse with Bathsheba. This was adultery which was against the covenant laws. He went ahead and plotted for the death of Uriah at the battlefield after realizing that Bathsheba was pregnant. The following are therefore the injustices.

David destroyed the marriage between Bathsheba and Uriah.

David committed murder by plotting for Uriah's death. (2 Samuel 11: 14)

King David broke the Sinai covenant by admiring his neighbour’s wife and even plotting for the death of Uriah.

King David neglected his duty as a leader. He was supposed to be with his soldiers at the battlefield but chose to remain behind. (2 Samuel 11: 1)

King David misused his authority by engaging in such evil acts,

King David was lustful. He had no love for Bathsheba but only wanted to satisfy his sexual desire. (2 Samuel 11:4)

King David interfered with Uriah's work of defending his people by calling him to leave the battlefield. (2 Samuel 11: 11)

King David was a liar. He lied to Uriah by instructing him to go home and rest yet he wanted to disguise the pregnancy of Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 11:8)

King David shamelessly saw the nakedness of Bathsheba while she was bathing. (2 Samuel 11:2)

13. In 1 Kings 21: 1 ff, King Ahab grabbed the vineyard of Naboth who had been killed innocently for his failure to offer the yard to him. The injustices in this story include,

Greediness by King Ahab who wanted the vineyard of Naboth yet he had more than enough.

Murdering of Naboth yet he was even innocent.

Naboth was falsely accused of cursing God and the King.

King Ahab misused his authority by grabbing Naboth vineyard.

King Ahab broke the Ten Commandments by accepting lies and even recognizing the murder of Naboth.

King Ahab was simply jealous of Naboth’s vineyard, which had led to his prosperity.

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