by Travis Bryan III
In the Old Testament, God does a violent thing indirectly by allowing an enemy to do it directly. God takes the blame by letting the writer to identify Him for doing some evil act which the enemy actually does. God never commits direct violence or evil against anyone ever. One writer has named this the Bible’s “dual speech” pattern; God’s doing by allowing. See the book Cross Vision by Gregory A Boyd, 166-169. One one hand, the Bible says God does the evil act but, on the other hand, the actual perpetrator is the enemy of both God and Judah.
God never takes up the sword of violence against anyone for, as Jesus says, “Those who take up the sword will die by (their own) sword. Matt 26:52. God does not violate His own rules. He also tells us to love our enemies. Matt 5:38-48.
This understanding of “dual speech” comes clear to us thru the understanding of the doctrine of the cross. Example: God takes the blame for killing His Son. See Is 53:4 & 10. V4: “We did esteem him (Jesus) stricken, SMITTEN OF GOD, . . . “ V10: “Yet IT PLEASED THE LORD (God) TO BRUISE HIM (Jesus). He (God) hath put Him (Jesus) to grief.” These passages appear to be saying it was God Himself who killed Jesus. However, we learn in the New Testament that the actual perpetrator and killer of Jesus was not God but Satan. See John 13:21-30; 1 Cor 2:6-8; John 14:29-31. God withdrew His protection from Jesus and allowed the adversary, Satan, to attack.
Satan is always the DIRECT killer and direct destroyer. John 10:10; 8:44. God only destroys INDIRECTLY, thru the cross, by dying (Heb 2:14), never DIRECTLY by killing anyone. God has taken the blame in Isaiah 53 for what Satan has actually done.
Now let’s look at another graphic example of this dual speech, God doing by allowing, in the Old Testament Book of Lamentations:
There are dual speech verses in Lamentations which indicate that God was the direct perpetrator of violence against Judah VERSUS other contrasting verses which expose who the real perpetrator was:
See Lam 1:15, 2:2,5-6; 2:20-22; 3:1-3, 3:7-12 (where God seems to be the direct perpetrator of the violence against His people, Judah);
Lam 2:3 (God withdraws His hand at the approach of the enemy allowing the enemy to attack); 2:7 (God has abandoned His sanctuary and therefore His people and has thereby GIVEN His people INTO THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY, the Babylonians. See also 1:7 and 5:20 (5:20 shows us the good redemptive purpose God has had in withdrawing His protective hand and allowing Judah’s enemy, Babylon, to violently attack Judah!).