The Evangelical Universalist Forum

God withholds rain from the unrighteous in OT but not so says Jesus - what it means for loving your enemy

I expand upon a subject that came up in the “Contradictions: OT V NT” thread.

“The Lord will change the rain of your (the unrighteous) land into powder.” (Deuteronomy 28:24)

“for he…sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

What does this overturning of an Old Testament teaching mean? What does it mean for the preceding verses in Matthew 5 about loving enemies?

My thoughts about it are here:

I agree that Jesus once again overturns an Old Testament teaching. It strikes me that he does not feel simply bound to a text for truth about God, but trusts what he gleans from other sources such as nature, and that he takes seriously his own teaching that everything “hangs” on the command to love.

I don’t see an OT teaching being overturned here. Jesus is simply states a maxim as he knows it… what Moses spoke however was specific to disobedient Israel and as such was NOT related to any unrighteous beyond herself.

I perceive that Jesus’ reference to “the unrighteous” overlaps the category: “disobedient,” whether it is sinners or Israel who disobeys, and thus broadly challenges assumptions that droughts are focused on the most wicked folk.

2 Likes

It would make little sense for God to send rain on the unrighteous everywhere except Israel.

Could be Bob… though even vs. 47 keeps the context somewhat within Israel given Jesus contrasts the behaviour he was encouraging as something even the Gentiles do (as per NU).

Concerning Zechariah’s prophesied withholding of “rain” from disobedient people during the coming Millennium (Zechariah 14:16-17)—please see my discussion about the Feast of Tabernacles, which is within my comment, “Regarding the Seven Annual Festivals of Israel, and Their Prophetic Significance.” Thanks!