|FAQ ID # 5369|
|Last Update : 2007/06/20
Rating : Not Rated
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|Question / Issue|
|Why did God command the Jews going into the promised land to kill all the people (wasn't it woman and children too)? I know they didn't want to mix with there beliefs and idols, but is this a loving God? Also, would God command someone to do this today, and if not, why not.|
|Answer / Solution|
You are correct in saying that the Lord did not want the Israelites to intermingle with cultures that would expose them to harmful practices such as idolatry and child sacrifice. And, yes, women and children were included in some instances.
However, as we look at Scripture we always want to keep in mind the context of the passage we are reading. Each time the Lord commanded the Israelites to eliminate a particular people, He was definitely acting in accordance with all of His attributes, even ‘love’ and ‘mercy’.
In the case of the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15:2 & 3:
These people were descendents of Esau and enemies of Israel. They battled frequently with Israel and were a constant threat to them. God, being a perfectly righteous judge has the lawful right to carry out punishment upon anyone . This would not be considered murder, just as it would not be murder if we were to kill someone to defend ourselves or family or nation. We would be justified. There is a lawful time to kill, and this is the context of God’s judgment here. He is a just God and must punish sin. Because of their sin and rebellion against God, He used the Israelites to execute this judgment upon the Amalekites.
The same principles may be applied to the situation of the Amorites in Deuteronomy 2:33 & 34:
God made it clear why these people were to be destroyed in Deuteronomy 9:5:
The Lord is always faithful to forgive a nation, people, or person when they repent as He did with Nineveh. The Bible says He is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness. When Jonah went to preach to this nation, they were repentant. God had compassion on them and forgave them of their sins and did not destroy them then. However, 150 years later they went back to their sinful ways and it is recorded in the book of Nahum the prophecy of their total destruction which took place in 606 BC.
The final and most important reason for their destruction is that God needed to keep the Messianic line pure so that Jesus could be born and thereby redeem His people so that believers could go to heaven. Without Jesus' sacrifice, all would be damned. If the Amorites were allowed to live, surely they would have influenced the Jewish nation in a harmful way thereby threatening the arrival of the Messiah. Therefore, God in His righteous judgment executed judgment
God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.(Hebrews 13:8) So as for whether or not God would choose to do this today - only God knows. Isaiah 55:9 tells us, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
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