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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : God's Genocide?

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MisterCheez
Member



Joined: 2006/2/22
Posts: 96
Colorado

 God's Genocide?

Hi all,
I know this is one of those typical apologetic questions, but I thought you might be able to offer some insight or point me to some resources (specifically sermons).

My wife is reading Joshua right now and mentioned how much it bothered her to read about the ruthlessness God instructed the Israelites to use against their "enemies" in the promised land. Wholesale slaughter - men, women, children, and animals.

She said if that were to happen today it would be like what happened in Rwanda, or what is happening in Sudan. Words like "genocide" and "holocaust" would be used.

Any insight to any of these questions would be helpful (especially sermon links):

- Why was God so brutal?

- How is the peacefulness of Christ reconciled with the savagery of God in the OT? I doubt Jesus would dash the child of a Samaritan on the rocks.

- If this behavior is really a picture of works/law/OT vs. grace/NT, what about the fate of all the slaughtered "enemies" who helped illustrate this understanding?

- What should the Christian response be to violent movements such as Islam?

It's an old question. Perhaps a clarification on justice and wrath is in order. My wife and I could use the help.

Thanks,
Brian


_________________
Brian Erickson

 2007/2/2 12:21Profile
SDE
Member



Joined: 2007/2/1
Posts: 55
Arizona

 Re: God's Genocide?

Hi Brian,

I've been pondering your question for a couple of days now. I'm not in a position to offer my thoughts at the moment since I'm at work, but I would like to make an attempt to answer your questions in the next couple of days, God willing. Please bear with me.

Sandra


_________________
Sandra

 2007/2/5 12:30Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: God's Genocide?

Quote:
Why was God so brutal?


This was an extermination policy but so was Noah’s flood. I do not say this harshly. God’s love is not ‘human love’ to the power of ‘n’ but is a love of an entirely different order. It is holy love and uncompromising. There are some aspects of the destruction of the Canaanites that we are apt to forget. [color=0000ff]Lev. 18:25 (NKJV) For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants.

Lev. 20:22 (NKJV) ¶ “You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out. [/color] This is a very severe picture but this speaks of an involuntary action of a creature which expels something which is dangerous to its system. Yes, God did use the Israelites as agents of his judgement but at another level this was the land cleansing itself. There are patterns and balances of nature of which we know very little and something was being reordered here that God does not explain.

For the Christian God has revealed his character in the cross; this too was fierce anger and we must believe that it was entirely necessary but we usually refer to this as the ‘love’ of God. In fact, it is one of the unchanging revelations of God’s unique love; [color=0000ff]“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8 NKJV)[/color]
I am not pretending that I have all the answers to this question, only that I can see where some of the answers lie. In the midst of God’s anger against the inhabitants of the land we have the extraordinary story of Rahab who married into the premier family of Israel and became part of our Lord’s genealogy. In the midst of this relentless retribution there is this amazing evidence of mercy. There is mystery here that we cannot fathom.

There are other underlying themes in the conquest of the land too. This is another deep issue but the preconditions of the flood which resulted in the Nephilim were apparently repeated again in Canaan. [color=0000ff]Gen. 6:4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them: the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

Num. 13:33 And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. [/color]This is not the place to get into just what the Nephilim were, the word means fallen ones, but only in Gen 6 and Num 13 is it used. If part of the necessity of the flood was to destroy these Nephilim, the second infestation was destroyed by the invading armies of Jehovah.

There is a question that Abraham asked of God; [color=0000ff]“Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”” (Gen 18:25 NKJV)[/color] Surely the answer is ‘yes’ and one day, when we shall know even as we are known, we shall see that God was behaving consistently with his character of holy love when the Canaanites were destroyed. In the meantime, we trust him even when we cannot understand.


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Ron Bailey

 2007/2/5 15:47Profile
Provost
Member



Joined: 2006/12/28
Posts: 117


 Re:

Thank You Philologos
That was a lot to ponder. I guess the only thing I would add that has really helped me cope (I guess the word would work) with passages that are rough. Just meditate on the fact that whenever God does anything He cannot move out of love or justice or compassion or etc. That has helped me and I hope it ministers to you
Be Blessed
Thom

 2007/2/5 17:17Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
ust meditate on the fact that whenever God does anything He cannot move out of love or justice or compassion or etc.


That was what I was trying to say. ;-) Everything that God does must be compatible with who He is. We interpret his actions in the light of his character seen in Jesus Christ and the cross, rather than interpreting his character from his actions.


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Ron Bailey

 2007/2/5 18:26Profile
SDE
Member



Joined: 2007/2/1
Posts: 55
Arizona

 Re:

Ron,

You answered so beautifully. I have nothing to add. Very edifying response. Thank you.

Your sis,

Sandra


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Sandra

 2007/2/5 21:20Profile
John173
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 289
Omaha

 Re:

Ron,
I can remember a time when I struggled with this issue. I think I just shrugged it off eventually. Thanks for your thoughts on this matter. I've heard the same question asked about how this God of love can send peope to hell. I do not struggle with this question in the least.

In His Love,

Doug (desperately trying to get enough posts to lose the "just *popping in moniker"! I love this place and intend on sticking around.)*edited


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Doug Fussell

 2007/2/5 21:57Profile
rowdy2
Member



Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 528
Southern USA

 Re: God's Genocide?

Numbers 33: 52-56
Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places. And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.

Joshua 23: 11-16 KJV
Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.
And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the Lord your God promised you; so shall the Lord bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you. When ye have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

Judges 2: 1-4
And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.


Matthew 12: 28 KJV

Matthew 12 43-45
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Paul let a demon return and God did not answer his prayer
2 Corinthians 12
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

The people of the earthly kingdom of Israel in the Old Testament that were baptized into Moses were examples of how we Gentiles who are baptized into Jesus Christ have put on Christ after that faith came, we are no longer under a schoolmaster the Old Testament. For we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus but we should heed our school master so we we occupy our spiritual kingdom of the New Testament as we should waiting for our Lord’s return .

1 Corinthians 10 KJV
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea
And did all eat the same spiritual meat
And did all drink the same spiritual drink for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them and that Rock was Christ.
But with many of them God was not well pleased for they were
overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should
not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them as it is

Read 1 John 2 and all of the chapters in their entirety. Pray that the eyes of your understanding be opened.

Matthew 7: 7-8 KJV
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,
for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

IN THE SPIRIT OF BROTHERLY LOVE


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Eddie

 2007/2/8 13:46Profile





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