Often non-believers in an attempt to rationalize their disbelief in God point to God’s alleged genocidal commands in the Bible. “Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
I once wondered about these passages and struggled to reconcile them with the loving God more often marketed by TV pastors and the like. Once you delve into the history of the Amalekites and other people like the Canaanites for whom God also commanded destruction and compare them with the similar modern atrocities occurring around the world I question not why God gave this command but why he did not do it sooner.
I read recently an article about a Yazidi woman who was kidnapped by ISIS, separated from her children and then starved for two days. The fighters eventually gave her food and as she ate the meat, most likely with the gusto of a human starved of sustenance, her captors told her that she was eating her three year old son from whom days earlier she had been separated. In another account ISIS forced a mother to watch men rape her nine year old daughter to death. Take a moment and soak in the true horror of these crimes. Children raped to death! Children butchered for food!
The Shire folk see the world as a very, merry place but the men of Gondor, on the brink of Mordor, see the world differently.
No life is without challenges but the majority of us have not yet been exposed to the true, cold evils of our world. Yes, we have lost loved ones to cancer or to car accidents or to drugs. But what nightmares have we faced? Right now somewhere in this world men are selling women to rapists! Men are decapitating other men, burning prisoners alive and stealing children for their armies. At this moment a child is wondering how killing another child would feel.
If we promote Justice through our courts and prison system how then can we judge God for executing justice on the Amalekites or Canaanites who for generations indulged in rape, incest, bestiality and child sacrifice? To each generation the sins of their forefathers and even their god was promoted and in turn repeated. No light, no good could be found. The poison had permeated every man, woman and child and when their sin was at full measure as it had become in Sodom and Gomorrah, God eradicated the people from this earth rather than permitting their corruption to spread.
Was God’s judgment morally wrong? Before you answer first imagine this. Your child is kidnapped by a serial killer who for years rapes and abuses your child. Once your child obtains their own power they will most likely commit suicide or will in turn inflict what they learn on younger generations. If for years you could witness every vile act of degradation committed against your baby as God is able then quite acceptably you would want the serial killer punished even, at the height of your wrath, with death. You would not want your child to suffer as much for the crimes they committed but how then is that fair to his/her victims who crave the same justice as you? You cannot want your son’s molester punished and yet cry “mercy” for your child. After all even though your son learned his behavior from his captor, a prior generation might too have pounded the depravity into them. With a raised fist you then question why God would allow such evil but don’t think on how he should prevent it or that you are asking God to take an action you previously denounced.
Remember, God is a parent too and unlike us he witnesses and feels evil committed against the children he loves on a second by second basis. Are we permitted to condemn God for his mercy when we demand justice but condemn Him for his justice when we plead for mercy?
Don’t let God’s justice dissuade you from your belief in him!
To better understand the full extent of Canaanite sin and God’s command, watch the Youtube video below.