Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Is God in Violation of His own Commands

Because this teaching is a little longer than I would like it to be, I will get right to the point.
The Question asked of me this week by the teenager is;

“If God says “Thou Shall Not Kill” (Exodus 20:13) then why does He order the utter destruction of the nation of the Amalekites?”

Provisions for Killing

 When we consider Exodus 20:13 we as Christians must see it in the perspective that God intended, not take on the widely accepted mindset of the world.  The accepted worldview (how non-Christians think) can be as subtle as the individual wants, or extreme as the individual wants it to be.  
  • Some extremists may say that we should not kill at all, for any reason. Many pacifist have taken this worldview to such an extreme that they have become vegetarians.  Yet they kill plants for food.    
  • Then there are the people claiming to be a breatharians, able to live on the air alone, these people have taken not killing to such an extreme that they do not kill even for their own welfare. But I also read about their deaths.   
  • Finally, we have the atheists that claim that when God orders the destruction of the Amalekites that He was in violation of His Own command.  How do we answer this argument arguments we see God’s command, and the events of the Bible? 

This is very hard for most people to accept, however, God (Yahweh) has made some provisions for lawful killings, yet He has never made any provisions for murder.  The separation of “killing” from “ Murder” is not an act of Symantecs, they are truly very different both in the Bible and in today’s law. Consider that the word used to translate kill in Exodus 20:13 is “ratsach” which is used to suggest intent or premeditated murder. While the word used in Joshua 10:40 (Smote) is “Nakah” which is most of the time translated as kill, beat, smite, or Hit, and each time it is used, with the intent to express   punishment toward someone or nation for past behavior. This is why modern bibles have removed the world kill  from that passage and better translated it with murder.  It’s not done to change the meaning of the Bible passage, its don to address those too lazy to use Strong’s concordance to see its true meaning and better understanding [1]. 

Additionally, God has provided for accidental killing or killing done out of self-defense, and to defend one’s self even down to the killing of women and children. (Ester 8:10-11In fact, the law requires a that Israelites set aside a city of refuge so that those that committed justifiable killing would not be avenged (Numbers 35:11) This is important to understand because in much the same way a solider on the battlefield may kill the advancing enemy, he is never charged with murdering the advancing enemy.

So the first point;
murder require intent and malice, and God clearly demands that we do not murder in Exodus 20:13.  However, killing which is accidental, or out of protecting one’s nation God has made provision for.  


God’s Judgment on Nations.

When God ordered Joshua and his people to kill every man, woman and child in Canaan is was not because God was unjust? No, in fact it was just the opposite, because of the Righteousness of God and the Love he has for each of us, God had to command that Joshua utterly destroy. The Bible tells us that these populations Canaanites, Amalekites, and other nations were irreconcilably wicked. Some of the normal practices of these people were to burn their own sons and daughters in sacrifice to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:31)Perverted sex   

Corruption literally does breed corruption, which is why God (Yahweh)  did not want the Hebrews tainted by the other corrupt cultures of that time, God did not want them to take on the habits of those cultures (Numbers 25:1-3
Don’t’ think so? Ask yourself, how many Christian do you know that read the horoscope every day? (Witchcraft) How many practice yoga? (Hindu worship)  How many believe in Karma[2]? (Hindu beliefs grounded in reincarnation[3])  How many believe in reincarnation? And the sad thing is we don’t even have to go to those nations to pick up their perverted practices, we allow them to invade us.

Lawful Killing?

I think I should make something perfectly clear, that is, that God (Yahweh) is never wrong in His righteous judgment toward us. We must understand that by right every one of us deserve to be utterly destroyed. (Romans 6:23) But God (of our Lord Jesus Christ) in His perfect mercy provided a way satisfy His Holy Justice and still allow Himself to forgive those that have so grievously sinned against Him[4]. Therefore God’s instruction to Joshua and to Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites is not murder it is a lawful killing.  How is it a lawful killing?

A lawful killing of a nation would mean that there was not one righteous (innocent) person in the whole nation!  That from the natural perspective is impossible to believe, but we must remember that Yahweh not only sees our actions He sees our hearts, so He knows the wickedness that we may be able to hide from the outside world. However my statement “God just knows” alone is not proof that there was not one innocent person in all the city. However I am perfectly sure when I say there was not one innocent person in all city. How? Because the Bible teaches that God is Just (Psalm 9:8) so we can be confident that no innocent has suffered wrongly.  But consider this.

In the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah the Bible says the Abraham (knowing the justice of God) advocated for the safety of Sodom if God found only 50 righteous within the city. And God response was He if there were 50 he would spare the whole city. Then Abraham advocates for 45 righteous, and 40, 30, 20 and finally 10 righteous, and in each case God said if He found that many righteous in the city he would not destroy the city. Now while this was going on God has sent two angels to warn the four righteous (innocent) people in the city to leave before the city was destroyed (Genesis 35:23-32). And once they were outside the city the city was destroyed. So we can be sure from past events of the Bible that God (Yahweh) does not destroy the righteous with the wicked. 

So my second point 
is that God does not destroy the innocent with the wicked, he will remove the innocent to safety before he kills even one! Even the innocent children, for them, God has already made provisions in heaven. Therefore we see that the destruction of the wicked, may actually save the souls of the innocent children among them.

What about the innocent children?

This may sound harsh but seldom is a parent evil and the child innocent. Almost always the wickedness of the parent is expressed in the behavior of the Child. This is where we get that expression, “The nut does not fall far from the tree.” This is why psychiatrist agree that hate has to be taught.   Consider this true event, last week I watched the news on TV, and there was this mother who was trying to sue the police for beating her son who was caught shoplifting at a department store. She claimed that the police beat him for no reason and that he had never shoplifted anything in his life much less resisted arrest. Now even though there were witnesses that saw the teenage boy stealing, and fighting with the police she was adamant that it her son was innocent. Two days ago the very same mother that was on TV accusing the police of arresting her son and beating him unjustly was being arrested herself. And do you know why? Yes, shoplifting from the very same store her son was accused of shoplifting from! Duh! Remember the expression “The nut does not fall far from the tree.”

Now consider the statement that hate has to be taught. And Pay good attention to this next true story. There are extreme Muslim groups which teach their children to hate Jewish people from the time they are old enough to understand language. Muslim children of these extremist are officially taught beginning in grammar school that if they die in a Holy Jihad, then they are guaranteed a place in paradise.

Now these children are so brainwashed (taught to hate) that they easily give up their lives in suicide bombings for a chance in paradise.  (See video at end of this post)

So God commanding Joshua to utterly destroy the Amalekites, it is not a show of God’s wrath but His mercy[5]. When Joshua and Saul kills the children they are delivering the young into the hands of the Lord and saving their souls by not giving them a chance to be corrupted by the sins of their parents. See what I call a dispensation of accountability in my last post “Does God Send Babies to Hell?”)

 Who were the Amalekites?

Genesis 36:12 tells us the Amalekites are the descendants of Esau. A nomadic people that for reasons that only God knows utterly hated the Israelites.
  1.   Exodus 17:8 tells us they fought against the Israelites at Rephidim, 
  2.  Deuteronomy 25:17-18 say the followed behind the Israelites during their 40 year journey and murdered straggling children and elderly. In Exodus 23:7 we see that God is righteous and that the reward of the Amalekites was the expected outcome for them. In that God does not acquit those the kill (properly translated as murder [harag]) the innocent or righteous. 
  3.  Judges 3:13 says the Amalekites joined forces with the Ammonites and Eglon of Moab to defeat and enslave the men of Israel for 18 years. 
  4.  Judges 6:3, 6:33, 7:12 says the Amalekites joined forces the Midianites to attack Israel. Asaph the psalmist sings about this in Psalm 83:7  
  5. When Saul failed to utterly destroy all the Amalekites as God had commanded they resurface again to raid and destroy Ziklag and again David had to wage war against them that should have already been dead (1Samuel 30
  6. 250 years after King David the remaining Amalekites were still a major problem for the Israelites. It was not until they came against five hundred of the sons of Semion during the reign of King Hezekiah that they were finally completely annihilated (1 Chronicles 4:42-43)   
Why would God give such a command? Because He loves us just that much. 
Because God had already put into play the method to atone or bring us back to Himself, Satan destruction was regulated to trying to destroy the genealogy of the coming messiah. And some of the ways that Satan did this was through armies, idolatry, and intercultural breeding. All of these are an attempt to destroy the lineage of the coming Messiah. The Messiah, had to die on the cross for the sins of the world, because without his death there would be no atonement. Without the atonement, we all would spend eternity in corruption (hell) So, God was ensuring the arrival of the Messiah (Jesus Christ) for the salvation of the elect, whom He loves perfectly, through the annihilation of the nations that acted as tools of Satan. 

So my third point 
is that because the Amalekites murdered the straggling elders and innocent children of the Israelites in the dessert, and because they murdered their own innocent children.  But more importantly because they were the tools by which Satan sought to stop the coming Messiah, or pervert the lineage of Christ Jesus they were irreconcilably wicked.   And God had already spoken in Exodus 23:7 that for their guilt He would not acquit. Any other action, for instance to let them go unpunished, would have made Yahweh and unjust God.

In conclusion

We must remember four (4) things  
  1. Murder and killing are not the same. God is against murder, but sometimes make provisions for killing  
  2. The Justice of God will not allow Him to destroy the innocent with the guilty.  
  3. There are situations when some deserve earthly death, because God does not acquit those that murder the innocent and righteous.  
  4. If God had not destroyed them then the Amalekites may have been successful in perverting the lineage of the coming Messiah and our Salvation would have never been realized.
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T.Charves FireSpeaks

[1] Click on this link and see how this word is translated in other Bible versions.  (Thou Shall Not Kill) now follow this link to see how Strong’s concordance define the word kill (ratsach)

[2] Karma is found in Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is the idea that how you live your life will determine the quality of life you will have after reincarnation.  Many people have incorrectly associated this with reaping and sowing which takes place in our present life. They are not the same! Only the Bible speaks of the reaping what we sow in this life. More importantly Luke 12:14 reminds us that even though God has put into process the application of sowing and reaping, God alone is still the source and origin of what we attain in our life, Being a child of God we can reap good even though we may have in the past sown woe. “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! This is an expression of God’s Grace
[3] Reincarnation is not of God. The Bible is very clear on this matter Hebrew 9:27 say that a man dies once, not over and over again, with his karma following him, determining his present life by the actions of his past.
[4] This act by God (Yahweh) to reconcile man is called Atonement. Atonement is the central theme of the Bible in which God (Himself) provides a way to satisfy His Holy Justice and still allow Himself to forgive those that have so grievously sinned against Him. 2 Corinthians 5: 21
[5] "God does not always act with justice. Sometimes He acts with mercy. Mercy is not justice, but neither is it injustice. Injustice violates righteousness. Mercy manifests kindness and grace and does no violence to righteousness. We may see non-justice in God, which is mercy, but we never see injustice in God." - R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, p. 145