Ask a Pastor Column
Presenting Biblical answers to tough questions
October 14, 2021
Q: How could a loving God command genocide? God told Israel to kill all of the Canaanites: men, women, and children!
Part Two: Last week we addressed this question by recalling God’s absolute authority over creation and the fact we are all deserving of judgment even before we are born. There are a couple more points that pertain to this discussion: these are the differences between man and God, as well as the nature of the value of human life.
Actions such as genocide are forbidden to human beings because our wisdom, perspective and character are not sufficient to decide who lives and dies with perfect justice and wisdom. We should not ‘play God’ because we are not God! However, our Sovereign Creator is fully entitled to remove any gift He has given to us at His own discretion (Job 1:21), and He does so with perfect love, justice, and skill. You see, unlike us, God does not ‘play God;’ He IS God!
But how do we reconcile events like the Canaanite judgment with the value the Bible places on human life? Simply by understanding why human life is valuable and who has the right to determine it’s length. While the Bible does teach that all human life possess value imputed by our Creator (Genesis 1:27), it also teaches that the length of that life is determined by God (1 Samuel 2:6); He decides the length of our days and reserves the right to cut our lives short if we give ourselves to corruption, immorality, and sin. In commanding the Israelites to wipe out the Canaanites God was simply exercising that authority.
In short, the power of life and death remains in the hands of the only possessor of perfect wisdom and justice; the Lord Himself. And that is precisely where it belongs.
If you have a question that you would like a biblical answer to you can send it via email to [email protected] outlook.com or by mail to Formoso Church; P.O. Box 66; Formoso, Kan. 66942