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Does God Command People To Kill Babies?
A common way to attack God and the Bible is to claim the God of the Old Testament was wicked and and evil, and the God of the New Testament was a God of love. Two different gods who are inconsistent. Hosea 13:16 is often used to show God commands the killing of babies.
But it's the same God in both the Old and New Testaments and God does not change. What was happening is that Hosea 13:16 shows what happens when people reject God, and He withdraws, giving them what they wanted. Here is what Hosea 13:16 says:
"Samaria will be held guilty,
For she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword,
Their little ones will be dashed in pieces,
And their pregnant women will be ripped open." - Hosea 13:16
Is there a command to kill babies or is God describing what will happen?
There is no command. In Hosea God is descrbing what will happen when Assyria invades. To know what God is doing you need to understand God's wrath. His wrath is not like Zeus sitting in the sky and throwing thunderbolts at people who do not please him. What is called God's wrath is God withdrawing from those who are under His wrath. As He withdraws what will happen, naturally starts to happen... and it's not good. Why? Here is what Colossian 1:16-17 says about Jesus (God):
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
When God stops holding things together, what happens? Things come apart. Morals. Culture. As well as physical things. In the case of Hosea 13:16, without God's protection the Assyrias will invade and very bad things will happen, such as babies being killed by the Assyrians (they were vicious). What is important to understand is that we live in a totally corrupt world. It does not appear to us to be corrupt beause God is restraining evil and holding everything together. Everything that is good comes from God. EVERYTHING. When God stops restaining evil, things start gettng bad (and irrational), just as we are seeing happening in our world today. That is God's wrath. God's wrath is His leaving us on our own, and that means we have nothing good.
Fortunatly God does not immediately and fully separate from us. We have turned away from God and are under His wrath today. But, it's not His full wrath. He is still providing many good things. But the day will come when He His patience with us ends. It is called judgment day. He will separate those who want to be with Him (Christians who believe, repent and trust Jesus alone), from those who reject Him. (Is that you>).
By the way, Jesus is the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament... when in the New Testament Jesus gives the greatest commandment:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets (meaning the whole Old Testament)
...Jesus is quoting the Old Testament! It says: -- You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. - Deuteronomy 6:5. And Leviticus 19:18 says - "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." Nothing has changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
Why is God so different in the Old Testament than He is in the New Testament? (GotQuestions.org Article)
Cruelty In The Bible? Hosea 13:16 (Science Pastor)
Dashing Babies Against The Rocks (Psalm 137:9) (GotQuestions.org Article)
OF JESUS CHRIST
The gospel is not social justice nor serving others. The gospel is love in action... Jesus Christ giving Himself so that you can be saved from the wrath of God.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast [a]the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. - 1 Corinthians 15:1-8