Cruelty In The Bible?
Israel worships other gods. Is God just to punish them?
THE HUMANIST CLAIMED CRUELTY: Deuteronomy 32:23-25 says that after the Israelites incited Gods jealousy by worshiping other gods, he vowed: I will spend mine arrows upon them. . . . The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
My responses to the claims on the American Humanist's web site are intended to be read in sequence. However, I know there will be some who will skip around, reading just those accusations they need to know about. That’s okay. However, the answer to some hu-manist accusations is the same answer I gave previously. It would seem that I could just say “ditto” and move on. However, since some people may only read one or two chapters, I am giving a com-plete answer in each chapter even though it may be repetitious. I will try to add new information in each chapter to keep it interesting for those of you reading each chapter in sequence.
In addition, the American Humanist's web page is a long one packed with many accusations. If I skip over just one accusation, they will pounce, "Ah ha! He couldn't answer that question. The Bible must be false. There is no God!" This is unjust. All it would means is that I do not want you to get bored with my repeatedly giving the same answering.
BTW, if I do come upon a question or accusation I cannot an-swer, that does not mean the Bible is not true or there is no God. All it means is that neither I, nor anyone else, knows everything. On the other hand, there are questions humanists cannot answer. They typically respond by saying, “Science does not have all the answers, but give us time and we may learn the answer.” However, it is inter-esting that Christians are not allowed to give this response.
Let's get back to answering the accusations that God is cruel. What is going on in Deuteronomy 32? (Chapter 32 is part of a larger prophetic song that begins in Deuteronomy 31:30 and ends in 32:43. The theme of the song is Israel's apostasy which brings God's judgment. God makes it clear what will happen, leaving Israel with no excuse.)
As we have seen in the past couple of responses, God is warn-ing Israel about what will happen. This is a prophecy God is giving through Moses warning Israel what will happen if they continue down the path they have been following.
Unlike the last two prophecies we discussed (Hosea 13:16 and Ezekiel 9:4-7), this is not a specific prophecy. Deuteronomy is a rec-ord of the speech Moses gave just before Israel entered the Promised Land. In this part of the speech, God, through Moses, is warn-ing the people of Israel about turning to other gods. God is looking into the future, and warning the people of Israel. Even though they will now be in the Promised Land, if they turn away from God things will not go well for them.
The phrase "I will spend mine arrows" refers to other kingdoms and empires that will come against Israel should God withdraw pro-tection.
How does God do this?
God punishes nations by withdrawing His blessing, just as He is doing with America today. As God withdraws His blessing, that also withdraws His protection, allowing the enemies of Israel to defeat, plunder, and kill them.
Conclusion: God is not cruel. God is warning the people of Israel, well in ad-vance, about what will happen if they turn to other gods. None of the "bad" things that came upon Israel came without warning. We have a loving God. A God who, far in advance and very clearly, makes the situation known: If they turn away from God, God will give them what they want and turn away from them, leaving them open to terror and destruction by their enemies.
Next example: In Numbers chapter 31, the Lord approves of these instructions that Moses gave to the Israelite soldiers about how to treat certain women and children captured in war: Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
Are these general instructions for war? Why does God command this? Learn the answers, click here.
THE ANSWER IS...
Jesus does not promise to take away all your troubles. He promises those will get worse. But, Jesus does promise to free you from worry and anxiety.
How does that work?
The Bible says, Be anxious for nothing... (Philippians 4:6) Why? When you trust Jesus, no matter what happens in this life, you will spend eternity with God... and that is VERY GOOD.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. - Matthew 10:28
Who can destroy your body and soul? Only God. (Not Satan) However, God does not send you to hell, you do that when you disobey God. However, God created hell, aka. the lake of fire, the second death (Revelation 21:8).
You can be rescued. Jesus Christ (God) died on the cross to save all those who believe in Him... all those who trust Him to pay their just penalty for disobeying God.
Trust in Jesus and you'll know your time on earth is like a wisp of smoke that vanishes in the wind. Trust that Jesus did pay YOUR penalty for sin. Repent. Turn away from disobeying God.
Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31) and there will no longer be a reason for worry or anxiety.