Wednesday, September 11 2019
“The God of the Bible condoned and commanded genocide, so those who believe and worship God are morally depraved.” Any atheist making accusations against God has no moral foundation to stand to make any judgment of anyone except by their own standard and their comrades. The world saw the mass murder of 60–120 million people by various regimes in the 20th century spawned from atheistic ideology. Many such antagonists assert that God commanded mass murder via genocide in the Bible. They reinterpret the Bible to reject it, and by doing so, they forfeit honesty and lose credibility from the start.
Some may initially think that the atheistic position has some valid points. However, the Creator of the universe created everything so God must be the cause and source of all morality and of any real purpose and value for humanity. In the Bible, God commanded, “You shall not murder” (Exod 20:13 ESV). God commanded that people love their neighbors as themselves (Lev 19:18). God defined murder, “Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked” (Exod 23:7). From the beginning, God condemned murder when Cain murdered Abel (Gen 4). After the violence of humanity ended by Flood, God declared, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Gen 9:6). The divine likeness of humanity’s nature gives a greater and higher value to every person than any philosophy of humanity thus making every murder a sin against the likeness of God (Gen 1:26–27).
Regarding the Flood, the violent wickedness of humanity brought suffering and destruction upon them (Gen 6:5–9). Many take a position like Abraham pleading with God not to kill the righteous with wicked, but God can take the lives of the innocent without being unjust (Gen 18:25). For God to take the life of a child is like a parent moving a child from one place to a better home. God does no injustice for taking the children of wicked parents because the children are safe to have life in the kingdom of God (Matt 18:10; 19:14).
God did not command Israel to murder the children of wicked nations but they were devoted men, women, and children to destruction by being driven out of the land. God instructed Israel to offer peace to surrounding nations by requiring tribute and service (Deut 9:5; 20:10–15). However, God commanded Israel to drive out and so destroy the nations of Canaan for their wickedness that included child sacrifice (Deut 20:16–18; cf. Gen 15:16). God commanded Israel to “put to death” corrupt nations by driving them out. Adam and Eve’s death was by removal from Eden and consisted of the same words for putting to death man, woman, and child of corrupt nations by driving them out of the land (Gen 2:17; 3:22–24; Josh 6:21; 1 Sam 15:2–3).
God’s instruction to destroy the Amalekites by killing man, woman, child, and animal was a hyperbole, meaning to drive them from the land and not to slaughter innocent children (1 Sam 15:2–3). This is proven by the Amalekites continuing to live after this command. Did God command Saul to lead Israel and actually murder the children of Amalekites? That does not agree with God’s fundamental nature of love or His basic commands to love others (Exod 34:6–7). On a prior occasion, Israel protected women and children at Baal Peor when Moses commanded the execution of the guilty women and the males hiding among the children (Num 31:10–11). Some have mistakenly thought that the execution of these males included children. However, Philo and Josephus reported from their historical records and traditions that Israel did not kill children at Baal Peor.
Without God, moral absolutes cannot exist. However, moral absolutes do exist. Therefore, God lives! God’s love is steadfast (Exod 34:6–7). God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). God commands humanity not to murder the innocent.