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  • Some Hard Things to Talk About

    Recent conversation brought up by one of Blane's questions has me thinking. This is kind of a tough subject. I don't claim by any stretch of the imagination to have it all figured out.

    I don't in any way think of God as a monster. Many unbelievers like to point to certain scriptures and say that he is a monster.

    Here are a few of their favorites:
    Joshua 6
    17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. ...
    20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 21 Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.

    Ezekiel 9
    4 And the LORD said to him, "Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." 5 And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. 6 Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the house. 7 Then he said to them, "Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out." So they went out and struck in the city.

    2 Samuel 12
    26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon and captured the royal city. 27 Joab sent messengers to David and said, "I have fought against Rabbah, I have even captured the city of waters. 28 "Now therefore, gather the rest of the people together and camp against the city and capture it, or I will capture the city myself and it will be named after me." 29 So David gathered all the people and went to Rabbah, fought against it and captured it. 30 Then he took the crown of their king from his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David's head. And he brought out the spoil of the city in great amounts. 31 He also brought out the people who were in it, and set them under saws, sharp iron instruments, and iron axes, and made them pass through the brickkiln. And thus he did to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

    It was not uncommon for the Lord to devote whole groups of people to destruction, children included. When the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, all the little ones were destroyed as well. Does that mean that they were/are all spiritually separated from God forever, even the little children? I don't know, it seems they might be. Is this a type in the natural of something spiritual as well?

    I don't have the least bit of problem with God saving whomever he chooses to, regardless of the circumstances. I don't delight in seeing anyone perish. But, is there any reason to believe that when judgement comes upon a people group, or something similar, that those who are below the age of accountability are guaranteed to be eternally saved? Is God a monster if he destroys children that are not even weened from their mother's milk, and assigns them the same lot as their parents?

    I'm not saying anyone has to perfectly answer this question, but it is something that could be good for us to have a somewhat apologetic answer for, for those outside the faith who may stumble over this area.

    Blessings,

    Travis

  • #2
    Originally posted by Travis View Post
    Recent conversation brought up by one of Blane's questions has me thinking. This is kind of a tough subject. I don't claim by any stretch of the imagination to have it all figured out.

    I don't in any way think of God as a monster. Many unbelievers like to point to certain scriptures and say that he is a monster.

    Here are a few of their favorites:
    Joshua 6
    17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. ...
    20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 21 Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.

    Ezekiel 9
    4 And the LORD said to him, "Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." 5 And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. 6 Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the house. 7 Then he said to them, "Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out." So they went out and struck in the city.

    2 Samuel 12
    26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon and captured the royal city. 27 Joab sent messengers to David and said, "I have fought against Rabbah, I have even captured the city of waters. 28 "Now therefore, gather the rest of the people together and camp against the city and capture it, or I will capture the city myself and it will be named after me." 29 So David gathered all the people and went to Rabbah, fought against it and captured it. 30 Then he took the crown of their king from his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David's head. And he brought out the spoil of the city in great amounts. 31 He also brought out the people who were in it, and set them under saws, sharp iron instruments, and iron axes, and made them pass through the brickkiln. And thus he did to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

    It was not uncommon for the Lord to devote whole groups of people to destruction, children included. When the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, all the little ones were destroyed as well. Does that mean that they were/are all spiritually separated from God forever, even the little children? I don't know, it seems they might be. Is this a type in the natural of something spiritual as well?

    I don't have the least bit of problem with God saving whomever he chooses to, regardless of the circumstances. I don't delight in seeing anyone perish. But, is there any reason to believe that when judgement comes upon a people group, or something similar, that those who are below the age of accountability are guaranteed to be eternally saved? Is God a monster if he destroys children that are not even weened from their mother's milk, and assigns them the same lot as their parents?

    I'm not saying anyone has to perfectly answer this question, but it is something that could be good for us to have a somewhat apologetic answer for, for those outside the faith who may stumble over this area.

    Blessings,

    Travis
    Good thread topic, Travis. Thanks for starting it.

    God is definitely not a monster. Yes, the sin of mankind can certainly lead to gut wrenching situations that bring forth death and destruction. Certainly the slaughter of innocent children would qualify as gut wrenching. But God is not responsible when the sin of the wicked brings forth the fruit of death in a family, city, or nation.

    We need to remember that God is full of grace and mercy. Plus he is sovereign, righteous, holy, and good. Not to mention perfect in all his ways. Scripture proclaims that his judgments are perfect. Whenever God's judgments appear unfair, we can know with certainty that our perception and understanding are lacking.

    It is an unpleasant thought to consider that God would ordain the slaughter of an entire village, including small children. But we already know that God is completely just, and full of grace and mercy. So maybe the slaughter of small children is mercy. Maybe God is sparing the children from growing up in a godless culture. A culture in which they will learn the wicked ways of their parents and be sealed over to eternal death.

    Blane

    Comment


    • #3
      Good topic Travis.

      How about the flood. God brought a flood upon the earth that killed everyone except the ones that had died by that day, and the eight that were in the Ark.

      What if Satan himself could have children. Would anyone think they would be able to be saved.

      Lou Newton

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
        How about the flood. God brought a flood upon the earth that killed everyone except the ones that had died by that day, and the eight that were in the Ark.
        Good point,

        Who knows how many people were alive at the time of the flood. Sodom and Gomorrah may have been almost nothing in comparison (number wise), though perhaps numbers are not the issue.

        Even though the people were warned ahead of time and had room to repent, they chose not to. There were most definitely small children who had no clue about all this that were alive at the time though.

        Which brings up another common question:
        Deuteronomy 24:16 "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin."
        Ezekiel 18:20 "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the fatherís iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the sonís iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."

        In a sense these many of these children were paying for the sins of their fathers. But the above scriptures are 100% true. There might seem to be contradiction there.

        Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
        if Satan himself could have children. Would anyone think they would be able to be saved.
        Hadn't though about that. Maybe he can. I don't imagine they would though.

        Blessings,

        Travis

        Comment


        • #5
          Hard Times

          Travis,
          Can't we just talk about kitty cats and ice-cream?

          Apologetics is almost a lost art in the West and close to totally absent in American churchianity.

          The natural mind is at enmity with God.
          He created a bunch of people that for all we know did not ask to be born. Most barely scrape by with lives full of pain and misery and then they die. It doesn't seem fair. Creating a being knowing it will suffer an eternity in hell, to the natural mind it is not fair. To the natural mind this is insane.

          I find peace in knowing that there is a whole lot about God I do not know. When I start to feel He is a meaniac then I remember the cross. He did not have to go to Calvary for us. If he was mean, He would not have made a way for us. God's spiritual principals cannot and will not be broken. Before Jesus' Passion the surest way to get rid of sin was to wipe out the sinners.

          I don't have a hard time with dead babies as long as God is the One taking them out of their jars of clay. I do know it is an unspeakable ghastly atrocity to untimely rip them from their mother's womb. I've cared for and watched many babies, toddlers, preschoolers and youth die from various causes when I worked the pediatric intensive care unit. I was OK with that. I also know when I shed my own jar of clay all these things will make sense.

          I know I am preaching to the choir but it helps me to write these things down.
          God has not changed. He is the same in the OT as in the NT. Jesus spent three days in hell which I believe is the equivalent of three thousand years as far as accomplishing what He did there. We perceive time differently than God does. It is a mystery. The devil does not have the key/s to hell.

          A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
          Isaiah 42:3

          I believe life on the periodic table of the elements is temporary for us.

          We also know God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked. He would that folks repent instead of being destroyed.

          I remember reading about King David when he conducted a census (2 Samuel 24).
          That was a no-no. God gave David three choices:

          First choice: famine throughout the land for seven years
          Second choice: flee from his enemies for three months.
          Third choice: three days of pestilence upon the entire land
          David chose option #3 He knew his enemies were not merciful and starvation was a horrible slow way to die. He also knew God is merciful.

          Tens of thousands ended up dying. God stopped the pestilence when David cried out for mercy. It doesn't seem fair so many should suffer because of David's pride. God knows a lot more than we do.

          Thanks for bringing up this topic Travis

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi, Travis,

            This is an important topic you've opened, brother. I've been confronted by accusations against the goodness of God based on passages such as these. I expect books have been written on this.

            Thank you, all, for the thought provoking comments.

            I have been pondering and praying about this since the morning, and here is what the Holy Spirit has graced me with.

            Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

            Ecc 9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

            Lev 18:24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: 25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

            Eze 14:13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it

            Lev 26:34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. 35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

            What we see in the passages listed in post #1 is the culmination of the progression of sin. It starts with one sinner, one sin. Left untended, the entire world would be consumed, as it was in the judgment of the great flood.

            2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

            It may seem unfair that God would do this for His tiny people, but not other nations. He will heal the land if His people will repent to Him.

            The nations (heathen) worshiped devils, they sacrificed to their devils in ways that even people who are okay with deviant behavior and sexual perversion would deem horrific. Their land was filled with violence and innocent blood. Without grace, without repentance, there was no remedy, no healing. This was the state of the entire world before the great flood, and there was no redeeming it except by destruction and preserving a remnant.

            This was a revelation of the nature of sin, even as it was a revelation of the nature of God.

            This was all depicted in the natural, yet there was and is a spiritual reality behind it.

            And also, it is a shadow in the natural, fashioned after the heavenly patterns. God's wisdom and ways are so much higher than ours. Spiritual truths are the highest. But while we are naturally minded, we cannot understand the spiritual without first understanding the natural.

            Any apologetic of value must lead back to Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross. It is God's plan for us, how from the beginning He knew He would come in the flesh to die for us who were dead in sin, so that we could have Life.

            I should also add that the promise of Messiah was not unknown among the nations. God showed mercy to them who had faith in the promise of Messiah. God's mercy was also known among the nations. The nations under final judgment died in their sin. They didn't have to. None of us has to because Jesus died in our stead.

            I'm unable yet to address your question about the children. I expect this subject weighs heavily on the minds of many. Perhaps words will come in the Noah thread or here.

            Thanks so much for opening this discussion.

            Blessings
            Last edited by Baruch; January 18, 2015, 07:20 PM. Reason: added a little bit at the end

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Baruch View Post
              This is an important topic you've opened, brother.
              Well, I feel kind of guilty taking credit for it. It really was contained in Blane's question from the beginning, I just wanted to create an avenue for this specific aspect to be discussed by creating a new thread.

              Thanks for the responses everyone!

              Travis

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by baobab View Post
                I find peace in knowing that there is a whole lot about God I do not know. When I start to feel He is a meaniac then I remember the cross. He did not have to go to Calvary for us. If he was mean, He would not have made a way for us. God's spiritual principals cannot and will not be broken. Before Jesus' Passion the surest way to get rid of sin was to wipe out the sinners.
                This reminded me of something that I think is important for this discussion.

                Those who consider God to be a monster, and rail against him as unjust, have a very narrow minded view of history. They only know their current situation, which is just a blip in history, really. Those of us who know the Truth, also know that there is a deeper history to all of this, before mankind even came into the picture (at least I think that's the order). God created the angels, in an un-numerable (if that wasn't a word, it is now) amount. 1/3 of them sinned against him, following after Lucifer. Not a single one of them has any hope of redemption whatsoever. And if you believe that giants are the offspring of angels mating with human women, then you could say none of these fallen angel's offspring are redeemable either. The fate of the fallen angels shows us God's perfect justice.
                Ezekiel 28
                14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. 16 In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.

                When Adam sinned against God, He could have dealt with Adam and Eve in the same manner as He did the angels. Not a single one of us has any claim to being worthy of being saved. God sending his Son to die for just even a single one of us, out of billions that have ever lived, would still demonstrates his grace. But, he went farther than that:
                1 John 2:2
                He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

                Surely none of us has any right to be saved, but I praise God that, relatively speaking, many will be saved.

                Travis

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Travis View Post
                  Well, I feel kind of guilty taking credit for it. It really was contained in Blane's question from the beginning, I just wanted to create an avenue for this specific aspect to be discussed by creating a new thread.

                  Thanks for the responses everyone!

                  Travis
                  No Travis, it's all you. Always thinking outside the box, you are. Good thread, brother.

                  Blane

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
                    Good topic Travis.

                    How about the flood. God brought a flood upon the earth that killed everyone except the ones that had died by that day, and the eight that were in the Ark.

                    What if Satan himself could have children. Would anyone think they would be able to be saved.

                    Lou Newton
                    Hi Lou,
                    Since God has a creation in His own image, why wouldn't Satan do the same in order to mock God?
                    Just a thought brother I'm not disputing any of what you wrote.
                    And no, I doubt that they would or will be able to be saved. ..... Steve

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve Hollander View Post
                      Hi Lou,
                      Since God has a creation in His own image, why wouldn't Satan do the same in order to mock God?
                      Just a thought brother I'm not disputing any of what you wrote.
                      And no, I doubt that they would or will be able to be saved. ..... Steve
                      Interesting comments from everyone indeed. There is much food for thought here.

                      In response to the whole thread and to Steve:

                      Bob Dylan wrote a song many years ago, "Gotta serve somebody":



                      Everyone has to choose to serve Satan or The Lord Jesus.

                      Those who chose to serve Jesus are then covered with His blood and forgiven for their sin. They then are His children and he is their Father. He is a perfect Father and provides for and protects His Children.

                      Those that chose to serve Satan, then are his children. He is a liar, and a destroyer and he is not a good father. Those that chose to serve him are deceived and finally destroyed by him. After all he is a liar and destroyer.

                      So those who chose Satan as their father will not like how they are treated. They will accuse their god ( Satan) of being a liar, unjust, and a monster.

                      Those who chose ( by grace) The Lord Jesus will praise His glorious mercy and grace.

                      BTW, I think the end of that video is the Isle of Man TT race. It reminds me of the days that I rode motorcycle.

                      Grace to you

                      Lou Newton

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Travis
                        When Adam sinned against God, He could have dealt with Adam and Eve in the same manner as He did the angels. Not a single one of us has any claim to being worthy of being saved. God sending his Son to die for just even a single one of us, out of billions that have ever lived, would still demonstrates his grace. But, he went farther than that:
                        1 John 2:2
                        He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

                        Surely none of us has any right to be saved, but I praise God that, relatively speaking, many will be saved.
                        So true, Travis. Sometimes it's easy to get so self absorbed and self focused that we fail to see the big picture. God was never obligated to pay the ultimate price to cover even one persons sin; much less the sins of the whole world. God's grace is far beyond our ability to fully comprehend.

                        Blane

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When I watched this Todd Friel video I was reminded of this topic which we discussed and had not been able to resolve.

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-1dyNGr4KA



                          P.S. I wanted to reread the post by Blane that Travis references in post #1, but I could not find it. If someone else can find it easily, a post with links to here and from there would be appreciated. Please don't feel compelled to go to great lengths, though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Baruch View Post
                            When I watched this Todd Friel video I was reminded of this topic which we discussed and had not been able to resolve.

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-1dyNGr4KA



                            P.S. I wanted to reread the post by Blane that Travis references in post #1, but I could not find it. If someone else can find it easily, a post with links to here and from there would be appreciated. Please don't feel compelled to go to great lengths, though.
                            Hi Barry,

                            The video below popped up after I watched the one you posted. You may think it does not fit in your thread and if you do, please delete it.

                            But I thought it may shed light on the subject of your thread:



                            They think she might be the only person in the world to have this condition. She died at 20. I find it hard to believe that the Lord Jesus would hold her accountable for hers sins. BUT I am NOT The Judge, Jesus is.

                            I am confident that I will find His judgment of her and everyone to be merciful and just, and therefore beautiful.

                            Lou Newton

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's crazy that you thought of a thread so old as this one.

                              Perhaps we can bring this mystery to a final resolution.

                              Blessings

                              Comment

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