In The Bible?
Israel worships other gods. Is God just to punish them?
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.
These responses to the claims
on the American Humanist's web site are intended to be read in sequence.
In some cases the answer to an accusation is the same for several accusations.
In addition, the American Humanist's web page is a long one packed with
many accusations. I am not a Biblical scholar nor an expert, and few Christians
are. But, if the humanists come up with one accusation that I can't answer, then
they'll pounce, "Ah ha! He couldn't answer that question. The Bible must
be false. There is no God!" This is totally unjust. Just because someone...
or you for example... does not know the answer to an accusation, or even multiple
accusations, that does not mean the Bible is not true or there is no God. All
it means is that neither I, nor you, know everything.
When I have time,
I hope to add another section to our web site that examines truth claims made
by humanists. They say the Bible is not true and cannot be trusted, but what do
they say is true? And can what their truth claims be trusted?
let's get back to answering accusations that God is cruel. What is going
on in Deuteronomy 32?
In this chapter* of Deuteronomy God, as we've seen
in the past couple of responses, is warning Israel about what will happen. This
is a prophecy God is giving through Moses warning Israel what will happen if they
continue what they have been doing..
Unlike the last two prophecies
we discussed (Hosea 13:16 and Ezekiel
9:4-7), this is not a specific prophecy. Deuteronomy is a record of the speech
Moses gave just before Israel entered the promised land. In this part of the speech
God, through Moses, is warning the people of Israel to not turn to other gods.
God is looking forward 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 God will use to bring justice on Israel.
does God do this?
By withdrawing His blessing from the nation of Israel,
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
Conclusion: God is not being cruel, He is warning Israel
well in advance about what will happen if they turn to other gods. None of the
"bad" things that came upon Israel came without warning. Instead of
a cruel God 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
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.
general instructions for war? Why does God command this? Learn
the answers, click here.
*This chapter is actually 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.