In The Bible?
Is God's punishment on Samaria unjust?
CLAIMED CRUELTY: Hosea 13:16 describes a punishment
from the Lord: Samaria shall become desolate; for she bath rebelled against
her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces,
and their women with child shall be ripped up.
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This is the same as the
previous "cruelty:" In this case it is a prophecy about what
will happen to Samaria, the Northern kingdom. Verse two describes the problem:
now they sin more and more,
And make for themselves molten images,
skillfully made from their silver,
As in every case
we've looked at, God is being gracious and loving. He is warning them about what
will happen. They have plenty of time to change their ways,. But, they don't.
was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom. (Following the reign of Solomon, Israel
was divided into two parts: the Northern Kingdom, also known as Israel or Samaria.
And the Southern Kingdom, also known as Judah.)
God is using Hosea
to warn the Northern Kingdom that He is withdrawing His protection. The
most powerful empire at that time was Assyria... and they were cruel, vicious,
and murderous. Without God's protection Assyria would invade the Northern Kingdom.
was God withdrawing His protection... or another way to ask this question is:
why was God withdrawing His blessing?
Read verse two in red above... the
Northern Kingdom had turned away from God. They were deep into sin and were worshipping
other Gods. So God gives them what the want... they can be protected by their
"new" gods, who in reality are no gods at all. And God, through Hosea,
even tells them in advance what will happen. They have plenty of time to change
their ways. But, they don't. They have "rebelled against God"
and want nothing to do with God. So God gives them what they want.
result is that the Assyrians invade. The description of what would happen:
"infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their
women with child shall be ripped up. is a description of what the
Assyrians would do, not what God did. The Assyrians were brutal. They killed everyone.
again we see that God is not cruel or unjust. He was protecting the Northern
Kingdom from the brutality of the Assyrians, but the people of the Northern Kingdom
did not want that protection. They turned against God. So God simply gave them
what they wanted... He withdrew His protection. The punishment perfectly fit the
Conclusion: God is not cruel, but just. If we as a nation turn
away from God... rejecting God... God gives us what we want... leaving us on our
Next example: 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.
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