In The Bible?
Balak hires Balaam to curse Israel.
What is the appropriate
THE HUMANIST CLAIMED CRUELTY:
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.
So we know what the humanists
are talking about this accusation of cruelty quotes Numbers 31:17-18.
To understand what was going on here we need to go back
to the plains of Moab and the record in Numbers 22-25 describing what happened
The evil prophet Balaam had been hired by Balak, the king of the
Midianites living in Moab, to curse Israel so that they could be destroyed. But,
God would not allow Balaam to curse Israel, but instead Balaam blessed Israel.
This wasn't good for Balaam. He had been promised a huge reward for cursing Israel,
but now it appeared he would leave in disgrace and with no payment.
then Balaam came up with a way to curse Israel by getting them to bring the curse
on themselves. Balaam told king Balak that the Midianites needed to seduce
the people of Israel with prostitutes and idolatry. This disobedience of God would
result in Israel bringing a curse on themselves. Balak followed Balaams
advice, and Israel fell into sin, worshiping Baal of Peor and committing fornication
with Midianite women... bringing a plague of sin and a curse on themselves that
resulted in the death of 24,000 Israelites. (Numbers 25:1-9)
statement above makes it seem as though Numbers 31:17-18 are general instructions
for war. That is a false representation of what is happening here. These are not
general instructions for war, but specific instructions for how Israel is to deal
with the Midianites. Why are young men and women who were not virgins targeted?
They were the ones responsible for corrupting Israel at Peor (Numbers 25:1-18).
This ensured the end of the Midianites and prevented them from seducing Israel
again in the future.
In addition, Balaam's three-fold blessing of Israel
(instead of cursing) made it clear to Balak, King of the Midianites, that Israel
was blessed by God. They were not people that Balak should be trying to destroy.
The punishment perfectly fit the crime. It was just and
Conclusion: Once again we see that God is not cruel.
His response to Midianite sexual and spiritual seduction was just and appropriate.
example: Isaiah 13:9,15-18 contains this message
from God: Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and
fierce anger. . . . Every one that is found shall be thrust through. . . . Their
children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes . . . and their wives
ravished. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them. . . . [T]hey shall have
no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not spare children.
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