Is your Jesus capable of ordering the genocide of a people group or two? I’ve been reading through the Old Testament again recently and have been shocked by the violence that I read of God ordering His people to wipe out entire people groups.
In the past I have read these passages and been pacified with the thought that “well, they were evil and deserved it” or “God was punishing them”. While this is true, it is difficult to come to grips with the stark reality that our God, the kind, compassionate, loving Jesus that we worship, is also a God of destruction and absolute holiness. When we hear about the fact that God does not tolerate sin, it means He’s the type that might just burn you to a crisp (literally and instantly) for making the wrong choice. (Lev. 10:1-2)
But we don’t do the things they did right? God wiped out the Canaanites as a result of their adulterous, homosexual, murdering ways. Not to mention their rejection of the true God and worship of false gods. But we don’t do these things! We only told God he couldn’t be in our schools (and courts, and families). And we don’t worship other false gods and set up Asherah poles like the heathens. We just stick to our satellite receivers and sports heroes. (Maybe a little American/Canadian Idol too)
We don’t like to talk about this side of God’s holiness much these days. After all, that was the Old Testament, and God isn’t like that any more….. is He?
* This article is in no way intended to say that genocide is a good thing.