Once you grant the "God concept" in the quote-unquote "bible" or Tanakh it actually becomes impossible philosophically to "criticize" the Creator.
The reason is that critical thinking will/should lead you to this conclusion IF you understand the Creator as being the Owner of the universe and the "Standard-Setter" for all good in the universe. Saying God is good, therefore, is like saying God is God when good is defined/identified as being consistent with the Will and Nature of such Creator and Owner of the universe.
There are clearly many horrendous events which happen in the Old Testament... the question is, "does one understand these things in context?" "and does one understand these things in relation to the sinfulness and state of humankind's position before the Creator?"
This is the real key. If you don't understand humankind as being under judgment then you would never understand how God is fully justified by killing us all at any moment...and how this would NEVER be murder in any shape or form.
Understanding these things systematically are key. If you understand that God can order the annihilation of any group of people and have it be part of His logical and just judgment then you might also understand how when through the natural order (tsunamis, etc) that God is fully justified at sustaining such natural laws and their consequences as well.
Putting slavery in its proper context is equally important. Understanding what appears to be rape in its context is also important to fully explain. Understanding a soldier discussing the end of a battle and what method the solder's used to kill the babies of their enemies (and how this signified the end of the battle and their descendants would not rise up against them in battle again) is also important to put these things in context.
Sparing virgins so that they could be married was seen as a type of mercy from one point of view, but in today's society, we would never think this way because we do not live in the brutal culture that existed over seven centuries before Christ.
You have to understand things in context. Child sacrifice was never condoned, yet those who read an English bible wrongfully think that was.
All of these many difficulties place the OT in poor light but they still need to be understood within the context of their culture and within the context of their setting or their Sitz im Leben.
Atheists attempt to show how the Hebrew God is evil and the other side is trying to show that the Hebrew God doesn't approve of a lot that is recorded... and what this Hebrew God "does" is fully justified because humankind is judged already and God is the Holy Perfect God and humans are the real little monsters.
Ultimately, this quest is related to theodicy....as they logically should.
the Creator is fully justified in having this world inhabited by "little monsters" who need to be adopted and changed into holy children who can fellowship with this Creator.
Question: Was it justified to conquer Canaan and to wipe out the Canaanites, and to commit genocide?
Reading the entire experience between Midian and Israel in context can shed a great deal of light on the subject.
The Midianites were descended from Abraham. After Sarah his wife died, Abraham married Keturah, and had six children with her, one of which was named Midian. The Midianites were worshipers of false gods, so when the Israelites, who were children of Isaac and worshiped Yahweh (or Jehovah), were given a covenant with their God that they would be given the Promised Land, and in return they vowed to obey the law of their God. One of those laws was a specific procedure for marriage when the Israelite males wanted to marry a young virgin among the survivors who either lost her family in the battle or had family who can no longer support her. That law is in Numbers 20:10-14, and it DID NOT involve rape.
First, God gave the Israelites the promised land through a covenant that required that they would obey Him. God listed 7 nations that resided on that land, and who they are, and what they did, made them fully worthy of being destroyed. Deuteronomy 7: 1-4. Check their history:. Canaanites, Amorites, Jebusites, Hittites, Gergashites, Perezzites. No other families can be considered candidates for massive violence by God.
After leaving Egypt, the Moabites(descendants of Abraham's nephew) and Midianites fought and harrassed the Israelites on their trip. One of their kings, named Balak, tried to pay a prophet of God, Balaam, to curse Israel. God did not let him do that, but because Balaam wanted that money, he suggested that their women could entice the Israelite men into idolatry and illicit sex. About 24,000 men succumbed to that trick, and were destroyed by God, as was Balaam, was also killed.
Here is where your interpretation of those events was not what happened:
Pedophilia of the virgins captured - Did not happen. The Israelites were under an oath/covenant with God, and the young virgin had to be willing to give up their Baal worship and worship the True God. Deuteronomy 20: 10-14
Genocide:. No. God based his judgement on the behavior of those wicked nations, descendants of righteous men, who should have known better. Ruth, a Moabitess who lived many years later, followed the direction in Deuteronomy 20, and she even became a human ancestress of Jesus.
Again, the Israelites were not being taught God's law because of their righteousness, but because of a promise that their ancestors made to God. When they did not hold to their side of the promise, they, too, were punished. Deuteronomy chapter 7 highlights their blessings for obedience, and the consequences of disobedience. While they listened to God, and tried to do His will, good things happened. Same with us today.
Robert M. Bowman, Jr. Joshua's Conquest: Was It Justified?
According to the Old Testament, the Canaanites and other tribes in the land widely practiced child sacrifice, incest, bestiality, and other behaviors that almost everyone in history, including today, rightly regard as unspeakably, grossly immoral. The Old Testament does not teach that genocide has any sort of general justification. There is no teaching here along the lines of saying that if a nation is wicked enough then anyone has the moral justification to go wipe them out, including men, women, and children. Rather, the Old Testament claims that it was necessary to completely wipe out certain indigenous peoples in order to stop the cycle of perversity from repeating generation after generation, in order to protect Israel from succumbing itself to the madness (an apparently accurate description of Canaanite culture). This drastic measure was necessary to create a nation that retained at least some knowledge and worship of the true God alone and some recognition (however limited) of his moral standards. What Israel did was right, but the only way they could know it was right was that God had revealed it to them. Furthermore, they knew that revelation was authentic because it was dramatically authenticated by signs and wonders of a type still unparalleled in human history.
Crossexamined ABORTION AND THE GOD MOLECH FEBRUARY 3, 2019
History is filled with barbaric cultures. One of the worst, though, has to be the ancient Canaanites. As was customary in that culture, parents offered their newborn children as sacrifices to their god Molech. Most depictions of Molech include large metal statues of a man with a bull’s head. Usually these statues had outstretched arms to hold the baby sacrifices.
During the sacrificial process, the Canaanites would light a fire inside or around the statue to heat up the statue as hot as they could. Then they would place their newborns into the red-hot arms of Molech and watch the children sizzle to death. During this gruesome event, the Canaanites would play flutes and bang on drums to drown out the sound of their shrieking children. It’s truly awful stuff. No wonder God ordered the Israelites to destroy them.
Molech in The Bible
The Bible mentions Molech or at least references him about ten times. Here are a couple examples: “Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him.” — Leviticus 20:2
“They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded — nor did it enter my mind — that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.” — Jeremiah 32:35
You might wonder why the Israelites would be tempted to sacrifice their children to Molech. As was the case with other ancient gods, Molech offered them some kind of benefit in exchange for their devotion. By offering up their children to be burned on the golden statue, the Canaanites believed Molech would cause them and their future children to prosper.
Our Molech Today
I don’t know a single person who hears about the horrors of Molech and doesn’t cringe at the gruesomeness. Brutally murdering babies in the name of Molech for future benefits is evil in the truest sense of the word. Yet, at the same time, a large number of people today believe this ancient practice would be fine, so long as the baby was still in the womb. Just yesterday, New York legislators passed a law that allows for abortions up until birth. After the vote, this video circulated the internet showing hundreds of people cheering loudly in favor of this decision. It’s honestly one of the most disgusting scenes I’ve ever witnessed.
What kind of sick and twisted mind does one have to have to applaud the killing of unborn babies? These are babies after all. As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but think about the loud drums drowning out the babies’ screams.
“It’s Not as Bad as You Say It Is”
Since this new law allows women to abort their babies right before they go into labor, a woman can literally kill her baby one day and have people cheer for her, but if she kills her baby less than twenty-four hours later when it’s made it outside her womb, she’ll go to prison. It’s mind-blowing. And let’s not pretend like the babies don’t feel a thing either. More studies than I can count demonstrate that babies at a very early stage can feel pain, not to mention taste food, hiccup, smile, dream, kick, and bond with their mother. So, when the abortion “doctor” injects the baby’s head with poison, know for sure the baby feels it and dies a horrifying death. But they say, the law doesn’t allow for “any old abortion.” After all, the law says that only if the woman’s “life and health” are in jeopardy may she have an abortion up until birth. The problem with this is that “health” could qualify for almost anything. It could mean physical health, but it could also mean psychological, mental, or financial health. In other words, it’s so vague that someone could get a late-term abortion for almost any reason. All the woman needs to say is that the baby would cause too much stress in her life because of added financial responsibilities, and she’s got her ticket to an abortion. Plain and simple.
Unborn Babies in The Old Testament
Though anyone with a first-grade knowledge of biology can see that a newborn and a full-term baby are scientifically the same, Christians have extra motivation to reject abortion because of Scripture’s clear teaching on the issue. Take Exodus 21:22-25 for example:
If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is a serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. In short, no one should ever harm an unborn baby. If they do, the law calls for a strict penalty (life for life, eye for eye, etc.). It’s interesting to note, that according to Old Testament law, accidentally killing someone did not result in “life for life.” Instead, accidental killers were sent to a city of refuge to stay away from the rest of the population (Num. 35:9-15). Meaning, God had an even stricter warning for accidentally killing unborn babies than people outside the womb.
Are you following the logic? If God had strict warnings against accidentally killing unborn babies, he must despise the fact that we kill them intentionally and then celebrate it to boot. So, when the mayor of New York lit up the World Trade Center in pink to celebrate more murder, we can rest assured that God doesn’t take it kindly. I mean, if that’s not a symbolic middle finger to God, I don’t know what is.
The Unborn Jesus
The birth of Jesus is a familiar one. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and says that she’s going to conceive and give birth to a son. During her pregnancy, she visits her sister Elizabeth who was also pregnant at the time. Luke 1:41-44 reports: When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice, she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” First, we notice that the text refers to the unborn child in Elizabeth’s womb as a baby (Greek, brephos). It’s the same Greek word used to describe children outside the womb (Lk. 18:15). And we see that this same baby was already able to recognize Jesus’ presence. In other words, he’s not just a lump of tissue. Furthermore, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, recognizes that Mary is the “mother of my Lord.” That is, she recognized Mary’s status as a mother despite the fact that Jesus was still in the womb.
While commenting on this text, Christian ethicist John Jefferson Davis writes: The significant point is that God chose to begin the process of incarnation [in the womb], rather than at some other point, thus affirming the significance of that starting point for human life.1 Davis makes a good point. Since Jesus’ birth was miraculous, God could have chosen to start Jesus’ life at any point. He could have dropped him down from the sky and left him at someone’s doorstep. But instead, God chose to begin Jesus’ life in Mary’s womb demonstrating the value of unborn babies. I think we can all be glad that Mary didn’t have an abortion.
The Irony of Abortion
To date, Americans have slaughtered millions upon millions of unborn babies. Think about all those little innocent, vulnerable people, killed before they were even given a chance. And at the same time, we judge other nations for their less than humane practices. Who are we to talk? But the greatest amount of irony is that every person in favor of abortion made it out of the womb alive. Every. Single. One. I dare say, they’re all grateful too.
Abortion and The God Molech
Truth is, we aren’t any better than the ancient Canaanites. Instead of sacrificing our children to the god Molech in exchange for future prosperity, we sacrifice our children in exchange for better career paths, financial security, and convenience. While abortion apologists try to sanitize abortion by using terms like “tissue” instead of “baby” or “end the pregnancy” instead of “killing,” there’s no denying what’s going on when we inject poison into babies’ heads. We’re brutally murdering them. And we’ve done it millions of times. Lord, have mercy on us.
Last edited by Otangelo on Sat 7 Aug 2021 - 8:58; edited 5 times in total