Thursday, March 25, 2010

All Are Not Necessarily Precious in His Sight

The more I read the Old Testament (I'm in Deuteronomy right now), the more I am convinced that God cares more about the quality of His people than the quantity.

From a Biblical perspective - if you're not for Him, or especially if you can/will corrupt His people (what was Israel, but now are all Christians) then you're basically worthless and God would rather you be destroyed than have you cause His children to sin and/or turn away from Him.

From Deuteronomy 20:
16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.

This goes completely counter to our culture though, which generally believes that each person's life is precious, special, and just as valuable as the next one. But I don't think this is really God's perspective.

Now, a few caveats here. Please understand that this is not a reflection of my personal opinion toward non-Christians. I love and appreciate all of my friends, just as I periodically pray for all of them. Also, I know that God can and has used non-Christians/Israelites to accomplish His purposes. And I also know that some people become "His" (i.e. Christians) later in life than others, some even on their death bed.

I'm just saying that as a whole, God doesn't seem to have as high a sanctity of life as we humans tend to. What really counts for God is not how long you live, but whose side you're on while you're alive, and consequently where you go after you die.


Kentucky Kate said...

I would take a little exception to that. From a biblical perspective we are all image bearers of God and that is why all human life is sacred. So much so that also in Deuteronomy, God laid out specific guidelines for how to determine accidental manslaughter from murder, when and where the blood avenger should be allowed to execute a murderer, etc. The only exception to the sacredness of human life appears to be when God himself says that a particular people is intent on the destruction of the Israelites (as were all of the people you mentioned in Deuteronomy) and they needed to be wiped out before they wiped out the Israelites (who God was going to use to bring Jesus into human history).

michael said...

Good points Kate. However, the instructions given were for disputes between fellow Israelites.

But there are many instances where the other country's inhabitants were not physically threatening the Israelites in any way, shape, or form. They were however, causing them, or threatening to cause them to sin and be farther apart from God. One example is the one I quoted above, as well as Deuteronomy 7.

Another example is in Numbers 31, where Moses was angry with the officers of the army for allowing the women to live.

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