Wow. I found it interesting what he said that "God wasn't good, He was just on our side."I often wonder...I know that God opened the door for the Gentiles to receive salvation...but why did God allow such a terrible thing to happen to the Jews, His people? I know I'll never know the answer to that, but it's interesting to me that in this, they compared themselves to the Amalakites and the Moabites. I have thought about those poor people that God destroyed and why it had to be their fate. Are they in hell just because God didn't offer salvation to them?
I have two thoughts on holocaust. First we have free will which means if we wish to get a bunch of other people together and do evil things to a different group of people. Second, it ended. Allied victory in WWII was not a sure thing. Had Hitler not made some of his several blunders (ie targeting civilian instead of military targets in Britten, not sending ground focuses to Briton, not building jet fitters sooner ...) Allied defeat would have been guaranteed. We are the servants of God it is our job to stop evil. If we don’t then God will raise up a new set of servants and they will stop the evil.As to the Old Testament. It would seem that God was dealing with people at a corporate level. The Hebrews worship corporately and they were jugged corporately (ie Babylon). Presumably the same held for the Amalekites and the Moabites. They had done something wrong and were being jugged. If memory serves future concord people were not to be annihilated if they did not resist. Corporate punishment is not acceptable by modern international custom but was standard practice 3000 years ago. The same goes for killing your enemy’s children. Rember in WWII we bombed civilian targets, we burned cities to the ground, Dresden was still chard when I was there in 2003, and we even used nuclear weapons. In the first half of the 1940’s we killed more civilians than Israel did in the last 3500 years. This blood bath was necessary to stop the aforementioned evil; morality in war is not clear cut.
Why try to justify the Old Testament God away? It's much more insightful to see how far the idea of God has come in the person of Jesus, whether it was by God's own actions or simply by our own understanding of Him. In this, we can see God as instructive to us as the true path, a path that He paved by walking it first. We can project our insecurities and defend God as something static but it's hard to learn from perfection, isn't it?
@Anonymous the problem we are set with is that the scriptures tell us that God does not change and that they way He is treating humanity now is radically different then the way He treated humanity 3,500 years ago. Further compounding the problem is that they way He treated humanity is not in a manor that a modern reader can condone as the clip points out. How can a benevolent god be a god of war? We may choose to invoke Just War Theory at this point. However, do to limited knowledge and understanding we have found it difficult to apply just war theory to evens of 8 years ago, let alone events of some 3,500 years ago.
John,I suppose the sense in which God doesn't change can be argued. And even if God doesn't change in any sense whatsoever, the way we perceive him certainly does. Either way, I don't accept a literal reading of scripture so we might be viewing theodicy from two different points that will never meet. And just war theory doesn't ever come close to condoning the slaughter of an entire people.
Anonymous,A purely allegorical reading of the OT would be fare more convenient. On this point we will need to agree to disagree.At least in the case of the Amalekites their annihilation was not the result of a eradication campaign but do to sever losses over a few hundred years in wars that the Amalekites started.Wars of aggression and targeting civilians are questionable but standard practices for wold powers (I can't think of one who has not done it).
I like the point of corporate punishment being a common practice in those days, but I think that there is a point being overlooked. Completely anhilating an entire people seems terribly harsh and gruesome to us. But God actually waited quite a long time before commanding these people to be wiped out. He promised Abraham that everywhere his foot landed would be his but tells us in Gen 15:16 that this wouldn't happen for 4 generations because the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet consummated. In other words they just aren't bad enough to wipe out. It took 400 years for God to go from 'no don't kill them' to 'they are so evil, kill them all even the babies.' I believe it was the mercy of God that gave them the time to change their ways as Ninevah did, but instead of coming closer to God they became exceedingly wicked. It was common practice to cut themselves to get their gods' attention, to prostitute themselves in their temples, to offer their children as burnt sacrifices to Molech... The practices of the Canaanites were so vile, God wanted no chance of His people being corrupted to do those things. Duet 20:16-18 "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."The people to be wiped out had become as wicked as it is possible to be. God wanted to protect His people from that. Isreal did not listen and destroy those nations and you can read story after story in the Bible where the Isrealites took on their practices and did all those terrible things to their own people, their own children.