Re: George's reply to Howard

Date: Sat Dec 07 2002 - 07:34:57 EST

  • Next message: Jim Eisele: "Re: George's reply to Howard"

    To the first point Burgy makes about
    I Sam 15 on the attack on the Amelekites, including the infants, this
    is clearly in the text, but

    > and when Saul
    > does not QUITE obey, murdering the infants, it seems, but sparing the
    > Amelekite king and the livestock, Saul is punished by God.

    Well, not to nit pick but Saul did not do that because
    he cared about the Amelekites, he disobeyed the order
    because he cared only about his public approval ratings
    (what his men thought of him). In fact, it seems
    like they had their fun with annihilating the Amelekites (except for
    king Agag) and then were going
    to offer their "sacrifice" to God afterwards.

    Now, let's say that Samual had come and found Saul
    had not annihilated the Amalekites and his answer
    was "Sovereign Lord, Forgive! How can they
    survive? they are so small!" (as Amos said to
    God 7:2), perhaps the answer might have been
    different. Not to bring up another sore point,
    but the book of Jonah is an example of God's
    mercy on the gentiles, so it is at least plausable
    that God might have changed his mind in the sight
    of a genuine plea for mercy on another. It was
    the motives of Saul and his willingness to be
    influenced by the greed of politicians that got
    him in trouble with God, not his sense of mercy.

    Nothing is written, but in the case of Abraham,
    he put his faith in the fact that God would provide
    the sacrifice, and just barely, God did.

    Terry Gray wrote:
    > have. As has been put by others much more eloquent than I, the
    > mystery is not why God judges sinners, but why God is merciful toward
    > any.
    > God's judgment upon the Amelekites was perfectly just--their cup was full.

    You may have a point here. These passages have always
    been difficult for me to stomach, but one of the things
    I found that I had to remind myself as I struggled
    through them was that they can only be justified if
    _God_ had made that judgement. So at some point, I
    really am forced to accept this on faith.

    Although this is not a very satisfying, one aspect
    that we should remember is that members of a family
    did not tend as much to be independent agents, but
    colaborated as a group. So, I don't say this is good,
    but this is one of the real problems that occurred in
    Viet Nam for example where the Viet Cong surreptitiously employed
    "civilians" to do some of
    the "military" type work. In that sense, I cannot
    condone what the US soldiers did at Nelai, but I
    can understand what could have prompted it. If
    the Amelekites practiced this kind of warfare, it
    would make it difficult to spare women and children
    for a humble and struggling country like the early

    The big trouble is (as you know), in these days,
    it would be very easy for any group to rationalize
    away genocide by claiming that they had a right
    from God to do so. In the world today, there are some
    vocal mullahs who are thinking this way, but it is
    not beyond Christians to commit similar attrocities
    as the Western civilization (1000 - 1650 AD) has
    shown. Buddhists have been less egregious, but
    discrimination is common in countries like Burma
    today so they are also capable of sin in the name
    their religion. So we too must be vigilently on our

    by Grace alone we proceed,

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