GOD’S MERCY AND FORGIVENESS II February 12, 2021




The list of events where God showed His displeasure with the way things were going or did not like the individual or individuals involved and decided to eliminate the ones he considered guilty of His unhappiness is pervasive. Perhaps, He couldn't kill selectively and have to include innocent humans and animals in those massacres. The list of events is longer than I anticipated. I wrote this new post to finish the list and then give you an approximate number regarding the number of people who died at God's hands. I might have to write a third post, perhaps more, if I want to include most of them.


Aaron's sons: The book of Leviticus (10:1-2) tells a strange story about God burning to death Aaron's two sons because they made an unauthorized offering to Our Father. These well-intentioned boys decided, on their own, to offer God a mixture of wood and spices, which included incense. God did not like the smell or the fact that the kids did not ask for His permission to light the fire. Moses apologized to Aaron by explaining that God burned his sons to "be sanctified in them" (Leviticus 10:3). I hope Aaron received Moses' consolation with solace because he warned him not to mourn his sons' death or God would kill him too, along with all their close family and friends (Leviticus 10:6).


Stoned to death for "blasphemy": In this story, the Bible tells that one of two guys, fighting for something, curses the name of God. Moses brings him to God for judgment, and the Father decides to put him to death at the hands of the congregation. Israel's children did as God commanded and stoned him until he died (Leviticus 24:11-23). They did not dare to disobey God and risk a similar death themselves.


Killed for complaining: The Israelites started complaining about their long trip to the promised land with little food and water. God overheard them and decided to punish them severely. The Bible does not tell how many people died because God heard them (Numbers 11:1b) complaining about something. It didn't matter. God did not like their complaining (Numbers 11:1a) and punished them by burning them to death until Moses begged God to stop, which God did (Numbers 11:2). The survivors thanked Moses; without his interventions, thousands would have died.


Killed for gluttony: People don't learn! Days after God burned a lot of them for complaining, they started again. This time for the lack of food. They were not happy with the Manna; they wanted meat (Numbers 11:4-6). Moses again pleaded with God, and the Lord sent trillions (Numbers 11:31) of quail to eat "until it comes out of your nostrils" (Numbers 11:19-20). God gave them much more of what they wanted. And, when they could eat nothing more, the Lord sent a "very great plague" that devastated them (Numbers 11:33).


Ten men were killed for telling the truth: Moses sent twelve scouts to explore the "promised land" and bring him a report about what they saw (Numbers 13:17-18). Two of them – Caleb and Joshua – recommended to attack and dispossess the people there (Numbers 13:30); the other ten disagreed (Numbers 13:32-33). Israel's children believed the story told by the ten about giants inhabiting the land and decided to go back to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4). Joshua and Caleb described a marvelous land of "milk and honey" (Numbers 14:6-8), but the people didn't believe them and stuck with their ideas of returning to Egypt. After a back and forth argument between God and Moses, God wants to kill everybody, and Moses argues against it. God decided to let the Israelites, including Caleb and Joshua, live, except for the ten scouts the Lord did not pardon (Numbers 14:36-37).


Killed for gathering sticks: God did not kill him for it; He did it because the man did his gathering on the Sabbath day (Numbers 15:32). The congregation brought the man into Moses, who consulted God. The Lord instructed Moses that the man shall be put to death (Numbers 15:35). He followed the Lord’s instructions to the letter.


God buried alive Moses’ opposition: It all began with Korah confronting Moses (Numbers 16:3). Moses, as in other instances, was God’s special friend. The Lord told Moses and Aaron to separate themselves from the rest of the congregation because He would make the earth swallow them (Numbers 16:20-12). This is what happened afterward, against Moses admonishing them, God felt provoked by this congregation and acted upon: the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up (Numbers 16:23-30).


God burned them alive: In the previous killing, God buried alive those who contradicted Moses. This time, 250 of them fled to avoid the earth swallowing them (Numbers 16:34). Moses told them to burn incense before the Lord to be chosen and be holy (Numbers 16:6-7). God did not hear Moses’ admonition to Korah’s people and sent a fire that consumed the 250 men that offered incense (Numbers 16:35).


Killed for complaining about God’s killings: It all started when Korah and his followers questioned Moses’ leadership. God punished them by burying them alive. Two hundred fifty of them burned incense to calm down the Lord and died consumed by fire. The remaining part of the congregation murmured that Moses and Aaron killed people of the Lord (Numbers 16:41). An upset God appeared in all His glory and told Moses to separate from the congregation because he would consume them in a moment (Numbers 16:42-45). Moses told Aaron to burn some incense to calm God down. It was too late. God had already sent a plague (Numbers 16:46), who killed 4700 members of the congregation before Aaron’s incense burning appeased Him (Numbers 16:49).


The Aradites’ Massacre: When the Canaanite king Arad heard that the Israelites tried to invade his country, he fought against them and took some prisoners (Numbers 21:1). The Israelites asked for God’s help promising to destroy all Canaanite cities if the Lord delivered a victory for them (Numbers 21:2). God responded by giving them what they asked (Numbers 21:3a); so, the Israelites fulfilled their promise and killed everyone in several Canaanite cities (Numbers 21:3b).


Killed by snake bites: The Israelites complained to Moses about the lack of food and water while walking towards the promised land. They did not like the manna very much, which was the only food available to them in their 40 years trip (Numbers 21:4-5). To stop the complaining, God sent scarlet serpents to bite them, and many died (Numbers 21:6). When people asked God and Moses for forgiveness, the Lord instructed Moses to make a fiery serpent out of brass and put it on a pole so that when a bitten person looked at it, he or she won’t die (Numbers 21:8).


The man who stopped God's killings: The story begins when men started having sex with Moabite women (Numbers 25:1). This action angered God enough to tell Moses to kill all the leaders and hang them on trees (Numbers 25:3-4). Instead, Moses tells the leaders to kill those who had sex with Moab women. What changes the course of the story is that while the congregation wept at the door of the tabernacle, a man took upon himself to have sex with a Midianitish woman in front of Moses and the assembly (Numbers 25:6). While God sent a plague to kill everybody for disobeying His instructions, Phinehas took a spear and thrust it through the lower back of the man and the belly of the woman, impaling both lovers simultaneously (Numbers 25:7-8). Pleased by Phinehas' heroic action, God decided to stop the plague at 24 thousand people (Numbers 25:8-9). The Apostol Paul contradicts this number by stating they were only 23 thousand (1 Corinthians 10:8).


At this point, I must apologize for having extended so much in this post. At no point could I anticipate that the list would be so long. Now I can't cut the investigation halfway; therefore, be patient that many more deaths are left. To be continued….

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