GOD`S MERCY AND FORGIVENESS III. February 27, 2021


Following up on the list of people, and communities, executed by divine mandates, the Bible contains innumerable instances of crimes against humanity and individuals. Included are mass murders, infanticide, genocide, and many other examples, some of which may be considered trivial. Please understand that everything shown here appears in the Bible. The comparison may not be valid because God owns humanity and can do whatever He pleases with it, but if someone committed the heinous acts committed or commanded by God would be considered a psychopath, a criminally insane person, who would be sentenced to the maximum penalty established in current law. The stories I show are terrifying: this is no reason to ignore them. So, let’s keep on going!


The Midianite massacre: The story begins with God telling Moses that he should punish the Midianites. The Book doesn't say why, but Moses probably knew because he sent 12,000 men commanded by Phinehas, the impaler on a prior massacre, to kill every male (Numbers 31:7). Phinehas complied with God's instructions, including five kings and Balaam (Numbers 31:8a-b). After killing the males, Phinehas took the rest of them captive, in addition to all their possessions (Number 31:9). Moses, talking on God's behalf, reprimanded Phinehas for taking the women alive (Numbers 31:14-16) and ordered him to kill every woman who wasn't a virgin and keep the virgins for himself (Numbers 31:17-18). Phinehas went back, killed all the women who had sex with the Israelites and kept 32,000 virgins for themselves. I wonder how Phinehas and their soldiers figured who was a virgin and who wasn't.


God killed the giants: The Bible does not say how many giants died at God's hands but teaches that an entire race perished (Deuteronomy 2:20-21). Giants or not, God destroyed other groups. The Scriptures do not say how many but give us their names: the children of Esau, the Horims, the Avims, and the Caphtorims (Deuteronomy 2:22-23).


King Sihon's people's Massacre: God instructs the Israelite's army to take King Sihon's Heshbon land by battling the king (Deuteronomy 2:24). They followed God's instructions to terrorize Sihon's people to defeat them by fear before battle (Deuteronomy 2:25). To win, to take the land, the strategy was to ask King Sihon for permission to pass through his land, offering payment for food and water while they did it (Deuteronomy 2:26-28). The deception worked out. The king agreed to let them pass, which did not please God. To oppose the quarrel's possible solution, God hardened Sihon's spirit and made him change his heart (Deuteronomy 2:30). Because the king denied their passing through the land, God had to kill every man, woman, and child all over the kingdom (Deuteronomy 2:33).


God obliterated 60 cities: He ordered to kill all men, women, and children in those cities (Deuteronomy 3:3-6). One of these massacres victims was King Og of Bashan, fascinating because he was a giant whose bed measured more than 4 meters in length (Deuteronomy 3:11). In a message to Joshua, Moses tells him that no other God has killed so many (Deuteronomy 3:21-24).


The Massacre of Jericho: Jericho was a city surrounded by impregnable walls. Nothing is too strong for God's power. The Bible tells us that God instructed Joshua to circle the city for seven days. Seven priests would blow their trumpets for seven consecutive days (Joshua 6:2-4a and Joshua 6:4b-5). On the seventh day, Joshua would ask the people to yell while the priest blew the trumpets for the city walls to fall (Joshua 6:15-20). Following God's instructions, Joshua ordered all men, women, and children to be killed as an offering to God. Joshua, speaking for the Lord, prophesied that whoever rebuilt the city would sacrifice his youngest and oldest sons (Joshua 6:26). Many years later, the prophecy was fulfilled (1 Kings 16:34).


Burning Achan and his family: If you believe this biblical story, I am sure you cannot explain why God killed and burned Achan and his family. The story goes like this: Joshua got the faulty intelligence about Ai's few defenders (Joshua 7:2-3). He sent 3000 men to defeat them, and the defenseless killed 36 of Joshua's men, putting them on the run (Joshua 7:4-5). He couldn't believe what happened; so, he asked God (Joshua 7:7). God told Joshua that the only way to rectify what happened and bring Him back to his side was to stone and burn Achan, his family, and all his possessions (Joshua 7:15).


The Ai Massacre: After Achan's death, Joshua got back into God's right side. The Lord instructed him to go to Ai, kill everybody, soldiers, women, and children, and keep the loot for themselves (Joshua 8:2). To complete the job, he followed God's instructions to the letter by killing Ai's king and hanging his corpse on a tree (Joshua 8:29). The Bible tells us that 12,000 died in the massacre (Joshua 8:25).


God Stood Still the Sun: God did it to help Joshua kill and enslave Jericho and Ai's people (Joshua 9:21-27). "Don't worry, nobody will oppose you," said the Lord (Joshua 10:8). Joshua's mission was to kill every man, woman, and child in those cities; God made most of the killing by discomfiting and chasing them (10:10). To be sure they all died, God sent "great stones and giant hailstones" that killed more than the one's slew by the sword (Joshua 10:11). Then, to allow Joshua more time to finish the killings, God made the sun and moon stop moving for 24 hours (Joshua 10:12-13).


Five Kings killed at Makkedah: These five kings escaped from their five cities' massacre, including Jericho and Ai. The kings hid in a cave (Joshua 10:16). When the Israelites found them, they placed big stones at the entrance of the cave to trap them until they finished killing the soldiers that tried to get away (Joshua 10:19-20). Then, the Israelites went to the cave to bring out the kings and the captains got instructions to put their feet upon the kings' necks (Joshua 10-24-25). Soon after, Joshua ordered their execution (10:26a) and hanging their corpses on trees (Joshua 10:26b).


Joshua destroys everything else: Joshua killed the king of Makkedah and all remaining souls (Joshua 10:28). The same thing happens to Libnah and all his people (10:29-30); to Lachish and his people until none remained (Joshua 10:32); to Horam king of Gezer and his people (Joshua 10:33); to the inhabitants of Eglon (Joshua 10:34-35); to Hebron where he killed the king and all remaining souls (Joshua 10:36-37); then, Joshua returned to Israel passing by Debir where he killed the king and all the inhabitants there (10:36-39); to conclude his killings, as instructed by God, Joshua destroyed "all that breathed" (Joshua 10:40).


20 Cities' coalition destroyed: King Jabin of Hazor heard that Joshua and his army killed everybody in seven cities together with their kings; he urged all 19 surrounding kingdoms to unite to defend against the Israelites threat (Joshua 11:1-3). The 20 kings formed a coalition and an army of over 20000 people (Joshua 11:4-5). At this time, Joshua was intimidated by the number of defending soldiers. Still, God told him not to be afraid because He will take care of them (Joshua 11:6a) and that their horses and chariots will be consumed by His fire (Joshua 11:6b). God delivered on His promise, "leaving no one to breathe" (Joshua 11:8-9). Joshua did the same to the kings and their entire army (Joshua 11:16-17).


The Anakim's killing: The Bible describes the Anakim as giants (Deuteronomy 1:28, 2:10, 2:21, 9:2). Following God's instructions, Joshua destroyed all the Anakim cities and their inhabitants, leaving none of the Anakim alive (Joshua 11:21-22).


The Bezek Massacre: Joshua was a master executioner of God's killing decisions. After he died, justifiably, the Israelites asked God who would lead them to keep fighting against the Canaanites (Judges 1:1). God answered their request by naming the tribe of Judah to kill the Canaanites and take their land (Judges 1:2). The Lord went a little further and delivered some 10,000 Perizzites into their hands to be killed too, which they did in Bezek (Judges 1:4). After the Bezek slaughtering, they captured their kings and cut off their thumbs and toes before killing them (Judges 1:6).


Hey friends…. You are reading the third post in a series that may go up to five. When I started the first one, I thought it would be the only one. I did not expect to find so much evidence of Our Lord’s punishments. I am reaching out to you because I would like to hear your opinion about whether I should keep going or if it is time to stop this endeavor and go back to other subjects. Additionally, as some indicated, should we justify each one of the events to clarify the reasons for God’s actions?

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