How do you explain Moses and his armies slaughtering everyone? How is it different from ISIS?

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How do you explain Moses and his armies slaughtering everyone? How is it different from ISIS?

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:08 am

How do you explain Moses and his armies slaughtering everyone? How is it different from ISIS? Why did Moses slaughter everyone he came across? Why not show them mercy and send them on their way somewhere else? Wouldn’t that be a better way of showing people a loving God? Who were people living in the land that Moses swept through? Were they really wicked people or just minding their own business? What were the crusades and the inquisition? Who was involved? When did each event take place? Why did each happen? How do we correct people who look at these events as “Christian terrorism?”
The wars Israel (Jewish nation) were involved in (from the first originals to and including present), were they defensive or offensive? If offensive, explain. Does God allow being offensive? Have you heard, Israel's President telling Jews to come home to Israel, on the news? (another sign of the times) ISIS is saying that we are living in the end times.

There is a lot of brutality recorded in the Scriptures, particularly in the Old Testament. It has led to the perception that there are “two” Gods at work in the Bible—the brutal one of the Old Testament and the gentle, loving one of the New Testament. Certainly the wars of conquest of Israel as she came into the Promised Land is one of these brutal episodes, particularly when reading God’s commands to Israel that came through Moses: When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire—Moses, Deuteronomy 7:1-5. Notice that this edict is not conquest for its own sake, but destroying a people that God sees as a threat to His relationship with His people. He warns them against intermarriage because that will turn their hearts away from Him. Notice also that He wants them to destroy all the vestiges of their false religions—their altars, their sacred relics, anything connected with those false faiths. Almost immediately after these verses, Moses communicates the following: Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him—Moses, Deuteronomy 7:9-10. The “destruction” we see commanded at this moment was actually over 400 years in the making. It goes all the way back to the first contacts God made with Abraham. As He was telling him of the special plans He had for him and his coming family, God also told him this: Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure”—Genesis 15:13-16. The “Amorites” mentioned here are the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—Moses Deuteronomy 7:1b. God had given them over 400 years to repent of their sins—reminding us of a very New Testament truth: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance—II Peter 3:9. God had loved them, showing them grace and patience like only He can. The truth about God was certainly available to them; remember that Abraham meets Melchizedek, king of Salem (right in their midst) and priest of God most High—Genesis 14:18b. The lifestyles these nations embraced at the time Israel came along were lifestyles being lived in knowing rebellion against God; therefore, His command for Israel to act as they did was His perfect judgment against a people that God in His divine, perfect knowledge knew would never turn their path to Him. They were genuinely wicked—child sacrifice and cult prostitution were two standards of their “religions.” And they were committed to the destruction of Israel (sound familiar?) and would always be that way. So when, for instance, Israel fought against the city of Jericho, and devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys—Joshua 6:21, they were obeying the explicit command of God. They were not judging, but rather they were the instrument of judgment God used in dealing with these people. It can be difficult reading sections of Scripture like Joshua 10, where you read over and over again concerning all these cities and all their people that Israel encountered that they were all “totally destroyed,” with “no survivors.” Yet that was unmistakably God’s intention and command. In fact, we read a very interesting story along these lines in I Samuel 15, where King Saul is told to lead Israel’s army against the Amalekites: Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys’”—God speaking through Samuel, I Samuel 15:3. Saul did indeed attack and he did kill everyone and everything he came across—except their king and the best of their herds and flocks; everything else he dutifully destroyed. Yet what does I Samuel 15:17-19 tell us happened? God sent Samuel to meet Saul, and he did—with these words: The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’ Why did you not obey the Lord?—I Samuel 15:17b-19a. When “destruction” was God’s command, anything less was disobedience. Yet, we also see that Israel operated under rules regarding warfare for cities and lands at a distance (not the immediate nations of the Promised Land); Moses laid them out: When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you—Moses, Deuteronomy 20:10-11. If, however, they showed resistance, the rules were also clear: If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby—Moses, Deuteronomy 20:12-15. But, for the nations of the Promised Land, the command was clear: However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you—Moses, Deuteronomy 20:16-17. Why? Moses tells them: 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—Moses, Deuteronomy 20:18. But, in another Scripture that reveals God’s heart, He tells us in Ezekiel, in words that literally shout over the centuries: Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? . . . For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! . . . ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!—God speaking, Ezekiel 18:23, 32, 33:11a. This is illustrated so wonderfully in the story of Jonah, sent to preach God’s coming judgment—very well earned—on the people of Nineveh. But when they repented, judgment was put aside: On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened—Jonan 3:4-10. There is no reason to believe that this wouldn’t have also been the story with the nations of Canaan.
Israel’s wars were both offensive and defensive in the Bible, if “offensive” is defined as taking the initiative in battle. And, in point of fact, most often the initiative was the command of God, not Israel’s own intentions. For instance, their conquest of the Promised Land was commanded by God as fulfillment of His promises to Abraham. Once in place in the Promised Land, many of their battles and wars were defensive, fighting against invaders. In modern times, in 1948 and 1956, Israel repelled invasions. In 1967 (the “Six-Day War”), Israel struck first, being full convinced that her being attacked was imminent. The Yom Kippur War of 1973 was an Arab invasion which resulted in Israeli victory. The Bible makes it clear that Israel is a nation that God will continually defend until time itself is completed.
The “Crusades” were a series of military campaigns backed by the Catholic Church that occurred between approximately 1095 and 1291. The initial goal was to restore control to the holy lands in and around Jerusalem by fighting and defeating the Muslims that controlled the area. Ultimately, this effort failed (although the first crusade in 1095 succeeded in this initial goal). There were horrific massacres on both sides, most notably by the Crusaders of Muslims in Antioch, and of Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem during the First Crusade. There was little in terms of religious faith in play here; this was mostly about the political kingdom of the Catholic Church fighting against the encroaching threats of the Muslim faith of the Middle East. Sins were forgiven in exchange for participation on the Catholic side. To show the extent of the negative backlash, members of our government to this day are discouraged from using the word “crusade” in any way in any of our fights against El Qaeda and ISIS, the concern being that our efforts would thus be seen as a fight against the Muslim faith as a whole—an incredibly long-term carryover from the original Crusades.
The Inquisitions actually came about through the judicial offices of the Catholic Church, and started in 12th century France. The aim was always to combat heresy (false teachings) in all its forms. Certainly as the Protestant Reformation began to take shape, Catholic leadership became more aggressive in pursuing charges of heresy against all its opponents. Studies have been done looking at the Inquisition in all its forms. It is thought that approximately 150,000 people were brought to some level of trial for various offenses and, of these, approximately 3,000 were put to death (about 2%). While the Inquisition in its classic form is long-since been done away with, the Catholic Church to this day maintains a “Congregation For the Doctrine Of The Faith” whose sole purpose is “to spread sound Catholic doctrine and defend those points of Catholic tradition which seem in danger because of new and unacceptable doctrines.” This particular “congregation” traces itself to its founding by Pope Paul III in 1542.
We do need to acknowledge that many gross and disgusting acts have been committed in “the name of Christ” over the centuries. This does not make them Christian. The fact is, a Muslim will kill and be affirmed for doing this in the name of Allah. No one would ever kill today and be affirmed for doing it in the name of Jesus Christ. When this has happened today (such as the shooting death of a doctor who works at an abortion clinic, for example), Christian leaders are quick to condemn such action as both completely reprehensible and completely contrary to the ways of Christ. While representing Allah often means to kill, representing Christ can only mean to love.

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