continued from Part 1:
C. Why Has God Done Objectionable Things If God is Good & Perfect?
D. God’s Omniscience
We’ve already discovered through reading the bible that Jesus Christ told us God is perfect. Christ told us that God is good. God is holy. No matter what we may think on our own, the bible tells us the reality.
If one is not a Christian or does not believe the bible, this may not be acceptable or satisfactory; the bible may not make this valid for the unbelieving mind; nevertheless, I’m offering the truth according to the bible. Each reader can take what he wants from that or not; it’s completely up to him.
So why has God done objectionable, difficult to understand kinds of actions, if He’s so perfect, holy, and good? People point out that God has committed genocide of men, women, children, and even innocent animals. “How could this kind of killing possibly be anything but evil?” they ask. How can we refer to God as a moral, holy god?
There is a reading that answers the question, “If God tortures people for eternity, what does this say about His morality?”
The reading is by Matt Slick
“This question is usually asked by atheists, but the first problem is that they have no objective moral standard by which they might say God’s judgment is right or wrong. They may not like it. They may not approve of it. But these objections and preferences are irrelevant as to whether or not God is right or wrong for damning people eternally. The only way they can rationally assert that something is morally right or wrong is to appeal to moral standards outside of themselves. If the appeal is to what society says, this is dangerous since societies change and morals can become right in one generation and wrong in another.
Second, God is not the one torturing. To torture someone means to be actively involved in the action of inflicting pain. But God does not do this. God sends people to hell and they are tortured there due to the consequences of their sinand their rejection of God.” Source.
This is a complicated matter. It’s difficult to understand and accept, especially for our finite minds. God does not have the same mind that we have. His mind, intention, and judgment is perfect. God does not perceive of things as we do. God does not view murder and killing in the same way that we do. These have different meanings to God, biblically speaking.
“Even in the dire judgments of the Old Testament, God offered mercy. For example, when God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, God promised Abraham that He would spare the whole city in order to save ten righteous people there. Though God did destroy those cities (ten righteous people could not be found), He saved “righteous Lot” and his family (Genesis 18:32; Genesis 19:15; 2 Peter 2:7). Later, God destroyed Jericho, but He saved Rahab the harlot and her family in response to Rahab’s faith (Joshua 6:25; Hebrews 11:31). Until the final judgment, there is always mercy to be found.
Every person dies in God’s own time (Hebrews 9:27; Genesis 3:19). Jesus holds the keys of death (Revelation 1:18). Does the fact that everyone experiences physical death make God a “killer”? In the sense that He could prevent all death, yes. He allows us to die. But He is no murderer. Death is part of the human experience because we brought it into the world ourselves (Romans 5:12). One day, as John Donne put it, “Death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.” God, in His grace, has conquered death for those who are in Christ, and one day that truth will be fully realized: “The last enemy to be subdued and abolished is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).
God is faithful to His word. He will destroy the wicked, and He holds “the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment” (2 Peter 2:9). But He has also promised that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b).” Source.
It is clear through many who have studied the bible for years that God is loving, merciful, and kind, but God is also holy, and is not afraid to judge sin, wickedness, and unrighteousness. He can be a god of wrath when it comes to what He hates. God is not unwilling to do away with that which will not bring forth what He considers beneficial to His overall plan. God is faithful, does not change His mind, and is capable of great devastation when it is necessary for the overall good of humanity.
“The fact that God commanded the killing of entire nations in the Old Testament has been the subject of harsh criticism from opponents of Christianity for some time. That there was violence in the Old Testament is indisputable. The question is whether Old Testament violence is justifiable and condoned by God. In his bestselling book The God Delusion, atheist Richard Dawkins refers to the God of the Old Testament as “a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser.” Journalist Christopher Hitchens complains that the Old Testament contains a warrant for “indiscriminate massacre.” Other critics of Christianity have leveled similar charges, accusing Yahweh of “crimes against humanity.”
But are these criticisms valid? Is the God of the Old Testament a “moral monster” who arbitrarily commands genocide against innocent men, women, and children? Was His reaction to the sins of the Canaanites and the Amalekites a vicious form of “ethnic cleansing” no different from atrocities committed by the Nazis? Or is it possible that God could have had morally sufficient reasons for ordering the destruction of these nations?” Source
God has good reasons for the things He does. We can rest assured that His reasons are reliable, valid, and reasonable. His thinking is so far above our own that there can be no doubt that this is the case. Man is inherently sinful; it is our very nature to sin. God knows how things will turn out while we cannot fathom the end results of what we plan. We live by our feelings and finite mind and God lives by what is reasonable, rational, and best for our lives. God’s morality is well thought out, despite the fact that we may not accept or even understand His actions.
“A basic knowledge of Canaanite culture reveals its inherent moral wickedness. The Canaanites were a brutal, aggressive people who engaged in bestiality, incest, and even child sacrifice. Deviant sexual acts were the norm. The Canaanites’ sin was so repellent that God said, “The land vomited out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:25). Even so, the destruction was directed more at the Canaanite religion (Deuteronomy 7:3-5, 12:2-3) than at the Canaanite people per se. The judgment was not ethnically motivated. Individual Canaanites, like Rahab in Jericho, could still find that mercy follows repentance (Joshua 2). God’s desire is that the wicked turn from their sin rather than die (Ezekiel 18:31-32, 33:11).
Besides dealing with national sins, God used the conquest of Canaan to create a religious/historical context in which He could eventually introduce the Messiah to the world. This Messiah would bring salvation not only to Israel, but also to Israel’s enemies, including Canaan (Psalm 87:4-6; Mark 7:25-30).
It must be remembered that God gave the Canaanite people more than sufficient time to repent of their evil ways—over 400 years (Genesis 15:13-16)! The book of Hebrews tells us that the Canaanites were “disobedient,” a word that implies moral culpability on their part (Hebrews 11:31). The Canaanites were aware of God’s power (Joshua 2:10-11, 9:9) and could have sought repentance. Except in rare instances, they continued their rebellion against God until the bitter end.”
God will and can act out in wrath without mercy when the situation demands it.
God is omniscient, and knows what is best. He creates life and can also end it.
It would cruel to leave helpless infants and children without parents to care for them.
God provides salvation/eternal life for infants and children; thus they are not really dying indefinitely. Source.
What we’ve learned from this so far can be summed up in what we were already told in our last post. God knows best. We must trust in this, no matter whether we understand it, approve, or not. Like children, we must have faith and trust in our Father who is in Heaven. He will not mislead or lead us astray. It really is just this simple.
What if we are afraid of God, though? What if we fear His power and wrath? How do we understand and see God as loving when we know what He is capable of?
The bible says that God is love.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
“The fact that God is loving does not cancel out His holy requirement of perfection. However, because He is loving, He sent Christ to die on the cross in our place, and this completely satisfies God’s requirement of perfection. Because He is loving, God provided a way for man to be no longer separated from Him by sin, but to be able to enter into a relationship with Him as a welcome part of God’s family, placed in that family because of the finished work of Christ on the cross (John 1:12; 5:24).”
If, even knowing these things, we still see God as angry and imposing, it could be that we are not sure of our own relationship to Him. The Bible encourages us to “examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). If we doubt that we truly belong to Christ, we only need to repent and ask Him into our hearts. He will forgive us our sin and give us His Holy Spirit who will live in our hearts and assure us that we are His children. Once we are assured that we are His, we can draw close to Him by reading and studying His Word and by asking Him to show Himself to us as He truly is. God loves each of us and desires to know us in a personal relationship. He has assured us that if we seek Him with all our hearts, we will surely find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Then we will truly know Him, not as imposing and angry, but as a loving and gracious Father. Source
D. God’s Omniscience:
Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
1 Samuel 2:3
Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
1 John 3:19-20
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done.
But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. (Source)