Why Would God Do That?

Why Would God Do That?

A Christian friend was looking for help to answer his sons’ questions. One son is in high school, and the other is in college, and they questioned why God would tell the Israelites to “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” (1 Samuel 15: 2-3). Why would God do that – requiring total destruction of the Amalekite society?

I shared my thoughts on this question, but first, I suggested he go to our website, doesgodexist.tv, using this LINK. Then scroll down to video #7 in the series titled “Anticipating Some Objections.” Between 11:50 and 15:40 in that video, you will find a very brief answer to the objection of why God would command the killing of all of the Amalekites, including women, children, and livestock.

It seems that in addition to other sins, such as attacking the Israelites in Exodus 17, the Amalekites were sexually corrupt, even including bestiality. That resulted in diseases, even affecting the animals, for which there was no cure at that primitive time. If the Amalekites and their animals were allowed to live in the land God had promised to His people, they would morally corrupt the Israelites and even spread diseases.

God was preparing a people through which He would bring salvation to all people. Why would God do that? Because of His love. Allowing the Israelites to be corrupted by their neighbors could destroy God’s plan to redeem all humanity through Jesus Christ. The gospel came into the world because God had prepared a people who believed in the one true God who created all things. Any other religious system would not work to prepare people to accept Christ’s message.

The Israelites failed to follow God’s instructions to the letter, and that failure returned to haunt them. (See 1 Samuel 30.) Paganism corrupted even Israel’s kings. However, God allowed His chosen people to suffer captivity and punishment. Why would God do that? Allowing His people to suffer eventually led to the Jewish people at the time of Jesus being completely cured of paganism. They had other faults, but they refused to worship any pagan gods. They had the prophecies of the Old Testament and the miracles and message of Jesus to cause many of them to believe and be baptized into Christ’s body, the Church. Although many rejected Christ, those who accepted the gospel became powerful witnesses to the pagans of their day to the point where they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). (Actually, they turned it right side up.)

The Church today would not exist if God had not taken harsh steps that may seem immoral to our modern Christian sensitivities. I believe that without the influence of Christianity in the past two millennia, people would have destroyed civilization and the planet before now. As people reject God today, we are on the verge of doing that. Today, God does not command us to save the world by destroying our enemies but by bringing them into God’s family through His Church. Why would God do that? Because He loves all people. When you consider the entire history from God’s perspective and realize His ultimate purpose, you realize it was because of His love that He commanded the destruction of the Amalekites.

— Roland Earnst © 2024