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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

God the Destroyer?

If everything in Scripture is to be interpreted literally, wouldn't that make God the Destroyer-in-Chief?
After all, Scripture does seem to attribute a whole lot of death and destruction to the Almighty!

According to The Bible:

1. God wiped out every living thing on the face of the earth with a flood (except for one man, his family and at least one male and female of every land animal). Genesis 6-8
2. God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19
3. God killed all of the firstborn of Egypt. Exodus 12:12, 29
4. God destroyed all of the crops and livestock of Egypt. Exodus 9 and 10
5. God drowned the Egyptian army when they pursued the Israelites into the sea. Exodus 14:27-28
6. God threatened to wipe out all of the children of Israel and start over with the descendants of Moses. Exodus 32:10
7. God caused fire to consume an undisclosed number of Israelites for complaining too much. Numbers 11:1-3
8. God sent a plague to kill an undisclosed number of Israelites for their gluttonous behavior when he sent them some quails to eat. Numbers 11:33-34
9. God caused the earth to swallow up Korah and his followers. Numbers 16:31-33
10. God sent another plague that killed 14,700 Israelites for their rebellion against the authority of Moses and Aaron. Numbers 16:49
11. God delivered the Canaanites into the hands of the Israelites so that they could destroy them. Numbers 21:3
12. The Lord sent some "fiery serpents" among the people to bite and kill a large number of them. Numbers 21:6
13. God sent yet another plague to punish the people (24,000 people perished in this one) for having sexual relations with the daughters of Moab. Numbers 25:1-9
14. God destroyed two kingdoms of the Amorites. Deuteronomy 31:4

That's just the first five books of the Bible! Is that enough to demonstrate that a literal interpretation of Scripture makes God a pretty bloodthirsty individual?
Is such behavior consistent with what is revealed elsewhere in Scripture about God's character and personality? Has God got his finger on the trigger - ready to take us all out at the drop of a hat?
This is America. Freedom of Religion is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. We can all believe what we want to believe. I choose not to believe that God is a bloodthirsty Destroyer. I'm not saying that God won't destroy evil and the incorrigibly wicked at the end of the age - I'm just saying that I don't believe God destroys things lightly for little or no apparent reason.

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