Ask the Pastor 55

How can we resolve ethical problems?

There are critics of the Bible who have concluded that the slaughter of the people of the land of Canaan was morally wrong, including the order given to king Saul to kill all of the Amalekites for what they did to Israel while coming up from Egypt, “…put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (I Samuel 15:3). The argument from the atheist is that God is love – a loving God would not do such a thing – therefore there is no God. The argument from the Bible critics is that a loving God would not order such a thing, therefore the writers of the Bible made an error to justify their own nationalist policy. Both of these arguments presuppose that man has the right to judge God and determine what is right and what is wrong. The Bible is clear that what is right is determined by God and whatever He does is right, what is done contrary to His will as dictated in His Word is wrong. There is also the presupposition that the love of God acts contrary to the holiness of God. God is not only love but also holy, just, righteous and true. Our Lord came to this earth as both grace and truth (John 1:14). This balance between mercy and truth is well stated in Psalm 85:10, “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed.” The creator of all things can do whatever He wills with His own creation, “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” (Romans 9:21 ff). The ugly brutality of sin is seen in the crucifixion of our Lord who bore our sins in His own body and therefore, paid the wages of our sin with His death. For someone to avail themselves of the grace of God, they must place their faith in Him, for those who do not believe, the wrath of God awaits them.

Have questions about the Bible?Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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