Jehovah’s Witnesses watchman Forums Watchman Forum Reconciling violence in the scripture

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Burt Reynolds.Burt Reynolds.
    Participant
    Post count: 13
    #37379 |

    I would like to address some old questions that I had when I first joined the witnesses in 1971 and which no one had a clear answer for, hence my stagnation on the point. Essentially, though there has been reason for battles, reason in maintaining morality, there have been many deaths in the scripture laid at jehovahs feet so to speak, some being very nasty. How do we reconcile this slaughter with a loving God? For example, an angel sent to wipe out a whole army who were essentially unaware of any transgression and just doing their job. Another example, the deaths of the first born in the ten plagues, some of whom, we might reasonably expect, to be completely unaware of Jehovah and his purpose. And on the other hand, Jehovah was willing to not destroy sodom if just ten righteous people could be found. I do not understand, or perhaps it better to say fully grasp, the apparant different approaches to the value of life here.

    0
    Robert KingRobert King
    Keymaster
    Post count: 21

    The way I see it, in times of war there are casualties. In the instance of the Assyrians who got wiped out by an angel, had Jehovah not intervened the Assyrians would have raped, plundered and killed God’s people. Putting them to sleep was a very painless and merciful way to deal with the invaders. Same thing with the Ten Plagues. When a human leader makes bad choices his subjects will inevitably suffer. Look at the suffering and destruction Hitler brought on the German people. Pharaoh was stupid and stubborn and could have avoided bringing destruction upon himself and the nation. But even at that, the Bible says a vast mixed company went out of Egypt with the Hebrews – recognizing Jehovah’s superiority to the impotent Egyptian gods.

    Keep in mind too, all those who have been put to death by God, either directly like, Sodom and Gomorrah, or indirectly, such as when God directed the Israelites to exterminate various nations, those people will come back.

    0
    Burt Reynolds.Burt Reynolds.
    Participant
    Post count: 13

    Very helpful. Thanks.

    0
    Barry_jwbarry_jw
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    Hi Robert,

    Keep in mind too, all those who have been put to death by God, either directly like, Sodom and Gomorrah, or indirectly, such as when God directed the Israelites to exterminate various nations, those people will come back.

    I would have been thinking that people who have been put to death by God would not come back since they were kind of directly judged by God.

    Jude 7: In the same manner, Sodʹom and Go·morʹrah and the cities around them also gave themselves over to gross sexual immorality* and pursued unnatural fleshly desires;+ they are placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire

    On the other side:
    Matth 10:15 Truly I say to you, it will be more endurable for the land of Sodʹom and Go·morʹrah+ on Judgment Day than for that city

    0
    Robert KingRobert King
    Keymaster
    Post count: 21

    I would have been thinking that people who have been put to death by God would not come back since they were kind of directly judged by God.

    Jude 7: In the same manner, Sodʹom and Go·morʹrah and the cities around them also gave themselves over to gross sexual immorality* and pursued unnatural fleshly desires;+ they are placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire

    On the other side:
    Matth 10:15 Truly I say to you, it will be more endurable for the land of Sodʹom and Go·morʹrah+ on Judgment Day than for that city

    As Jesus said, judgment day will be more endurable for the people of Sodom than for those who rejected Jesus. As Jesus also said, had the works that Christ performed in Capernaum been done in Sodom, it would not have been destroyed. That means that the individuals from Sodom will be resurrected. Otherwise, how could they make an appearance during judgment day? But the everlasting fire is pictorial. Sodom and Gomorrah were never rebuilt. They remain in ashes to this day. In that respect that stand as a warning to those who will face everlasting death when Christ comes to judge the world.

    0
    DustmanDustman
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    The way I see it is that there is always a purpose behind the way Jehovah takes action. In the case of the Assyrians he could have used any number of ways to put them to death. Of course we cannot judge God’s reason for doing this as his thoughts are higher than ours. Wasn’t there another way that could have been used to disperse the Assyrian army without putting them to death? Actually no one saw the angel like it was depicted on the movie at the regional convention. I wonder how the angel felt being an executioner of so many at one time. The Assyrians were totally unaware that an angel came and put them to death. Even when the dead bodies were discovered there was no indication that an angel had been the cause of death. Why Jehovah decided to use this particular method is not explained. Why was this particular course of action necessary? Jesus said “love your enemies”. Can we say all of the soldiers were guilty of taunting Jehovah as was Rabshakeh? Guilty by association? After all, being an Assyrian soldier maybe was not always voluntary. I am sure that some of the soldiers in fact had no idea of what was going on with Rabshakeh who was the chief spokesman in an effort to force King Hezekiah to capitulate in surrender. They were just doing their job. Or was this divine justice for all the terrible things that they had done to the people in the other cities of Judah that had been ransacked.
    Anyhow Jehovah decided that an angel ( Jesus in his pre-humen existence?) was the way to go. As mentioned it was a kind of painless death presumably and in some ways echoing the way the firstborn of the Egyptians were put to death on the Passover night. However at that time the execution was visibly seen by the parents and others, unlike the angel that put the Assyrians to death. And what happened to the bodies? If I am correct there has never been any discovery of 186,000 skeleton remains having been found.
    So the reason Jehovah used this particular method rather than sending poisonous snakes or disease or malignant boils or anything else he decided that this way was the best way.
    Maybe we will never know exactly why.

    0
    Burt Reynolds.Burt Reynolds.
    Participant
    Post count: 13

    Hello Dustman, my reasoning in asking the question was really based on the conflict of principle…ergo, love, forgiveness and as you say, love your enemies. Well, the thought had a modern day application too. You could not love the nazis you had to fight them. Thus all England went to war. In considering these things in the past, I came to the conclusion that Jehovah does not take life, so as to destroy what is holy, he simply withdraws that force from the body and returns it to himself. Thus Robert is most likely correct in that they will get a resurrection. But that is not the point exactly; that being addressing the moral issue which I suppose this is about. Murder. If Jehovah was simply taking back what was his, then this is not murder, the life is his, literally. We can murder because we take what is not ours…..the persons consciousness…and life is not ours to give or take, as the issue of blood explains. But if Jehovah is an all encompassing life form, then with holding consciousness and the right to experience it for a given length of time, puts a different perspective on how Jehovah reveals his purpose.

    0
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.