Why is there Genocide in the Old Testament?
=> Does the Genocide of the OT bother you?
=> It does bother a lot of people – view God as evil – don’t hear His side of the story
=> Question - does God have the right to judge the people of the Earth?
=> Does he own us??? Did he really make us?
1. Understand Who God is: Loving Father / Creator / Light / Truth
1 Samuel 15:29 (NIV)
29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind."
Malachi 3:6 (NIV)
6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
=> There is a story behind it that few people understand
Proverbs 18:17 (NIV)
17 The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
1 John 1:5-10 (NIV)
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
2. The Corruption of the Earth - Angels / Nephilim / Giants
Back to the beginning - God made the Earth - we are his children, His creation
- God first had children in Heaven - Michael, Gabriel, Spirit beings not a part of this world
- Out of 2606 occurrences of elohim, 2595 refer to God or Gods, YHWH God is "Elohom" singular, but he has meetings with his heavenly sons where Elohim is plural - not polytheism like Greeks - they are not the same in power and person as YHWH God - but do live in the Heavenly realm (Psalm 82:1; Ps 89:5-7, Job 1:6;2:1) - God holds meetings with them and shares rule with them.
- When YHWH made Adam and Eve he gave rule of the Earth over to them / us
- but after The fall of Adam and Eve things went down fast
- Fall wasn't just his Earthly / Human family - his heavenly family as well
- Who are angels? "Ben Elohim" = heavenly sons of God
Genesis 6:1-3 (ESV)
1 When man (Adam) began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God (Ben Elohim = heavenly sons of God, angels)(Ben Elohim - out of 2606 occurrences of elohim, 2595 refer to God or Gods) - saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives (carried away, kidnapped women) any they chose. 3 Then the LORD (YHWH)said, “My Spirit shall not abide in (contend with, judge, minister to) man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”
=> This was not a statement of average life expectancy - this was God saying, things have gotten so evil, I am giving them 120 more years… then (the flood!)
=> God's Holy Spirit was still trying to live in men! But he couldn't handle it.
=> Shows where the Ben Elohim were at - selfish, cruel - kidnapped, enslaved, over-powered women
=> Their human descendants were even worse
1 Enoch & Book of Giants are apocryphal books that Peter and Jude apparently read - describe
- the preflood time, - rebellion of angels and men - heavenly and earthly children of God
4 The Nephilim (Giant, bully, tyrant) were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
=> Nephilim were people of huge stature (Goliath = 9ft 9in) - the average Israelite was 5 ft.
=> Half human, half of the Gods - superhero movies! Really happened - v4 ties the rebellion of fallen angels to these giants
=> Interesting that later when Israel wanted a king like the nations around them - the Caananite clans were led by giant descendants of the Nephilim
=> Loved having Saul as king - See a description of Saul (a head taller) - vs David - who was a very short man…
Deuteronomy 3:10-11 (NIV)
10 We took all the towns on the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, towns of Og's kingdom in Bashan. 11 (Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)
=> Rephaites (means giants) are descended from the Nephilim,
Numbers 13:33 (NIV)
33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."
=> Ancient writings of surrounding nations - Ugarit, Assyria, Babylon - Epic of Gilgamesh - a giant descendant of the Gods who has incredible technology and power, descended from the fallen angels from before the flood
=> They were known to be selfish bullies and tyrants. They used their great size and strength to get power for themselves. 1 Enoch explains that they divided up the Earth into warring factions (pre-flood).
=> Selfish, huge egos "Made a Name for themselves" by their power and conquests, by how many others they conquered and killed - like Hitler, Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan
=> 1 Enoch talks about that the giants got into cannibalism… great sorcery + weapons of war
=> As if a whole set of heartless Mafioso took over the simple people of the earth by their complete heartlessness and ruthlessness
=> Knowing how things are today - not hard to imagine
3. Judgment of the Flood
Genesis 6:5-6 (ESV)
The LORD (YHWH) saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
=> God is by nature a being of great Hope and love!
=> Things have to get very bad for him to lose hope in people.
=> See his commitment to free will in his heavenly (Be Elohim) children and his earthly children (Adam).
He allows the situation to play out - to see the hearts of everyone and give them time to repent.
2 Peter 3:8-10 (NIV)
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (metanoia - mind change, better thinking). 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. (burned up)
Job calls God a "watcher of men" Job 7:20; The word for Angels in Aramaic is "Watcher" (Dan 4:13)
See how bad it got:
Genesis 6:5-6 (TLB)
5 When the Lord God saw the extent of human wickedness, and that the trend and direction of men’s lives were only towards evil, 6 he was sorry he had made them. It broke his heart.
Genesis 6:5-6 (HCSB)
5 When the LORD saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time, 6 the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
=> Free will implies that we have the ability to hurt each other
=> Had a talk with my grandkids, very slow to get angry with them.
=> Thing that gets me angry the most is when they fight and hurt each other (definition of sin) - relational
=> God hears the cry of the hurt and injured, mistreated
Psalm 34:15-19 (NIV)
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
Exodus 2:23 (NIV)
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.
=> Ever see the movie "Taken" Liam Neeson? - one movie where I am really good with the main character being ruthless and merciless with his enemies… who kidnapped his daughter and one of her friends on a trip to Europe, turned them into sex slaves. The daughter as ultimately sold as a wife to an arab businessman, the friend died in a brothel after months of sexual abuse.
=> Terrible movie - but does have a message - a hint of how God feels about this earth even now
=> Hear that trafficking in humans is on the rise - helpless people of all genders, ages, races sold into merciless slavery - hard to watch - but God the watcher sees it all… painful to watch.
=> If you were God how would you handle it?
=> we live our sheltered lives - but around us, in our neighborhoods are people in quiet desperation, I see the latin american workers who build the new houses in our neighborhood - don't speak English. How many of them are being oppressed - not under the protection of any laws… pray for them
Genesis 6:7 (HCSB)
Then the LORD said, “I will wipe off from the face of the earth mankind, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”
=> Judgment day was coming - in 120 years. (Gen 6:3)
=> Same with our world - when it gets to the point that evil has completely triumphed and taken over, God will bring it to an end.
=> However, as long as there is any hope for good people to continue and prevail, God keeps working and waiting patiently
4. The Impact of Evil vs Godly Influence on God's Judgments - Sodom
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
=> The issue is influence
- is there anyone left to influence others to Godly thinking?
=> What kind of an influence are you on the thinking of your roommates, spouse, children, friends?
=> What made God the most hopeless? The evil people of the world had no Godly thinking left at all. They did not even think that there might be a better way that doesn't involve sin. There was no one left to influence them towards good.
Genesis 6:8 (HCSB)
8 Noah, however, found favor in the sight of the LORD.
=> It doesn't say "Noah and his wife…" "Noah and his sons…" - Just Noah - one person left
On earth and the age of 500 years - and God was able to find some hope.
Reading assignment - Genesis 13 - 19
=> Why did God burn Sodom & Gomorrah up completely? Only found 1 person whose thinking wasn't completely corrupted = Lot
Genesis 18:23-26 (ESV)
23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
=> Abraham argues with "Malak elohim" The angel of God - 50 to 10 righteous people.
=> There was only 1 . God would have spared them if there had still been any hope.
=> The hugely contagious nature of sinful thinking - appeals to our flesh.
=> You and I need to go to work against our own worldly thinking!!! Read more Bible, have more spiritual conversations, read books
2 Peter 3:1 (NIV)
1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.
So - answer our question: Why was Sodom and Gomorrah burned up?
2 Peter 2:4-9 (NIV)
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
The most important people in Austin are those of us who work to have faith ourselves, and influence others to have faith - show others that it is possible to overcome our sins by faith. – WAR!
=> Holds off the judgment of Austin by God
=> Question - are you one of the people of faith that God sees? Or are you a wicked bully and tyrant?
5. God’s Judgment of Canaanites
God's promise to Abraham:
Genesis 15:12-16 (NIV)
16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."
=> God did give Amorites in Canaan time to turn it around ~400 years
=> Joshua and the conquest of Canaan - because the Canaanites got so bad, burned children in fire, worship by sleeping with temple prostitutes - sexual sins, oppression, slavery…
=> My opinion - Hunted down all the people who had intermarried with the Nephilim - descendants of the fallen angels - e.g. Og of Bashan - wiping out the evil influence of the fallen angels / Ben Elohim
That is my understanding of God's side of the story -
=> We are not to take judgment into our own hands - The Patient and loving YHWH God is the only one righteous enough to judge.