Items posted on 27 January 2012
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Numbers 12.6-8 – The uncomfortable implications of God’s sovereignty over history
Posted: 27 January 2012 in Numbers

And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and og the king of bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at edrei. And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.

When we read that God ordained the destruction of an entire people, it makes us feel very uncomfotable; especially in the light of the events in Germany about seventy years ago (or at least, I hope it does). So there is a very real temptation to try and discount it in some way. And yet God is always righteous, and every thing which he wills is righteous, whilst, on the other hand, all things contrary to his will are (by definition) evil.

If we today needed a scriptural justification for dismissing as a madman any “prophet”, claiming to possess a divine commision for genocide, I suppose we could find it in Numbers 12.6-8:

And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold:

Obviously the nature of Moses’s relationship to God was quite unique (although not as unique as that of Christ). Even so, the passage at the top of this post is a reminder, if any were needed, that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways (to quote Isaiah). Furthermore, it is not for us to judge God.

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