January 8

Written by Bill Grandi on February 8th, 2019

My title is a question: Is God Uncaring and Mean?

I was reading today from Numbers 31. The people of Israel were fighting Midian in order to execute vengeance (v.3) As I read I noted they killed Balaam, the infamous prophet from chapters 22-24. Then I kept reading and came upon verses 15-17. They brought the “spoils” to Moses and Eleazar which included women and children. It says Moses was angry with the officers and commanders for bringing them and told them to kill the women and boys but to save the young girls. That sounds so harsh!

Why? Why kill the women? Why kill the young ones and the women who have had sex? Moses answers that question in verses 15-16: “Have you let all the women live? Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people to act treacherously against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the Lord.”

God designed Israel to be a holy nation. His nation. He carefully crafted their journey to Egypt; their escape from Egypt; their rescue at the Red Sea and death of Pharaoh’s army; and the journey in the wilderness with a cloud and fire. But this intermingling with the people of Midian at the suggestion of Balaam? Nope. So God wanted this boil lanced. Better yet, eradicated.

Cruel? Inhumane? Uncalled for? On the surface it sure seems like it. But probing deeper, it was a necessity. God’s desire for His people then…and for His people today (Christ-followers)…is to be a holy people. Maybe it’s time for us-for me-to eradicate the unholy things in our lives.

“Father, you wanted a holy people. A people to call your own. You still want that. Help me to get rid of the sin which easily entangles me and run with patience the race set before me. (Heb.12:1). Help me to be a holy vessel for you.”


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Thank you, Bill, for explaining in detail what seems so harsh in the OT. God does want His people to be holy; that which detracts from that, our sin, is what keeps us from being called His own.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for your kind words Martha. I’m still learning about this and hopefully can shed some light as I go along. But you are right: we are called to be holy

  2. floyd samons says:

    Good for you, Bill. It takes guts to take on these types of verses and subjects in today’s world. The people called to lead that avoid these issues shouldn’t be leading…

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Floyd. I know I used to shy away from tough subjects…afraid of being wrong I guess. Hopefully God will keep teaching me.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    There are some things in the Bible that will continue to cause me tension. Some things that I read, I get it, but I don’t like it. How does one KNOW that a decision like this is from God? Could similar “call to arms” be given to individuals or nations today? Definitely challenging versus to read and to apply. Perhaps that is why they are typically avoided.