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Hard Stuff
Posted on August 26, 2010

What do you do with hard stuff in the Bible? In the series of Blog entries on demanding (here, here, and here) we looked at 1 Samuel 15 where in verse 3 Samuel instructs Saul on behalf of God to wipe out Amalek. By wipe out, leave nothing alive. Extermination was the goal and the command. Some people responded to that, especially the part where it was specified that the command included infants. There was response on the website and I got some email about the issue. What do you do with that? I posted this on or about the day that I first held my newborn granddaughter. She is totally helpless and innocent, yet those like her in Amalek were under a death sentence from God through Samuel.

I thought it might be a useful exercise to use this as a way to examine how we can and should deal with difficult passages in the Bible. There are more than a few. The process we will follow will take some time and will require some deep thought and some work on those who wish to participate. It will take several of these posts spread over several weeks. If you stick with it I will equip you to handle just about any of the difficult issues you find in scripture.

The first step is to be transparent about how this command of God impacts you. How do you react to it? What questions does it raise about God for you? How does this command align with your view of God? Perhaps it makes you think that Samuel got it wrong? Think through this and let me know either by posting below or sending me an email directly. I would prefer that you post here so that all can see your responses. If you would rather not have them see it I will use your response anonymously should you send it by email.

The next step will be to summarize the responses, I will explain why that is important in that post. I will wait a few days to summarize to allow people time to read and think through this. If you think that others could benefit from this please forward me their email or have them sign up for the e-newsletter on the website.

I am looking forward to seeing how this exercise plays out.

PS. One of the things that we really covet is your prayer for this ministry. We send out on Mondays a weekly intercession request. If you would commit to pray for us please click here to join our intercession team.

entered at August 26, 2010 12:15:PM by jim cooke
Mike, you haven't heard from me for quite some time because I spent 7 months at a Teen Challenge facility trying to put to rest a depression (bi-polar) that has plagued me for years. I believe most of my problems could relate to generational curses and are spiritual to a great extent. Since last November because of my many depression episodes my wife of 22 years asked for a separation, then 5 months into being at T.C. I received divorce papers from her attorney. I never went that long in terms of dealing with depression, treatment wise that is, so I was hoping the long term stay would benefit my marriage not cause it to come to an end. But she has been through a lot with my overdosing several times on prescription meds, but I have never taken illegal drugs, never smoked anything in my life, and haven't had any alcohol in 25 years. Just mental illness is the reason for my wife filing for divorce. No extra-marrital affairs, but giving up on life is the issue. I don't ever want to go there again. I am also currently seeking a job. satan will use any ploy possible to discourage us and he wants me to be discouraged right now. You can take this off of the blog if you just want to read it for yourself, but it definitely has some tough issues in it in regards to tough Bible stuff. I love helping people and always have. Monday I have an interview that I hope goes well for a position with a higher level education institute. Please pray for me, I will appreciate it. For other help, I have been to see Dr. Basil Frasure, and some of your readers may find him helpful, if not for counseling, he has some excellent articles at his website, http://www.wholeperson-counseling.org/ - I know this is a long post - and to acknowledge the Amalek issue, if God said to wipe em all out, then I am sure that is what he meant, and I am sure since the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then Samuel didn't get it wrong. See 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New American Standard Bible) 16(A)All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that (B)the man of God may be adequate, (C)equipped for every good work. May God bless your ministry efforts and all that you do, sincerely, Jim Cooke

entered at August 26, 2010 12:35:PM by Lin Brister
I have always had difficulty dealing with the sort of "all or none" directives God often gives the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. It almost seems that the God of the O.T. is much more vindictive than the God of the N.T. who seems more merciful and full of grace. However I do recall that God reminded one of His prophets that he didn't know all that had gone on before in His relationship with the other nations and that He had dealt with them in the past and his directives were in accordance to their responses then. In other words the Israelites had the option of following Yahweh or not and He may well have made the same offer to the other nations in the past and they had opted to follow other gods. I could get the scripure but don't have it on the tip of my tongue that supports that sort of thought.

entered at August 26, 2010 01:31:PM by mike s
"What questions does it raise about God for you?" Isa 55:8; Titus 1:2 could help in an analysis...


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