Psalm 137 and God's ethics

From: Jay Willingham (
Date: Mon Jul 01 2002 - 18:38:35 EDT

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    God specifically instructed Israel as they took possession of Canaan to =
    kill every man woman and child of certain peoples. He did this as a =
    judgment on those peoples. =20

    "Deuteronomy 7
    1 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to =
    possess and drives out before you many nations-the Hittites, =
    Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, =
    seven nations larger and stronger than you- 2 and when the Lord your God =
    has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must =
    destroy them totally.=20

    "Deuteronomy 9
    3 But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across =
    ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue =
    them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them =
    quickly, as the Lord has promised you.=20
    4 After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to =
    yourself, "The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land =
    because of my righteousness." No, it is on account of the wickedness of =
    these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you."

      Certainly Babylon of Psalm 137 qualified as a wicked nation.

    How can God, who is love, decree such things? Perhaps the question is =
    more properly who are we to question his sovereign will.
    We too often impress our delicate human sensitivities upon a Holy God. =
    Where we see the surface only, he sees the heart. He also sees all time =
    like a table, a created thing lying before him complete from its =
    creation to the passing away of time itself. The images of people under =
    the full wrath of God set forth in Revelation does not draw a =
    distinction between babes in arms and adults. =20

    We either trust his judgment or we cannot trust him at all. =20

    When we give man's reason latitude in deciding what portions of the =
    Bible are legitimately "God breathed" and which are not, the Bible =
    becomes just another book.=20

    Thomas Jefferson's ideas on the subject I found less than persuasive. =
    Such editorial latitude creates a mercurial rather than a stable moral =

    We are always trying to add to or detract from Jesus' finished work on =
    the cross and show how smart we are or how righteous we can become =
    through our own efforts.

    Respectfully submitted,


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