Job 35:2 Thinkest thou this to be right, [that] thou saidst, My righteousness [is] more than God’s?
There are many who object to the Judeo-Christian world view, due to the accounts in God’s Word when God commands the Israelites to wipe out a nation, for example.
1 Samuel 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Admittedly, this is a hard criticism to answer. Not because there is not a good answer, but because the same skeptic who condemns the God of the Bible, thinking their righteousness is more than God’s, would also likely reject the foundational tenets of this answer, if they bothered to read it. So, why answer? Because the answer honours God and His Word! Also, because many would be mislead, if they only hear the skeptic and not the rebuttal.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
There is a good deal of overlap between this topic and Why is there Pain and Suffering?, but there is enough difference that it deserves a separate article. Especially since it is also strongly addressed in the book of Job. One difference is that the deaths in the book of Job, for example, were attributed to Satan, not God. In this article we focus on the occasions when God commands, rather than allows, the death of individuals who have committed no capital crime. Please read that other article, so we don’t need to repeat a lot of it here. Thanks!
There are some who attempt to salvage God’s reputation, for ordering the Israelites to wipe out entire nations, by claiming that only the men would be remaining to defend the city. The women and children would have known of the coming attack and would have retreated to safety. Even the men who recognized that their nation deserved to be destroyed would not have stayed to defend it. So, only those responsible for the national rebellion would be wiped out in the battle. Whether or not that is true, this article will not be approaching the topic this way. Among other reasons, what about the flood of Noah’s day? The Bible does not say that God allowed Satan to create a global flood, but that it was the action of God Himself. The Bible is clear that the eight on the ark were the only people to escape destruction. So, the above thesis does not fully answer the challenge anyway.
God’s defence is His glory.
Revelation 14:7 … Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
34 … I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:
35 And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Job 41:11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay [him? whatsoever is] under the whole heaven is mine.
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
1 Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine;] thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.
We are all condemned to death.
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Genesis 3:17, 19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: … unto dust shalt thou return.
Romans 5:12, 18
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
18 … as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Every breath is from God’s grace.
12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.
13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?
14 If he set his heart upon man, [if] he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;
15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.
John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Each breath we take is a gift from God. He does not owe us another one. God’s holiness and righteousness do not depend on our receipt of another moment of life. He need not provide any justification for when, or how, our earthly lives end. Though we can take steps to hasten our demise, there is no guarantee, there is no contract, that our lives will last. However you define “long life,” it still ends.
12 Behold, … God is greater than man.
13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.
The Biblical standard is high, for when mankind is to take a human life, and people get confused and start to misapply these criteria to God. By definition, God is all-knowing and all-powerful. Mankind is not … not even close. Just because we must provide biblical justification any time we take a human life, does not mean that God needs to answer to us. Sometimes God reveals to us the details of how the manner and timing of a person’s death fits into His glorious plan, usually He does not.
God can do some things that we cannot rightly do …
8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
2 Thessalonians 2:1,4
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, …
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.