In our last look into Numbers (Chapter 31), God ordered the Israelites to slaughter another tribe. In addition to the mass killing of all male adults and non-virgin females, 32,000 virgins and male children were captured and raped. You may barf now. Will God apologize in Numbers 32? Don’t hold your breath because you will pass out first.
“Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, ‘Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them?’” – Numbers 32:6-7
Maybe the Gadites and Reubenites want to live a peaceful life? And is it really war when you are slaughtering everyone to death and/or raping the virgins? Moses tells a story of the previous generation that disobeyed God in a similar way.
“The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.” – Numbers 32:10-13
The moral of this story? Obey God in His command to slaughter innocent people or He will slaughter you.
“And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel.” – Numbers 32:14
I’m sorry, but who’s the sinner? The people looking for peace or the God commanding the slaughter of innocents? The men asking for peace agree to go to war as long as their women are allowed to stay behind.
“The Gadites and Reubenites answered, ‘Your servants will do what the Lord has said. We will cross over before the Lord into Canaan armed, but the property we inherit will be on this side of the Jordan.’” – Numbers 32:31-32
These people did what they were supposed to do and Moses gave them the requested land. In other words, no, God did not apologize for the mass slaughter in the previous chapter. In fact, God buckles down. The act of asking for peace is a sin in the eyes of God! He was set to punish those who didn’t continue on with his commanded slaughter of innocents. Yep, lots of good morals to live one’s life by here.
Coming Soon: Numbers – Chapter 33: Stages in Israel’s Journey