May 27, 2012

God Hardened Hearts – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.  Joshua 11:20

One of the most bitter complaints of critics against the Bible is its portrayal of the severity of God, especially in His command to Moses to destroy all the Canaanites.

“When the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them.” Deuteronomy 7:2.

This seems more severe than ever when we read in our text that God Himself hardened the hearts of the Canaanites so that Joshua could destroy them.

The famous atheist, Richard Dawkins said, “The God of the Old Testament is…a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser…” Richard says he doesn’t believe God exists but seems awfully angry at Him as he calls Him “infanticidal” and “genocidal,” a “malevolent bully.”

But the notion that God ought to be a kindly grandfather figure who charitably overlooks sin, is a self-serving figment of man’s sinful imagination. The New Testament reminds us that “our God is a consuming fire” (Heb.12:29) and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:23).

The idea that God was mean in the Old Testament but is nicer now, is absurd foolishness.

“The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.” Psalm 33:11

“For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17

Likewise, the Bible makes it clear that our Savior Jesus Christ, will not tolerate, but will certainly punish un-forgiven sin.

“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angles, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” II Thessalonians 1:7-8.

As far as the Canaanites were concerned, God had given them 400 years to repent (Genesis15:13-16) but each new generation had gone further away from God than the one before, and they were practicing (as archaeology has revealed) every form of debauchery known to man.

Decreeing their total destruction now was an act of mercy by God toward their innocent children (since death would assure eternity in heaven) as well as toward all those who would come in contact with them in future generations.

They had already irrevocably hardened their hearts toward God, so that God now hardened their hearts against Israel. Thinking they could destroy God’s people, they only hastened their well-deserved end.

Adapted from an article by Henry M. Morris

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