Religious Studies Essay Paper on Why God Allows Killing

Why God Allows Killing

The intensions of God in the biblical context have not been clearly understood by many people. God’s gestures and actions in issuing decrees to a nation like Israel to plunder and kill human beings without sparing the young or those who seem to be innocent appears to be quite irrational. What makes irrational is the fact that God himself is the genesis of all, He created every living thing and therefore He bears a responsibility of protecting his own creation. However, in what seems to be contrary, God orders the Israelites to “utterly destroy” anything that breaths (New International Version, Deut 20:16-17). God makes a promise to the Israelites to give them a land that was already occupied by other nations. The land which the Israelites were promised was occupied by the Jebusites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Girgashite and Hittites. The only way to occupy the land was by destroying these nations through what can be assumed to be “genocide”. However, it was a plan approved of God and considering the His nature, it would reflect otherwise of God.

In order to be able to understand God’s entire plan for mankind, it is important to relate different measures, which were authored by God.  One important aspect that a person should understand is that God does not operate from people’s opinion though he considered the prayers made by the righteous (Rad and Marva 64). From Christianity point of view, it is upon the human beings to fit in the perfect plan of God rather that God fitting in the plans of men. God, who is superior to human beings, cannot be subjected to humanistic opinions (Thomas 70). In his capacity, God is able to lift up some people and also destroy other because they are all subjects to his amendments. However, as much as He does things in His own way, He considers justice to all human beings. Analyzing the case of the Canaanites, where God’s mighty power is revealed against the people who occupied Jericho, it is important to consider all actions of God in the whole story.

First of all, God leads the people of Israel to destroy their enemies without a physical contest (Camp 2). The people of Israel did what they were communed by God, going round the city and later making a shout of Victory. The whole city of Jericho was destroyed with all the people inside.  However, Rahab who saved the people of Israel who went to spy the land of Jericho was spared. This lady, though she was a sinner and above all a Canaanite, she was spared from God’s wrath for acknowledging the God of the Israelite (Camp 3). What we should learn from this incident is that God shows partiality to anyone who acknowledges Him. Actually, the Canaanites had information about how God was working miraculously with the people of Israel along their way and that should have prompted their subjection to God. However, they did not subject to Gods reverence and therefore their destruction was inevitable. God’s just nature is revealed in many dimensions from this case. The Canaanite people sinned greatly to an extend of provoking God’s intervention. They were practicing a rare ritual of sacrificing their children. God had demonstrated great tolerance and patience when he delayed the promise that He had made to Abraham (New International Version, Gen 15:16). This gave the Canaanites a chance to change from their sinful ways and acknowledge God. Despite the destruction of the Canaanite, God intensions was to use one nation, Israel, to bring salvation to other nation. When the Gibeonites realized how God was working with the people of Israel, they used tricky ways to make a covenant with them. The covenant saved them though it was against Gods instructions to Israel. The fact that they acknowledged God, their case became different from other nations which were destroyed by Israelite on their way to the land of promise.

God, in His own plans decided to use the nation of Israel to reveal His plans for mankind. The intensions of God were to use Israel to bring salvation to other nations (Rubin 64). God operates under divine principle without any contradiction. The consequences of sinning is death and no matter who the sinner is, the principle applies (New International Version, Romans 6:23). Therefore, if those who claim to be God’s children continue living in sin, the wrath of God shall be on them. In the case of Jericho’s destruction, God had warned the people of Israel from possessing thing from the destruction. However, Achan went along and did contrary to Gods instruction. This resulted to destruction of Achan the sinner, and his entire kinship. God justice in dealing with all the parties was revealed when the entire family of Achan was destroyed just as God had destroyed the Canaanites. This clearly portrays that God does not show “favor” to some people in the expense of His principles (Thomas et al 70). However, anyone who subjects to God instruction is saved.


It is therefore necessary to understand the background and the basis of Gods action against certain people or nation. The failure to understand God plan and intentions for mankind would possibly result in destruction. Despite the harsh judgment that God brings against the people, it is important to understand that God provides a remedy prior to His actions. It would be off beam to assume that God operate through humanistic manipulation.

Work Cited

Camp, Phillip. An Excursus on the Ban.

New International Version. [Colorado Springs]: Biblica, 2011. Web. 21 October. 2014.

Rad, Gerhard , and Marva J. Dawn. Holy War in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1991. Print.

Rubin, David. God, Israel, and Shiloh: Returning to the Land. Jerusalem, Israel: Mazo Publishers, 2007. Print.

Thomas, Heath, Jeremy A. Evans, and Paul Copan. Holy War in the Bible: Christian Morality and an Old Testament Problem. , 2013. Print.