Cruelty In The Bible?
would God kill king David's baby?
THE CLAIMED CRUELTY: He
[God] killed King Davids baby because of Davids adultery with Bathsheba
(II Samuel 12:13-18);
As I've mentioned in previous responses, the
American Humanists have no legitimacy to claim that killing babies is immoral...
they are in favor of killing babies through abortion, and state this on their
web site. However, we Christians are definitely against killing babies, wherever
they are located -- inside or outside of the womb. So let's look at this accusation.
Of course, we do have to make some assumptions about what the humanists think
Here is what II Samuel says:
David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said
to David, The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. However,
because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme,
the child also that is born to you shall surely die. So Nathan went to his
house. Then the Lord struck the child that Uriahs widow bore to David, so
that he was very sick. - 2 Samuel 12:13-15
it happened on the seventh day that the child died. - 2 Samuel 12:18
is no question that we are hurt when a child dies, and appalled when a baby is
killed. It is tragic. So why did God do this? The death of a child never feels
There seems to be an explanation given "because
by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme,"
but there are variety of opinions as to what this means. The reality is that the
focus of the narrative is on David, not his child. So we simply are not given
enough information to know why God took the child's life.
We do know that
the reason for the child's death is more than what the humanists state, "because
of David's adultery." The complete verse says that it was because it
would give "occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme."
Also, Ezekiel 18:20 makes it clear that "The
person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's
iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity."
So the baby was not punished for David's sin. There is something more going on.
It may have to do with David not just being king, but being the king from whose
line the Messiah will come. Possibly, if there was a living illegitimate child
by Bathsheba, whom David loved more than any of his other children, a new line
would have been started that would have caused a problem of some sort.
bottom line is, we don't know. In this case God has not given us enough information..
Live In A Fallen World
One thing to always keep in mind is that we live
in a damaged, broken world in which things are not as they are supposed to
be... it is a world that is far from perfect. Sin is horrible, and sometimes in
our fallen world there are no good options in response to sin. At times we must
make a choice between the lesser of two evils, because that's the best we can
do. God never has to make that type of choice, but the problem is, from our limited
perspective, even if we had sufficient information, we may not fully understand
what God is doing.
Is Physical Death Evil?
There is an assumption
built into many of the humanist's claims, including this one... that physical
death is always evil. But is that true? No, it is not. For example, Paul writes:
to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh,
this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know [t]which to choose. But
I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with
Christ, for that is very much better. - Philippians 1:21-23
why doesn't Paul commit suicide and go to be with Christ? Because, that is not
our decision to make. We are owned by God, and God decides when we will leave
The righteous man perishes,
and no man takes it to heart;
And devout men are taken away, while no one understands.
the righteous man is taken away from evil,
He enters into peace. - Isaiah
Death is not evil. It brings peace for the righteous.
What is evil is our taking life. When a life will end is not our decision to make.
That belongs to God alone.
What is evil is murder, whether it is taking
your own life, or taking the life of another... including taking the life of a
baby in the womb. We are owned by God, and only He has the right to determine
when someone is to physically die.
Press has a good summary:
it is the case that God treated David in perfect accord with the Law of Moses,
showing no partiality. Furthermore, it has been shown that since death is not
inherently evil, God was not guilty of immorality by causing the childs
death. God also ushered Davids son into an eternity of bliss. Therefore,
the skeptics charge against God fails once again to discredit His infinitely
flawless character. As Abraham asked the rhetorical question in the long ago,
Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25). The
answer has been the same throughout the millenniaa resounding Yes.
God is not cruel nor immoral. God is the source of life, and He fully and completely
owns us... and He has the right to take our life. Physical death is not inherently
evil. Even if God does not give us enough information, it is obvious there was
nothing evil or immoral that happened.
Next example: [God
is cruel because] he required the torture and murder of his own son (e.g., Romans
Click here to learn
why Jesus had to die...