In my previous article, I tackled the false accusation that God contradicts Himself by saying that He will not change His mind, and then turns around and changes His mind. We saw that the atheist made the accusation based on a superficial reading of two different Biblical texts. Upon actually reading the texts, we saw that the Bible was correct and the atheist was wrong. The same will be proven in this article focusing on another “contradiction”.
This is the question that the atheist poses.
To demonstrate the contradiction, the atheist uses two different Biblical texts (in a superficial way of course).
3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” (I Samuel 15)
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful ; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 9 The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. (Psalm 145)
The text itself never says that God does not get angry. The text says that God is slow to anger. Let’s just see how good God is with all (as He says) and what actually drives Him to anger and deal out retribution.
I. The first text is from I Samuel, after Israel has entered into the promised land and lived through the 450 years of the judges. The reference made to Amalek is very important. In fact, the text tells us why they were to be attacked and punished. If the atheist had bothered to do any reading into the subject he would have seen the error of his ways. Verse two of I Samuel 15 says,
2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt.
What did Amalek do to Israel while they were on their way to the promised land? The answer is found in Exodus 17. Amalek waited until the people of Israel were weakened by lack of water. God had just quenched their thirst yet they were weakened. He chose to attack Israel and try to defeat them during their time of weakness.
17 “Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, 18 how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary ; and he did not fear God. 19 “Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven ; you must not forget. (Deuteronomy 25)
Amalek had no compassion for Israel. Why should he and his people demand compassion from others, from God? God was with Israel and gave them victory. God gave the Amalekites almost 500 years to repent of their actions and ask for forgiveness for their wicked deeds. They did not repent of course and so at the right time, God sent out His people to punish them for their wicked ways. I Samuel 15 is the fulfillment of the prophecy given in Deut 25. God was very compassionate upon the Amalekites, giving them almost 500 years time to repent and they chose to ignore God (much like atheists do today).
II. The Amalekites were evil people who abused God’s mercy and paid the price. Look at the practices among the land where the Amalekites lived. They can be found in Leviticus 18. I will list them below.
Human child sacrifices
These practices were going on openly for a period of almost 500 years. This is just a few of the many wicked things that the people engaged in. Were they being compassionate when they offered their children as child sacrifices in the fire of the Moloch? God showed them mercy and was very slow to anger. When He finally did get angry, He gave the people what they deserved.
III. God is very compassionate because He does not punish us immediately with what we deserve because of our wicked actions. The second passage used by the atheist was Psalm 145. I want to explain to all, especially the atheist why God is compassionate and how He is compassionate with us. The Bible teaches that all people are born sinners and the penalty for being a sinner (breaking God’s laws) is death. We all deserve death for our actions and thoughts. God is merciful and does not deal out our punishment right away. The Apostle Paul explains this in his letter to the church of Rome.
4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance ? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS : 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life ; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, (Romans 2)
God is tolerant and patient with us so that we will come to our senses and repent. But, if we are stubborn and wicked then His patience and mercy will come to an end and we will receive the wrath and judgment that we deserve. The choice is up to us and we have no one other than ourselves to blame. This is why John 3:16 is the golden verse of the Bible.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Jesus took our place so that we would not perish but have eternal life. If that is not compassion and mercy then I do not know what is. Have you experienced God’s mercy and compassion? Maybe you ridicule God’s mercy because you do not understand it and have never experienced it. Now would be the perfect time to experience God’s mercy and compassion.