Why Did God Command Israel to Kill Infants?

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Hi J____,

Yes, of course we all ask this question when we first learn of God’s Words. But in time we learn that life comes only through death, and we learn that God is the author of both. Here is what Job said upon learning of the loss of all of his children and all that he owned:

Job 1:21  And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

From God’s perspective, physical life is not life at all, and is simply the first step towards obtaining life. That is what is revealed in these verses:

Ecc 7:1  A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
Mat 8:21  And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Mat 8:22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

So all the infants and women and children who have been what is called, in military terms, “collateral damage”, will be raised up in spiritual bodies which cannot be affected by the swords, guns or bombs of a physical creation. It will be in this form that they will be judged and purified and given life, through what, for shear numbers, will be the greatest work of God’s chastening grace that is revealed in God’s Word. I am speaking of the fire of God’s Word in the mouths of His elect, which is called “a lake of fire”. I think you know by now that this is not a physical lake of fire, but it is the fire that will try every man’s works of what sort they are.

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

We are all “saved by fire”. It is an event which is common to “every man”:

Ecc 9:2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

There it is. Even death is ours, and death is the agency through which life is given.

I hope this helps you to see that the death of the infants that God ordered Israel to inflict upon her enemies is really better than their beginning or their birth, simply because God is able to give them life in a resurrection. It is also important that we realize that everything that happened in the history and economy of ancient Israel was all done for our benefit and for our admonition.

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

So the death of Israel’s enemies, including the infants, children and women, all serve as a shadow and a type of how we are to deal with the spiritual enemies and armies that are part of the spiritual warfare which is being waged within the hearts and minds of God’s elect. It was all done “for our sakes”.

2Co 4:15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

We are never to make allies of or treaties with the enemies within:

2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [ places].
Col 2:15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

This is all taking place within the heavens of our hearts and minds, where Christ is in the process of dethroning the man of sin within us, who demands that we worship and serve and please ourselves and our flesh.

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come [ the coming of Christ into our lives], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth him self above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing him self that he is God.

The destruction of the infants of Israel’s enemies is a type and a shadow of how serious we need to be in fighting sin within us and heresy within our midst.
“The day of one’s death is better than the day of birth, and the end of a thing is better than the beginning”.

Your brother in Christ,

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