A Question I Was Asked:

Why Did God Allow the Destruction of Children?

The Question:

I fully understand and accept the Bible's narrative concerning the destruction of the Canaanites. What is a stumbling block to me is the extermination of children. Whether they be in the womb or at the breast, it is difficult for me to see how the JUSTICE of infanticide may be reconciled with God's mercy.

UK Apologetics Reply:

Let me answer your question this way: You must understand and agree that everybody will die one day - no exceptions. As a believer, you must also agree that God alone gives us life. I will suggest a third thing: sometimes we don't like the way that people die but we have to accept death as being part of our earthly experience, and we all do accept that. God alone is responsible for giving us life, but His responsibility also includes deciding the time of our death. Without God your question would become meaningless because there would be no life and no death. I know that your emotions in this matter are wholly decent, but sometimes we get confused by modern liberal attitudes. They teach a kind of weak, soppy, responsibility-dodging 'love.' But the love of God includes the elements of justice, fairness and judgment. In the incident you refer to, God is reminding all of us that life in a world which is living according to evil Satanic standards is often harsh. God takes full responsibility for those children each of which will stand in the Judgment and many, possibly even all, will ultimately find life in His kingdom. We can count on God's perfect judgment and justice in this matter. You mention 'God's mercy' - but God reserves the right to display mercy in the way that He chooses; God's mercy is sometimes shown in causing an early death to come to those whose lives were probably headed for much misery. You and I can only view this matter with the limited perspective of being physical beings of limited life span. To people, physical life is all there is and we always struggle to hold onto it. God, however, can view this matter with the perspective of eternity; He knows that this physical life is only temporary and He knows that real, eternal, spiritual life lies ahead. He makes decisions according to this supreme, eternal perspective, knowing what is best for every single individual in the long-term. We should say, with Job,

"...Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." (Job 1:21b).

Robin A. Brace. June 1st, 2011.