Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why did God put some people to death?

Why did God put some people to death (Genesis 38:7-10)?

It may seem that God is arbitrary in his punishment. Some men and women have been executed for what seem to be minor offenses; others – perverse criminals – have been allowed to wallow in their wickedness. Why is it that God sometimes appears inconsistent in his discipline?

The Bible reminds us that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He wants every person to take responsibility for his or her own wrongdoing and to turn from it (Ezek. 33:11). On the other hand, God in his wisdom chooses to make examples of some people, and that may have been the case with the men in these verses. Their punishment reminds us that even relatively minor offenses separate us from God. Perhaps God allows some of the wicked to live because he wants to give them time to turn from their evil ways, no matter how deeply depraved they may appear to be. He has tolerated the corruption of some for decades or even a lifetime. Some of the most evil people in history have turned from their immoral ways to become great builders of God’s kingdom. The apostle Paul is an example of such a person.

–The Quest Study Bible

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