The Lord said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”
The Lord tells Moses to exterminate the Midianites.
This is the first time in Israel’s history that God is mandating a war of extermination. And this is a story that troubles a lot of people. God told Moses to have the army take vengeance on the people of Midian, except very young girls. And it was done. The question that arises in many minds is how
could God give a command to kill the people?
The Midianites were guilty of seducing Israel into sexual immorality and idolatry (Numbers 25). This was God’s decision not the Israelites’. God alone gives life and He alone has the right to decide death. When we see war and calamities around us, we tend to ask how does a good God allow such bad things to happen? But there is a basic problem with that question.
We often tend to forget our own sinful nature. We assume we deserve better. But the fact is that the Bible says for all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). And so, the real question we need to be asking is why not me? Why have I been spared? The fact is that not one of us is righteous or deserving of anything less than eternal hell.
Only when we are able to see ourselves for the sinners that we are and to see who we are without Christ, that we can truly seek forgiveness and accept the salvation that Christ offers through His death and resurrection. For the Bible says, unless we repent, we will perish too (Luke 13:5).
Would you ask God to give you a contrite and repentant heart?
Lord, help me to be ever-conscious of my sin and your grace, I pray.