hard passages!?

You are building a relationship with a non-christian, one that is genuinely reading the bible to understand better what you believe. Things have been going well, they are getting a positive sense of God’s love and Jesus’ mission. But then they happen along 1 Samuel 15, and crash into the opening words:

Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ [1 Samuel 15:1-3]

They are horrified – even the innocent? How does this fit with a loving God, how does this compare with Jesus’ mission? This sounds like ethnic cleansing?

How would you respond? How do you deal with challenges like these?


  1. The key concept I focus on is the transforming work of Jesus Christ from the old testament to the new testament.

    Life is transformed through Jesus Christ. Simon Peter the Zealot was transformed into an apostle who was sent to love and tend to the flock of God. He was transformed from a violent defender of his faith to a servant leader.

    We can never understand the context of the old testament culture and the regulations that God required of these people … but we have to understand that because of the reality of this old testament culture God was intentful to not leave people under these regulations and made room for change – made preparation for transformation.

    The question we should ask is not if this text in the old testament is fair, but the question we should ask is; do we understand how much grace and mercy we live under today? We live under grace today because of what God has done through the redemption of his Son to bring us out of that context and into his grace – do we fully understand how we live today is so utterly different from how the people in the old testament context lived… this realization makes me cringe in the reality of what life must have been like before Jesus came and brought redemption.

    We have no idea what holiness is.

    We have no idea what life separate from God in those days were.

    We have much that we have taken for granted under this age of grace.

    I fall on my knees, I fall flat on my face when I even try to imagine what we have been taken out of.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *