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?