Is God a Murderer? 

Was Abraham Commanded to Murder His Son?
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Abraham was told to give his son as a sacrifice symbolized in the symbolic service.  Some might be saying “If God ever told me to murder my son I would tell Him no.” Abraham knew the Father’s voice. Yet Satan’s voice was suggesting that this was murder.  Was it murder or justice?

“Satan was on hand to suggest that he must be deceived, for the divine law commands, “thou shalt not kill, ” and God would not require what He has once forbidden…Darkness seemed to shut him in; but the command of God was sounding in his ears… That command must be obeyed and he dared not delay.” (Patriarchs and Prophets 148)

Satan suggested it was “murder” for Abraham to sacrifice his son. But it wasn’t. There is a big difference between “murder” and “judgment”. Satan suggested it was murder. But God was teaching Abraham about the judgment. We are told in scripture that “sin is transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4) and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23) Not very good wages to say the least for breaking God’s law. But a law without a penalty has no force. If you do the work, God will pay you the wages.

Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.” (Deu 24:15 NIV)

If God were not to pay the wages of death at the end of the judgment, you would make God a law breaker by saying that He would not pay his wages at the end of the day.

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, ***Vengeance is mine; I will repay***, saith the Lord.

This verse is quoted from Deutoronomy 32:35. I want to read it with some of the context.

Deuteronomy 32:35, 39 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence (repayment) for the day of their calamity is at hand… See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: ***I kill,*** and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

This verse tells us that the payment or recompence is “I kill”. It also means “I will put to death.” He says that at the end of the day he will pay the workers their wages. The wages for sin is death.  If He didn’t He would be a liar.

The bible tells us the difference between “murder” and the death penalty. Or between “Murder” and the judgment.abraham-isaac

In the commandment “Thou shall not kill” the Hebrew for “kill” in this verse is the word “ratsach” and the strongs concordance tells us that it means “especially to murder”. That same word “ratsach” is used also in the following verse. Notice wh
at it says:

Num 35:16 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer (heb: ratsach): the murderer (heb: ratsach) shall surely be put to death. (heb: muwth)

The judgment is to put the murderer to death. The judgment was a righteous judgment. These judgments were misunderstood by Israel. But the law teaches that God desired mercy before judgment. (Jam 2:13)

The bible teaches that there is justified “killing”. And not all “killing” is “murder”. If you were guilty of murder and the civil law was teaching that the murderer was to be put to death. Would the judge who made the final judgment and the ones who execute the judgment be guilty of murder?  Would you ever hire murderers and thugs to execute the judgment?

Was Elijah Commanded to Murder?

For instance was Elijah a murderer for upholding the civil law? And was God an accomplice in this murder for telling Elijah to do it? We are told that Elijah was “directed by the Lord to destroy”.

“That repentant Israel may be protected from the allurements of those who have taught them to worship Baal, ***Elijah is directed by the Lord to destroy*** these false teachers.” (Prophets and Kings 154)

***God wrought through Elijah when He destroyed the prophets of Baal*** which kindled the fires of hell in the heart of Jezebel to avenge the blood of the priests of Baal. ” (Ellen White 1888 487)

We are told that God through Elijah destroyed these prophets. Is God breaking the law by killing them, or is God upholding the law?  Is God commanding Elijah to break a commandment especially after telling Ahab that he had “forsaken the commandments of the LORD” (1 Kin 18:18)

The bible also tells us about the Levites who were commanded by God to destroy all the souls that would not repent of the idolatry of the golden calf.  Those who repented were not allowed to execute the judgment.  Only the righteous could execute the judgment of God as it is written.  “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone”.   Was God commanding them to murder after just giving them the 10 commandments written in stone? This would have definitely confused the people who were upholding God’s law if God was now telling them to violate His law. This would certainly not be a God we could trust if He was teaching them to violate the law.

The Gospel Taught to Abraham

God was teaching them to uphold His law. Not to murder, but to execute judgment. And this is the case with Abraham when he was to give his son Isaac.

God promised a seed that was to give His life for sin. This was taught to Abraham in the sacrificial service. Abraham was told that through his seed a great multitude of people would be saved.  This was the promise.

Romans 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, ***In Isaac shall thy seed*** be called.

Abraham understood that deliverance and redemption would come through Isaac. And this is how Abraham understood it when the voice came to him to deliver up his son.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”  (Heb 11:17-19)

Here we see that Abraham believed that this was the seed of promise, and that this seed would be resurrected.  In Galatians we are told that the promised seed was the “Messiah” since the term “Messiah being interpreted is the Christ” (John 1:41)  And the messiah was resurrected.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Abraham was promised the Christ or the Messiah.  The Messiah was to pay the wages of sin.  The term “redeemed” means to buy back, or pay for.  Therefore Abraham understood that the Messiah was to be made sin for us, and he understood that this was not murder to kill his son, but rather that it was judgment.   There is a big difference between murder and judgment, and to suggest that judgment is murder was exactly what Satan was doing to Abraham.   Suggesting that God was commanding him to break the law.  But Christ fulfilled the law by paying or redeeming the wages.

Paying the Wages

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath ***redeemed us from the curse of the law***, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

He paid the price for law breaking.  He took the curse.  He suffered the judgment.  The law could not be change since the law is perfect, therefore it was necessary that the price be paid.  And Christ paid the price of the murderer.  Not so the murderer could continue in murder, but so that the murderer could be free from the wages he had earned.  When Abraham was to give his son Isaac, he believed it was to pay the price for the sins of the world so that many could be saved. (John 3:16)  He believed that Isaac was the messiah, and he believed that God would resurrect him.  That this was the price that must be paid.  However, though he paid the price many will not accept it.

When Satan suggested to Abraham that it was murder, God told Abraham that it was not murder, it was judgment.  If God commands Abraham to execute the judgment, then it is to be done.  If God commanded Elijah to execute judgment.  It is not murder

Was God commanding the Levites to break the law or to maintain the law?

“Yet even here God’s mercy was displayed. While He maintained His law, He granted freedom of choice and opportunity for repentance to all. Only those were cut off who persisted in rebellion…Those who performed this terrible work of judgment were acting by divine authority, executing the sentence of the King of heaven. Men are to beware how they, in their human blindness, judge and condemn their fellow men; but when God commands them to execute His sentence upon iniquity, He is to be obeyed. Those who performed this painful act, thus manifested their abhorrence of rebellion and idolatry, and consecrated themselves more fully to the service of the true God. The Lord honored their faithfulness by bestowing special distinction upon the tribe of Levi. (Patriarchs and Prophets 324)images

Sometimes God commands his people or his angels to execute judgment.   This is an act of mercy.

“That the divine government might be maintained justice must be visited upon the traitors. Yet even here God’s mercy was displayed. While He maintained His law, He granted freedom of choice and opportunity for repentance to all. Only those were cut off who persisted in rebellion.” (Patriarchs and Prophets 324)

But Satan suggests to the mind that this is violation of the commandment “Thou shall not murder”.   Satan is suggesting to many minds that God is a murderer for executing judgment.  Satan is suggesting that God is an accomplice of murder for having others execute his judgments.   Satan is constantly trying to shroud the word of God in mystery making God’s word of no effect.  Trying to make God a liar, accusing God of murder, tyranny, being a dictator, when he is the guilty one himself.

It is in mercy that final judgment will be given to the world.  Sometimes to put one out of their misery they are cut off.  Sometimes to save some we are told that God must cut off some.

“While He does not delight in vengeance, He will execute judgment upon the transgressors of His law. He is forced to do this, to preserve the inhabitants of the earth from utter depravity and ruin. In order to save some He must cut off those who have become hardened in sin” {Ellen White Patriarchs and Prophets Page 628)

To murder is a violation of the law.  To execute judgment is to uphold the law.  What position does it put us in if we accuse God of being a murderer when the bible says He is paying the worker their wages at the end of the day and upholding His law? (Deu 24:15)  If we accuse Him of murder and injustice, it puts us on the side of the accuser.

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