Can anyone understand something when it is taken out of context? NO… nothing would be understood by anyone if what they read was taken out of the context it was (originally) written in. Even worse, when someone takes and fixates on something they dislike [as if they were in a myopic fog] and they’d come to erroneous conclusions (assumptions) due to their own prejudices. I find there are many people the world over… people with letters after their name… people that would point a finger at any little thing and, after jumping to a conclusion, are entirely wrong in their own view. Many are the cliches that come to mind when I encounter such people, where they have many letters of accomplishment, but they would fail at life itself, and it can be seen where they fail to use basic logic or reason to come to grips with such error. I have a favorite quote, see below…
“I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.”
Richard P. Feynman
I have heard such ignorance coming from (supposedly) intelligent people, where they quote inferences in the Bible (on killing or brutal events and blame God) and cannot see the daily papers and associate this same loathing for those doing the same thing today. Fitch’s Paradox of Knowability comes out to play, when we would assume we know something we think we know (and don’t), and, as stated in the foreword from the link… “clearly there are unknown truths; individually and collectively we are non-omniscient.” In algebraic equations, using the associative property, what is true on one side of the equation should also be equal on the other. Is this not anti-logical or anti-realist to presume soundness of reason for what they use (by example), thinking they know, when the truth is they do not acknowledge the same thing today (by man) as being equally heinous? I heard this phrase a long time ago,”Text without context is pretext.” Would you not agree? The killing of babies today [with abortions] is equally beyond the pale but yet… no one is either willing to associate this truth with killing done in the past or they would rather just use this as an excuse to blame God for perceptions of wrong doing. Really… a grain of sand to raise a fist at the Creator of the universe?
Isaiah 46:10 KJV Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
What was quoted (without reference to passage) was 1 Samuel… where “the description of the god when he walks and throws infidels’ infants against the rock.”This thought, which is out of context, disregards many issues. The first is… reason for God’s wrath against those mentioned- the why. After seeing: the plagues delivered to those in Egypt, hearing of the firstborn being killed (here was the Passover based- and coming from the blood marked doorways of those to be preserved)… knowing the release of the Israelites came by their God’s hand. Those that were slaughtered (mentioned in 1 Samuel 15: 2-3) dared to stand against a holy God… and God directed Israel to do this, remembering their actions against God Himself. There is surely found great and severe punishment brought on by direct and purposed actions against God… the sins against man are far less than those done against God or God’s own. There was also a past reason and a present one, for God, to have such a determination to act heavy handed. It is not up to the pleasures of man/woman to conclude we hold any right to hold God to task for what He decides to do! Most of us are not even willing to come face to face with the truth of ‘who we are,’ let alone to acknowledge God as being ‘The God of eternity past, present and eternity future.”
Directly after God led Moses to free His people… there was a people that stood in God’s way, against the Hebrew people themselves, deliberately. These are the people later killed… the Amalekites, and found they could not stand against God’s choice and pleasure granted to the Jewish people.
(Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley)–that is, on the other side of the Idumean mountain, at whose base they were then encamped. Those nomad tribes had at that time occupied it with a determination to oppose the further progress of the Hebrew people. Hence God gave the command that they seek a safe and timely retreat into the desert, to escape the pursuit of those resolute enemies, to whom, with their wives and children, they would fall a helpless prey because they had forfeited the presence and protection of God. This verse forms an important part of the narrative and should be freed from the parenthetical form which our English translators have given it.
1 Samuel 5:1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.
The ‘what’ was a direct consequence of the ‘why’ (what was done), the who affected were the: Philistines, Amalekites, the god Dagon (the representation of him- an idol), the people of Israel and the people the Philistines took the ark to… as all were dealt with by an angry living God.
Throughout the narratives relating the encounters between the people of Israel and the Philistines, there persists an underlying theological dilemma. Which deity is greater and therefore the one to worship and serve: the Lord God or Dagon?
1 Samuel 5:6-11 6 But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof. 7 And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god. 8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither. 9 And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts . 10 Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people. 11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
When one cannot see the wrong that was done, the theft of something belonging to the living God, the God of Israel, and His chosen people… there is ‘nothing’ but blame to be seen- even displaced blame and insolent by purpose. Woe to those that displease the living God. Please understand God was displeased with His people also, for taking the ark to battle (pride before the loss of it due to its location), and they went through their own woes.
Hebrews 10:31 KJV It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
“Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,” Psalms 72:18
1 Samuel 6:20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?
As it is true, this awful thing happened, it turns out there was killing done by those that had this same thing happen to them. There is no sense of ‘innocence’ when it comes to the whole family of mankind… all of us have been born into sin and are sinful. What God sees when He sees us in our natural state… is sin itself. When the people of Israel repented from serving the gods Baalim and Ashtaroth, here is what happened, see below…
Ashtoreth. Ashtoreth was a popular goddess in several cultures. Her worship attracted the Israelites shortly after their settlement in Canaan. At the heart of this pagan religion was the worship of the fertility or fecundity “forces/features” that characterized the animate aspects of the created world. Ashtoreth’s popularity among the Phoenicians and other northwest Semitic peoples was long-standing.
The major confrontation between Ashtoreth and Yahweh took place during the days of Eli, Samuel, and Saul. Particularly after the defeat on Mount Gilboa, the people of Israel faced an almost imponderable theological dilemma. Instructions were sent throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim victory over Israel and their God Yahweh. The proclamation was to be made in the temples of their idols and among the people ( 1 Sam 31:6-10 ): the Baals and Ashtoreths were mightier than the Lord!
1 Samuel 7:7-9 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. 9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.
The character and importance of the national convention at Mizpeh were fully appreciated by the Philistines. They discerned in it the rising spirit of religious patriotism among the Israelites that was prepared to throw off the yoke of their domination. Anxious to crush it at the first, they made a sudden incursion while the Israelites were in the midst of their solemn celebration. Unprepared for resistance, they besought Samuel to supplicate the divine interposition to save them from their enemies. The prophet’s prayers and sacrifice were answered by such a tremendous storm of thunder and lightning that the assailants, panic-struck, were disordered and fled. The Israelites, recognizing the hand of God, rushed courageously on the foe they had so much dreaded and committed such immense havoc, that the Philistines did not for long recover from this disastrous blow. This brilliant victory secured peace and independence to Israel for twenty years, as well as the restitution of the usurped territory.
1 Samuel 11:2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel.
1 Samuel 11:5-6 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. 6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.
1 Samuel 12:18-25 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. 19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king. 20 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; 21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. 22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. 23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. 25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.
1 Samuel 13:5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven.
1 Samuel 15:2-3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Not as though the word of God had taken none effect–“hath fallen to the ground,” that is, failed: compare Luke 16:17 , Greek.
When one attempts to ascertain true meaning from scripture, it is always better to try and read: the verse, chapter or book in their entirety… before coming to conclusion one has it right (of what is being related to the reader) or it is entirely possible to lose perspective of the horizon of thought presented. Without sight of the horizon… we would not be able to seeing the rising sun (the light of understanding) on something the Spirit of God is trying to teach us- for our own benefit. As it turns out, there is only one way to appease (turn away) God’s wrath- this is finding His way to do things and not rely on our own blind reliance to what we think is knowability. I pray you will think about opposing the living God, you will… won’t you? (D.V.)
Your Brother in Christ Jesus,
P.S. Infidels is a term for those that do not follow Islam… and has no bearing on people in any other light. It would not be used by the Hebrew people to refer to those unassociated with them. Can we see what might be called barbaric actions today, and if we can… why do we not associate with it the same loathing of all such savagery?
P.S.S. Here is a list of those worshipped by idols; idolatry.