Pericope: Numbers 31:14-17
The Law of the Ban is one of the most troubling issues of the Old Testament. How could a loving God, promoter of life, sentence men, women and children to death? Especially those who were “innocent,” who did not participate in wars or acts against Israel? The Law of the Ban sentenced everyone and everything to complete annihilation one it was conquered by Israel. This included women and children, widows and orphans. When I contemplate this it makes me sad. How could a “loving” God allow for and even command a law? Hope for explanation of this is found in Deuteronomy 9:5. Israel was not getting the Promised Land because of their righteousness. Rather, God, while being true to his promises to His people, was concurrently bringing judgment on the people of the land because of their wickedness. God is merciful and patient, but there comes a time when he will execute judgment on those who completely and utterly reject him. The bold reality is that God does not tolerate evil and because of his providential grace, he is building His kingdom and forebearing the complete execution against evil. This grim picture in Numbers is a solemn reminder of the cost of the grace of God as he provides an inheritance for His people.