Sunday, December 26, 2010

Question - Why Punish the Multitude?

On more than one occasion in the Old Testament, we run into stories in which a king of Israel does something that angers the Lord God and so the heavenly one takes out his wrath on the entire population and not so much on the singular individual who angered him. What kind of twisted sense of judgment is that?

We find one such story in 1 Chronicles, Chapter 21. King David decides to take a census and, for some strange reason, this action really ticks off the Lord. So, does God punish David? Heck no. Instead he gives David three punishments to choose from: 1) A famine, 2) To be defeated by his earthly enemies and 3) To have a disease sweep over the land.

David opts for the third choice and it is reported that 70,000 men (of course, there is NO mention of the number of women and children) die. Interestingly enough, neither David himself nor any member of his family is stricken and he goes down in the annals of Judeo-Christian history as a great man.

Why are the people of Israel punished for their leader's sin? When a king orders something, it's generally not wise to disobey. Kings have been known to kill people who go against their commands. So, the people were simply following the dictates of a king who was anointed by the Lord, yet when he screws up, they are the ones who pay the ultimate price!

And this is a religion of morality?

To see what other questions I've asked about the Christian Bible, go here.

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