In today’s Ask Pastor John, John Piper answers a question that some athiests, like Christopher Hitchens, have raised in their arguments against Christianity (about 5:25 into this video). If you prefer reading his answer instead of watching it, an edited transcript is included below.
For more of Piper’s thoughts on this subject, see the sermon, "The Conquest of Canaan."
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
Why was it right for God to slaughter women and children in the Old Testament? How can that ever be right?
It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.
God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God’s hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs.
So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing.
If I were to drop dead right now, or a suicide bomber downstairs were to blow this building up and I were blown into smithereens, God would have done me no wrong. He does no wrong to anybody when he takes their life, whether at 2 weeks or at age 92.