He told them, “Here is what Adonai, the God of Isra’el, says: ‘Each of you, put his sword on his side; and go up and down the camp, from gate to gate; and every man is to kill his own kinsman, his own friend and his own neighbor!” The sons of Levi did what Moshe said, and that day three thousand of the people died. -Exodus 32:27-28
Have you ever heard this lame argument?
“One of the 10 Commandments says ‘Thou shall not kill’. Yet here we have God commanding the Levites to kill his own kinsmen, friend, and neighbor. So the Lord is contradicting Himself.”
Alright, let’s lay this ridiculous argument to rest forever.
The thing the folks who make this ridiculous argument need to understand is that the “killing” that the Lord calls just is NOT murder.
However, taking life OUTSIDE of what God calls just is murder.
When Simeon and Levi led a rampage against the male citizens in Shechem who were still writhing in pain from the circumcision operation they had just undergone, that was murder, plain and simple.
And they were under God’s curse for what they had done.
However, here in Exodus chapter 32, when the Levites stood by Moses side and in obedience to the Lord’s command slaughtered 3000 of their brethren, it was to counted to them as a blessing.
SAME ACTIONS, DIFFERENT OUTCOMES.
The curse that had been pronounced on the Tribe of Levi that they would forever deal in blood and killing was transformed into a blessing.
Moving forward, the Levites will indeed deal in blood and killing.
BUT, instead of it being unjust killing AGAINST THE LORD, it would now be just killing FOR THE LORD as servants of the Lord.
The killing the Levites will do from now on will bring justification and atonement before God for Israel’s sake.
Another point the folks who make this lame argument need to understand is that God is the sovereign creator of ALL life.
Hence, how life ends is entirely up to Him.
God ALONE has the authority and declares what is holy and just.
It is not our position to stand before the Creator and alter His choices.