By Elias Ayala (MDiv & M.A.T.)
God’s commands are never arbitrary and without purpose or reasoning behind it. The character of God is consistent throughout the Bible. He never just randomly commands the taking of life although He as the creator, sustainer, and owner of all things has the right to take it by whatever means He wishes.
Within the biblical context, when God commanded the taking of life it was always within the context of judgment. There is an exception in the story of God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. His purposes in this regard were different, but definitely not arbitrary. Also, because God’s nature is inherently good and righteous everything that He does or commands have at its foundation God’s good and righteous purposes. The skeptic need not believe this or accept this, but that is irrelevant. It matters not what the skeptic accepts or approves of. The skeptic is not an adequate judge of what God does or commands.
Furthermore, the commands to take life within the biblical context was by no means a normative method of executing God’s judgment. Those commands had a specific historical, Covenantal, and redemptive purpose that is no longer significant in the current New Testament (Covenantal) age. Again, the skeptic rarely if ever, cares about such contexts and biblical reasoning, but once again, this is irrelevant to the truth of the biblical narrative and worldview.
All the skeptic can do here is appeal to emotions and dislike of the fact that the God of the Bible has the right to give and take life as He wills and in accordance with His own good and righteous purposes. Nor can the skeptic object by saying that God was morally wrong for commanding such things. Since to say that God was morally wrong assumes an objective standard of morality. Within the skeptical and often atheistic worldview, where does one get objective morals?
Lastly, if God made commands to people today, the test would be if such commands were consistent with the teaching of God’s Word, and in light of the Biblical narrative taken as a whole, it would not be biblically consistent for God to randomly command a Christian to kill another person. We are commanded to love our neighbors and pray for our enemies. The task of execution is given to the governing authorities (Romans 13:4-5). And unless for purpose of self defense and the protection of one’s family, we are not to take the lives of others. For this reason, we can biblically condemn people who today have claimed that God commanded them to kill someone else.