QUESTION: When someone in the Bible as killed,why did the entire family have to go as well? For example Numbers the 16th ch,32nd verse. in
ANSWER: Hi, Joyce! How are you?
Passages like this in Numbers 16 (the rebellion and judgment of Korah, Dathan and Abiram), as well as another that comes to mind--the judgment of Achan and his family in Joshua 7, are admittedly difficult. Here are a few thoughts to consider.
We are very fortunate to live in a day and age in which God has chosen to operate in the context of grace. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Christ's sacrificial death on the cross made grace possible. Perhaps it has something to do with the idea that grace is best understood against the backdrop of justice and holiness.
In the Old Testament, when God was creating a nation out of Israel and establishing a Theocratic Government by which to reveal Himself to the world, it was important for God to reveal certain elements of His character ... both to Israel, as well as to the nations. This includes His holiness, judgment, and authority. We can certainly see this aspect of His character in the Old Testament ... AND we His mercy and grace from time to time, too.
So what about this passage in Numbers 16? This was a crucial time in Israel's history. Moses had been chosen to represent God and lead the nation. So, when Korah, Dathan and Abiram rebelled against his authority, they were rebelling against God. God wanted to send the message that this was a serious matter. Furthermore, He wanted to vindicate Moses as His appointed leader. Can you imagine the fallout if this matter had not been handled forcibly?
So the seriousness of the offense is one reason for God's drastic judgment. Another is the assumption that, if the family members were included in the judgment, we might safely assume that they were complicit in the rebellion. Think about it. Family members tend to stick together. It's likely they were all in accord in this matter, which is why the entire family suffered God's wrath.
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QUESTION: Ok. I guess that makes sense. It seems cruel to kids. Ok. 1 more. I remember being confused about this as a kid. In Luke 21:32. "This generation shall not passaway until all these things be fulfilled." Here I may have the wrong definition of generation but the way I understand the word is death. But we know that people come and go all the time. And even when it was said I'm pretty sure that all those people would have passed away by now.
Let's look at the surrounding thoughts:
29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
Jesus is speaking about the coming of the Kingdom. He came offering the Kingdom, but was rejected. Therefore, the Kingdom was postponed. It was only natural that some would ask when the Kingdom would be established.
In Luke 21, Jesus speaks about "the signs of the times"--things that would take place that would mark "the beginning of the end." These signs would be an indication that the Kingdom is near.
So who is "this generation" of which Jesus spoke? It wasn't those who were listening to His voice. No, "this generation" is the generation who will witness these signs. In other words, when these signs appear, the Kingdom of God will be established within the lifetime of those who see those signs.