THE HARSHNESS OF THE LORD:
HUMAN SACRIFICE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

After the Lord commands it, Abraham nearly sacrifices his son Isaac. (That's in Genesis 22.) After Jephthah the Gileadite vows to make a burnt sacrifice if he defeats the Ammonites, the Lord stands by silently while Jephthah sacrifices his best beloved daughter and only child. (That's in Judges 11.) As we see things today, that's pretty shabby behavior for a Father God who supposedly loves us.

Face it, folks! As every village atheist and agnostic delights in pointing out, the early books of the Old Testament often present a pretty grim picture of the Lord. Sometimes the Lord appears downright harsh, both to those who deserve harshness and to those who have done nothing to deserve harshness.

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