God feels the pain whenever any part of His creation is violated.
Jesus’ pain of the Cross is only the tip of the iceberg. The Cross was the visible manifestation of the pain He has felt for centuries as man has repeatedly wounded Him through sin. Paul says, “All Creation groans” (Romans 8:22) – in reality, it is the Spirit of Christ groaning within all of God’s creatures, just as it is the Spirit which prays for us with inexpressible groanings (Romans 8:23, 26).
Thousands of Canaanites died when Israel under Joshua conquered Canaan. These Canaanites died not just for their own sin but for the sin of the Israelites. We may look at it this way. In olden times, doctors had to use brutal and painful methods to cure disease. Rotten teeth were yanked out without anesthetic. Limbs were amputated for lack of antibiotics. This ignorance of medicine is exactly akin to the Israelites’ ignorance of God through sin. In that situation, we may conceive the Lord said in effect: “Given these Israelites’ hardness of heart, this killing is the only way I can remedy this situation. It causes Me enormous pain, for I groan in the groanings of the victims, I suffer in the midst of their agony.”
Does the Bible support
this point of view? Did not Jesus say: “Whatever you do to
the least of these my brothers, you do unto Me” (Matthew 25:40,
45)? ‘But’, you may object, ‘Jesus did not count the Canaanites
among His brethren’, for they were children of the Devil (John 8:44).
Not so -- even the Canaanites are included among the “least of these My
brethren”. Remember the parable of the prodigal son? Notwithstanding
the son’s rebellion and rejection of his own family, even in his state
of separation he was still the son of his father. Similarly, despite
their sin even the Canaanites were children of God, by virtue of their
descent from Adam the Son of God created in His image. Notwithstanding
their vile, fallen, sinful state, God mourned over them as His lost children,
His offspring (Acts 17:29). He felt every gaping wound,
He cried out through the lips of every pregnant mother who was cut open
with the sword.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us for the pain we have caused You. Transform us by Your Holy Spirit, so that our lives may bring you joy.
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