theodicee question about children in the OT In the last years I many times thought about questions of apologetics or of theodicee, ie the justification of God's actions in history. Many times these questions were answered when I: 1) believed in God's holy goodness which cannot stand sin and 2) when I considered the gravity of human sin, ie when people in OT times sacrificed humans to idols, or idolatry in general; I view idolatry as something really creepy now, it's definetly in the sense of idols being abominations However, I could not find any justification for the biblical punishments as they were pronounced not only on grown-up and sinful men and women, but also on children. I have experienced God, and He has always been good to me if I drew close to Him. Apart from sometimes being told to wait which sometimes took longer than I was comfortable with, the Lord has never really disappointed me. He always meant love and light for me. It took a while until I understood the severity of sin and that punishments are in order sometimes. But eventually I learned acceptance. However, there was one thing I still don't really understand, I mean the fact that the punishments which had been pronounced on these sinful humans were also visited on their children. It's in the bible many times, the Israelites were supposed to kill the babies of the conquered nations as well. I don't get that. As far as I know, the gravest sin of these people was that they sacrificed children to Moloch or other idols, other false deities. I don't understand then that God didn't save these babies. I have the following thoughts which might justify these actions, but I don't quite believe in them yet: - God wanted to eradicate every kind of human sacrifice to idols, and to make sure that the people were really properly scared, he had to extend punishment on the very "thing" which humans normally love most, their children. - The punishments visited on children too were the result of a misunderstanding between the Israelites and God. Much like when Jesus explains that the Sabbath is for men and not men for the Sabbath, the Israelites didn't know back then what God really wanted, which I guess would be discernment and love for the enemy just as much as for the friend. - If God would not punish children too then many people perhaps would say, ok, let's sin, we have our children and they will remain untouched. May God punish me with an illness, I can endure it, etc. Also, the children would grow up and care less about their parents sins. My dad's sin isn't just his own business, just like my sin isn't just my own business. We ARE each other's keeper. I've talked about this with my mother who is a christian too, and her opinion is that the bible is a work of an ancient people who simply had another morality. Another time, other beliefs, you know. I am not decided yet. I can't help but to think of the children who got killed by the Israelites. But because I know that God is good, I tend to believe God hadn't been understood correctly. IE, not everything in the bible can be taken at face value. However, that view has other bad implications because how do I know that a bible verse is trustworthy, how do I know it isn't? Is humility the answer, knowing that God simply does what He does and we are not to question Him? I am drawn to this answer but it seems kinda bleak. How can a God who died to deliver us from sin, who proved so much love, have not considered babies who don't know right from wrong? What do you think?