The first point I made about the slaughter of the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15 concerned its rationale. I argued that it wasn’t so much a case of ethnic cleansing to ensure the Israelites were a racially pure people as a case of divine judgement (or ‘theological cleansing’) in the service of God’s intention to renew creation, clearing a space in which human beings can dwell with him.
My second point develops this: God’s chief problem in employing Israel — and Israel’s anointed king (Messiah) — as the instrument of his judgement (dealing with sin by punishing sinners) is not that this wholesale slaughter goes too far but that it doesn’t go far enough.
Strap in. I’m going to try to defend this claim… Continue reading