Good question....

...Did God force the people of Jerusalem into cannibalism?!!


[created 4/8/97]
Someone wrote in...

Dear Glen,

A friend and I were perusing the ninth verse of Jeremiah 19, and were a bit troubled by the statement by God in his prophecy that He would "cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend..."

Regardless of whether "cannibalism" is forbidden or not, the problem remains, and we are reasonably certain that you have encountered this problem in the sense of the problem of sovereignty vs. free will.

The problem revolves for my friend around the issue of whether God, in permitting the circumstances of famine which will cause them to eat their children, is He not the author of evil, in some sense---in determining their circumstances so that they cannot do anything other than evil?
..........................................................................................
XXX...you know how long it takes me to answer even the simple ones! (sorry)...

In the case you mention, the people STILL HAD a choice to obey God and avoid the consequences of their rebellious history. Jeremiah says in 38.1ff:

Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said, 2 "This is what the LORD says: `Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. He will escape with his life; he will live.' 3 And this is what the LORD says: `This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.'"

ALL the people had to do was to obey God's prophet Jeremiah and LEAVE THE CITY and surrender to the Babylonians! They would survive as would their children...so God never 'boxed them in' into only having the one choice--to do evil...

The above passage is even extended to the King of Judah(!) in 38.17ff...

There is a general principle that God "hands us over" to the consequences of our choices--if we stop seeking His guidance, mercy, correction...but even to the very end, His offer of grace is good--cf. the thief on the cross, and Ezek 33.12-20...

hope this helps,
glenn miller


The Christian ThinkTank...[http://www.Christian-thinktank.com] (Reference Abbreviations)