Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
God's chosen people had numerous enemies in the Old Testament that God dealt with, omnibenevolently, through smiting. To name just a few that were smote wholesale, we have the Midianites, the Canaanites, the Egyptians, and of course the terrible and lowly Sodomites.
Why do you suppose God does not omnibenevolently smite today's Islams? Are they any less deplorable and abhorrent than the children of Egypt plagued with frog and famine?
I think you have two belief systems within the Christian faith. You have those who do not believe such stories and those that do. For those that do not they would say that God would never smite anyone. They would say that such stories are myths that try to convey a truth of some kind. However, those that do believe such stories, such as myself, are left holding the bag in terms of understanding how God deals with those who he chooses to smite and who he does not.
It seems to me from reading the Bible that God is focused on bringing his kingdom to earth. He begins with one man after the fall of man and then formed a nation which brought us the Messiah. Therefore, anything that interferred with the salvation of all mankind by hindering this effort was fair game. For example, if memory serves God chose to smite two men in the blood line of Christ because they were wicked and would have "polluted" the blood line. I am not sure this would have happened had they not been in that blood line. Also do not forget their is an element of judgement in terms of judging wickedness for each of these "smitings". The people of Canaan, Sodom, etc. were said to be exceedingly wicked. Also, do not forget that God turned on his own people when they became wicked themselves. He did this via invasions from such foriegn powers as Assyria, Babylon, Rome etc. Had they been left to their own devices they probably would have assimilated into the world and would have forgotten their God thus ending the goal of bringing the Messiah into the world.
Having said all of that what about the people in todays world? Who is God going to smite next? It seems to me that if there be a God and he smites the wicked he must be pretty longsuffering in this respect. After all, just look at all the wickedness we have today, yet things seem to continue without interruption. Then again, you do have interruptions when such men as Hitler/Saddam goes down in flames. Could these events be motivated by a higher power? Could there be a an invisible line in the sand for any man in terms of how much wickedness the Almighty will put up with? I think only God knows where the line in the sand is in this respect. Of coarse these thoughts are merely my own ramblings on the matter and my opinion based upon my understanding of the scriptures.