Isn’t stoning people for blasphemy a little harsh?


Then the Lord said to Moses: “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death. Leviticus 24:13-16
            “Blaspheme” means to speak against God, divisively and misleadingly.  It can range from criticism to cursing.
God wanted to guide a group of nearly 2 million Israelites through the desert during a harrowing time where emotions ran high and temperaments became unhinged.  The slightest bit of criticism could unsettle the whole operation.
            Not only was God concerned about the people and preserving unity, but God cannot do wrong and anything critical against him was said out of pure selfishness.  Cursing God puts the curser in the position of believing he’s better than God.  He makes himself a false prophet and cannot be tolerated.