I’m confused by God’s apparent inconsistency - mostly in the Old Testament, but also in the New. I will never call God a hypocrite, as that is impossible; however, He seems to go against Himself at times, and to do things that He tells us never to do.
Primary example: the Lord tells us to forgive our enemies. This is present in both Testaments. What happens when God has an enemy, however? He promises to utterly crush and destroy them; moreover, He often does it literally. When the Egyptians started a pogrom to kill all the first-born Hebrew males, God revenged Himself and His people on them by killing all the first-born Egyptian males. The same goes for Christ slaughtering His enemies before Him (Luke 19:27) and casting them into a lake of fire (Revelation 19:20) at the end of time.
Why does God tell us to forgive others for free, when He gives us so many examples of His own merciless destruction of His enemies? Why is there seemingly infinite mercy, and then infinite wrath? Are we supposed to forgive our enemies as a sign of God’s mercy? He Himself doesn’t seem to reflect that idea. Maybe we’re supposed to forgive because we’re the ones who need forgiveness? I don’t understand the seeming inconsistency in the message.