Often times I hear claims that the God of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible is cruel, unjust, jealous, prone to tantrums, and downright evil, one who promotes genocide and abuse of human rights. How do we respond to these claims?
One must clearly understand that the Old Testament is a collection of books that was compiled over centuries and has in it yes what GOD inspired their respective authors but in such a way that HE did not dictate word for word what was written.
Now having that premise out of the way, many times when we refer to GOD and apply to HIM qualities like emotions what we are doing is anthropomorphizing HIM, that is applying to HIM qualities of the human species.
Another aspect to consider is that GOD is the creator of everything HE alone has the right to take any life at any moment. In fact HE could request my presence tonight and guess what… Nothing can stop me from dying tonight if HE so demands.
So when HE commanded the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah HE has that prerogative. We don’t. One should not even consider asking why, is it fair, blah blah blah. Unless of course one is of the conviction that HE does not exist. Which would make sense. An agnostic or atheist reads the book of genesis and declares that all the killing and murder described there is wanton human action because clearly they cannot believe that a god could order such.
So one this to start from the origin of the claim which is unbelief in GOD.
Until that person comes to realize that HE is the CREATOR of it all is a waste of time trying to justify the actions.
There is a lot more to be said about this, but this is a beginning.
‘In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.’ - Job 1:22
Which turns around by the time his three “friends” do an inquisition on him.
“The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice, a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4
Also, read Psalm 145; The Greatness and the Goodness of God
You respond with the Gospel, which breathes the life of Christ.
And educate yourself on the ways the Church interprets the OT, and the difference between literalist fundamentalism and healthy biblical reading.
Catholics do not read the OT in a vacuum, as if a particular passage detailing violence or cruelty is the only word and the final word on God’s revelation.
Christ is the final and fullest word.
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