i have heard it said that some individuals would not serve the God of the Bible due to His harsh judgments depicted and carried out in scripture. i want to refute such claims and explore the attributes of God, the inference of humanity’s viewpoints, and the true heartbeat of the benevolent Creator. hopefully, through reading and careful self-examination, we can better understand God’s purposes and goals for each of us.
most people would agree that there is a grand Designer of the universe. the opposing majority would argue that there is no such Being, and all things have come to be through chance and time. another subgroup partially accepts that there may be a God out there, but they would not serve a ruthless murderer who commits violent acts at a whim. this group has heard the stories of slaughter and violence. maybe they have read of the occupation of Israel by Joshua and his army of wilderness dwellers.
the Bible is meant to be studied. the scriptures were translated from other languages and encapsulated ancient customs. when we take bits of passages and meanings, we can narrate a story of our choosing. this practice is dangerous when leaving out understanding or writing a personal manifesto. i do not doubt the acts of violence and loss of life occurred as reported. we should view their culture in context from an adolescent society without moral laws or understanding of civility. negotiations were not quite as pleasant as they are today. God is sovereign, and His Law had consequences. as our rules today may carry sentences if broken, God tried to shape a nation to conform to His will. His will fulfilled came with promises of blessing and future security.
our attitude plays a part here. we do not always want to be told how to live, regardless of the outcome. it is so hard for some to fully submit themselves to authority, notwithstanding a judge of Biblical proportions. we must approach the Word as given for our ultimate benefit, with an open mind. from the garden of Eden, humankind has understood basic moral behavior; right from wrong. when these behaviors were written, they became law, and law-breakers faced punitive scenarios. Paul covers the similarities between morality and given law in the book of Romans. who is to say which law is to be followed? the Law-giver determines the standard and the judgment. those that argue over such things would do well to examine the line of thinking that they possess.
from Genesis to Revelation, throughout scripture, the narrative proclaims a loving God was positioning a people for redemption. the exile from the garden prevented eternal wickedness. the moral high ground was established, and obedient followers were blessed. the Law instructed on righteous living. when the law was not adhered to, a correction was necessary to provoke people unto good works. some perverted the Law into religiosity and became taskmasters. during this timeframe, Jesus was manifested in the flesh, revealing His plan to save the whole world. through the love of Christ, salvation is available to you and me. your opinion of how God should have done things does not change that. there is a judgment coming (even though we never like to be “judged”), but to those that see the purpose behind the history of the Bible, it is a day of rejoicing!
in conclusion, many factors should be considered when relaying stories of the Bible. the overall positioning and purpose should be taken into account. the history and customs should be considered. the language and style of writing are factors. something as simple as knowing the original text did not comprise of chapter and verse may affect how a passage is read in context. attitudes checked and love revealed are the ingredients for a pliable heart. the message is and always has been about His love for you.