An Ugly, Old Testament God
This is possibly another large stumbling block why people choose not to believe in God. One could say it is slightly related to, "How can I believe in a God when there is so much injustice and pain in the world?" For an answer to that, <link to counselling section>.
But I will try to give my answer to this.
From my general recollection of the Old Testament, I can only remember that all the aggression seemed to be directed at the Jews.
For example, at one point,
Acts 14:16 In the past, <God> let all nations go their own way.
But I believe that mankind has already shown itself what it is capable of doing when left "on its own".
Many may contest what I want to say now, but I believe that all good on this planet has come from God. Even with an unbeliever who does not believe in God but, by conviction, does good, I believe that their conviction comes from God himself.
RO 2:12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.  For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.  (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,  since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)  This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
We are all Godís creation, but we are also, by nature, prone to decay. For some of you who may think that entering Christianity is like entering some other, magical world to stay, I would like to assure you that this is not correct.
The bible speaks about walking a narrow path and that "broad is the path leading to destruction". The bible also says that the Holy Spirit we receive within us battles against the desires of our flesh.
Therefore, the Christian life is a constant battle, trying to heed the will of the Holy Spirit against the desires of our flesh, and our own pride. It is not smooth sailing, and any Christian who thinks it is should seriously consider whether they are obedient (fully, or enough, even though one should never say enough) to Godís law.
1CO 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!
2CO 10:17 But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."  For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
<link to obedience sermon?>
Also, if you read the bible in context, over several pages, following any scripture of wrath, you will notice that the same pattern always repeats itself: sin and disobedience leads to discipline and wrath, which leads to a turning of the ways back to God, which in turn leads to redemption and salvation.
A lack of discipline leads to disorder. You cannot just let your child run around the house as it pleases, ignoring any set rules. Such a child will grow up with no discipline, a tyrant without control, and it will only be lead to its own disbenefit. <link to disipline/obedience(?) sermon..>. God loves us and disciplines us out of love for our own good.
But back to the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, I believe that God is focusing his energy on setting up let us say a foundation on the planet. Sure, he works through all for the good of all, but it makes sense to set up a sort of "headquarters". After all, Zion, the New Jerusalem, will be the bride and the focal point of a marriage between earth and heaven when the New Order comes.
So, after it was apparent (probably far foreseen by God, although it would only be fair for him to prove it to ourselves first) that we, under our own administration, are not capable of managing this planet in justice, he worked to begin setting up his "headquarters" on the planet.
He found a faithful person named Abraham (who, consequentially is the tenth descendent of Noah and there are ten generations from Adam to Noah <make link to patterns of genealogy>), from whose line eventually came Jesus.
I believe that God was more strict with the Jews because, through them, he was setting up his "headquarters".
Anyway, I believe we should not be weighed down with how God dealt with the Jews. He referred to it as "refining silver". I know many things seems ugly in the Old Testament, but all I can tell you is that, at least in my life, God has proved more loving than I can fathom and that I, as a mere human, have learned not to judge Godís actions and judgements.
You too may experience Godís love, free of charge, an experience he is willing to give you, for he loved us first (step by step procedure how to be saved).
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