A Question I Was Asked:



Harsh God / Merciful God?







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Speaking to a few people about the nature of God, they state, along the lines, that God stayed the same in the OT and NT. So all the punishments and death that happened in the OT didn't necessarily come from God, but it's more like the writers of the OT didn't have an understanding of Satan. Jesus stated that He and God are one (John 10:30) and we know that when Jesus came to earth, His teachings were mainly about love, mercy, selflessness etc. So how can we explain the picture the OT paints about God?

Are you able to shed more light on this please?


UK Apologetics Reply:


The Old Testament - during the period from Moses onwards - concerned the Old Covenant. This was quite a rigid legal system based upon over 600 laws which the Israelites were required to obey. No, it is not correct to say that the Old Testament writers did not understand Satan but certainly God had not yet revealed certain things to them at that time; nevertheless, they were guided by the Holy Spirit, though perhaps not in the manner in which the Holy Spirit teaches us in a more internal sense under the New Covenant in the full light of Christ.

The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is fully authoritative in belief and practice, however, today (since Christ has come and the New Covenant has been revealed), we should primarily focus on the New Testament. The belief which some have about the harsh and cruel Old Testament God is not strictly accurate. Let us not forget that the following quote comes from Leviticus:

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18).


Here are two articles which might help you further:

WHY DID GOD ALLOW THE DESTRUCTION OF CHILDREN?

ARE SMALL CHILDREN SAVED IF THEY DIE?

The following are two more articles whch stand back and take a broader perspective on the old covenant:
JESUS, CHRISTIANS AND THE LAW

HOW JESUS USED RELIGION TO DESTROY THE POWER OF RELIGION

Robin A. Brace. October 11th, 2019.

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