One of the stumbling blocks that trips people up, even people of the faith, is the brutality of God. Especially in the Hebrew scriptures, God can be portrayed as downright nasty. God promised Abraham a land that was already occupied, then had the Israelites slaughter them all, man, woman and child. God drowned the army of Egyptians, punished the people of God with exile, and on it goes. Doesn’t seem to reconcile with “God so loved the world,” does it?
Although I know many of the arguments, the rationalizations, even the smug pious answers used to explain it, they don’t touch the fundamental issue: how can God do or command such things?
I have come to the conclusion that God is God and I but a mere human. My mind cannot comprehend the mind of God any more than east can touch west. So I answer the doubters with a simple, “I don’t know.”
But I do know this: when I look at Jesus, I see God in action, and through Jesus I see a lot of love. And just maybe through his death Jesus was saying, “Enough with violence. Let love rule instead.” And God agreed and raised Jesus from the tomb. Alleluia!
Loving Jesus make us as loving as you. Amen. — DAB