Does God Destroy People?
Teen Question:* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
It seems like the Old Testament is full of stories of God either destroying someone or describing how he will. I thought God was a God of love. What do I make of this?
Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, "There is a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
God is a just God. He is a loving God. But He is fighting a war against Satan. Against evil. It's a war for our souls. We have a God that is willing to fight for us.
The Old Testament starts by letting us know that an eternal God created the world. He created a people that could reflect His glory and love. But true love isn't forced, so He gave us free will. With that free will, we rebelled against Him. We chose to love ourselves more than we loved our Creator.
Thus, sin and evil crept into the world. God, being the amazing God that He is, had to remain just. He couldn't go against His nature. There had to be a punishment for our rebellion. But at the same time He longed for us to turn back to Him.
So He made a way.
First, He let His people understand what a world of laws looked like. We had to understand rules before we could understand grace. Yes, there were wars. Just like if you disobey your parents there are consequences. But if we don't learn about consequences, we fail to learn at all. So God stood firm.
But He didn't leave the world there. He sent His Son to pay the price for our rebellion. He lived a perfect life and died a death He didn't deserve so we could be introduced to grace. So we could be forgiven and reconciled to our perfect God.
Without the Old Testament and the pain and suffering, we never would have understood what an amazing gift God gave us when He sent Jesus. We wouldn't understand the magnitude of His grace and mercy. All we would understand would be His forgiveness, and it would be expected rather than cherished.
And we wouldn't understand that God is waging a war for our souls. Every moment there is a battle going on in the spiritual realm. The Old Testament gives us an insight to the magnitude of it.
It's not pretty. It's not fun. But it's a reminder of just how amazing God's love for us really is.