God merciful but just
THE EDITOR, Sir:
In his online article of Monday, September 7, 2015 ('The God of the Bible is not merciful'), Dr Michael Abrahams cited copious Bible verses and, in his usual forthright and witty style, made his position abundantly clear.
In many instances, the Bible gives us an insight into the character of God and what is important to understand is that "God's justice is an essential part of His nature no less than His mercy; without it God could not be God". The mere fact that the Bible records that God ended the lives of some persons does not in itself mean that God is not a God of mercy.
"Justice is a necessary consequence of God's true love, for a God all mercy is a God unjust. Without justice there could be no mercy. Although we read in the Bible that God delights in mercy (Micah 7:18), we never read in the Scriptures that God delights in bringing His judgments upon men. On the contrary, His judgments are said to be a "strange work" (Isaiah 28:21). His loving-kindness is abundant (Isaiah 55:7; Romans 5:20). It is God's mercy that moderates His judgments and makes Him longsuffering (Lamentations 3:22; Romans 2:4)."
Many of the people who were destroyed in the Old Testament had turned from worshipping God to worshipping false gods and sacrificing their children and many other vile practices. If the idea of children being sacrificed is sickening to you, how do you think God felt?
God is love and He loves all people; however, He hates sin and if people continue to rebel against Him and choose the prince of darkness, then in mercy He spares the righteous by the destruction of the wicked.
The truth of the matter is that many persons hold a wrong view of God for varying reasons. One example is that persons hang on to the pervading spurious unbiblical teaching that people will be tormented forever in hell when what the Bible really teaches is that sinners will be destroyed forever by hell.
The character of God has been tainted by many, and understandably there are many sceptics and infidels. However, a true representation of God is that He is a God of mercy and justice.