Some people declare that God is cruel…
I will smash them one against the other, parents and children alike, declares the Lord. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them.’” – Jeremiah13:14
The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. – Nahum 1:2
6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” – Genesis 6:6-7
So how does this fit in with our perception of God as loving?
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. – 1 John 4:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
How then do we reconcile this? Simple, the previous verses, as well as others throughout the Bible speak of God’s judgment, not evil. God has granted each of us free will.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. – Galatians 5:16-17
Even Jesus said:
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. – Mark 8:34
God allows each of us to make choices in our lives. For those that choose righteous paths, God has blessings for you. However, for those that choose lives of sin, He will judge as evidenced by many Scriptures already noted, as well as numerous others throughout the Bible.
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. – Deuteronomy 32:4
27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, 28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. –Leviticus 26:27-28
Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t see these blessings and judgments immediately. After all, look at the lives of many non-righteous people we know. But…
Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered. – Proverbs 11:21
God’s promise to all righteous and Saved people is a place in Heaven for eternity. The wicked, in turn, will be punished in hell forever. Where would you rather spend eternity?
Is God evil? No! Is He just and fair, YES!
But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them. – 1 Samuel 6:19