Divine Benevolence and Divine Brutality
Divine benevolence (God as loving partner) and divine brutality (God as warrior) really are compatible. God is a warrior because he is a loving partner. Take a father and his son, for example. A father disciplines and corrects his child because he loves him and wants to protect him. God is the same way. Hebrews 12:6 says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” God punishes those that he loves. Divine benevolence and diving brutality are seen in the bible with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Noah and the Flood, and with Moses and the Israelites. God expresses his love to these people, but he also expresses harshness when they behave badly.
To begin with, God as a loving partner and God as a warrior are compatible with Adam and Eve. As a loving partner, God made Eve so that Adam would not be alone (Genesis 2:18). He blessed Adam and Eve and gave them power over all the creatures of the earth (Genesis 1:26). He gave them the whole Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15)! The only thing God asked them not to do was eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). Adam and Eve disobeyed God when they ate the fruit from this tree God told them not to eat from. This is when God became a warrior. He cursed the serpent and took his legs away and told him he would eat dust all the rest of his days (Genesis 3:14). He told Eve that conception would be painful and sorrowful for women (Genesis 3:16). He told Adam that men would have to work hard every day in order to have food to eat (Genesis 3:17). God punished Adam and Eve because of their disobedience. Next, God as a loving partner and God as a warrior are compatible with Noah and the Flood. As a loving partner, God allowed Noah to preach for 120 years about the flood (Genesis 6:3). This gave the people sufficient amount of time to harken to the words of Noah. Everyone had a chance to trust Noah and be saved. God showed compassion towards Noah...
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