Every wonder how the God in the Old Testament seemed so different?
I often struggled with this too but I prayed hard about it and what came to me from God was a full understanding of the story of God. It was the people who forced God’s hand. Remember God created the World as a perfect paradise. We chose to sin, we chose to not to listen and ruined it. He then gave us a small amount of rules. The people didn’t accept just those rules. He then gave Moses the law. Another example of God changing things for his people is, God wanted to be a King to his people but then they wanted their own King, so God allowed that. God continued to go along with what the people wanted, which deviated away from his original paradise plan. He knew eventually he would send his only son to redeem us but he had no trouble occasionally doing what his children on Earth asked even if he didn’t agree it.
He chose his people who were constantly under attack. He asked them to commit genocide because that was the nature of the Middle East, it still is that way to this day. It was God’s people vs. Everyone Else. They would have done the same thing to the Israelite’s but God chose to watch over them, he chose them. Many Pagan Cultures used the same strategy in War. God was adjusting things to fit the culture we created. He was watching out for them knowing they would be attacked. It was an attack them before they attack you mentality. Remember these people were doing evil in God’s eyes, he doesn’t harm the good.
God created the Universe, and humans committed atrocities every day, but we shake our fists at the Lord if he dares to strike unholy people who are harming good people. It’s kind of silly really. How many innocents die every day from the War in the Middle East currently?
There is actually a line from a show called “Supernatural” I watch, when a villain questions the star of the show Dean about God, he said something along the lines of, “It’s his Universe, it’s his rules”.
I think that sums it up well. God is not the problem here. I trust God because it’s his Universe that he created because he loved us. We have been bad Children to the most loving, forgiving Father imaginable. He gave us free will because he loved us. The answer to the question of the violent God in the Old Testament is simple, read the beginning. That was his vision, paradise, no war, no sin, no death just him and his children. It was only after our sins that things changed. And how does he reward us for our bad behavior? Accept Christ and you get eternal life. Wow, what an amazing God.