Post Author: Bill Pratt
Skeptics of Christianity love to point out all the difficult passages in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. By noting these difficult passages, skeptics explicitly or implicitly imply that Christians are foolish (or even deranged) for worshiping the God described in the Old Testament.
My problem with this implication is that the number of difficult passages are dwarfed by the number of passages that clearly describe the greatness of God. These passages come in a wide variety and they are found all over the Old Testament. The skeptic’s approach is, therefore, totally unbalanced – it does not take into consideration the totality of Scripture.
So, to the skeptics who question why I worship the God described in the Old Testament, it’s not only his wisdom, his majesty, his beauty, his holiness, his moral perfection, and his truthfulness, but his love.
The Old Testament affirms in many places that God is loving. According to Norman Geisler in his Systematic Theology, Volume Two: God, Creation, “If ‘love’ is defined as ‘willing the good of its object,’ then for all practical purposes ‘love’ and ‘goodness’ can be treated synonymously. Literally, the word omnibenevolent means ‘all-good.’ . . . Theologically, God’s omnibenevolence refers to His infinite or unlimited goodness.”
How does the Old Testament connect God with love?
God Is Love
“Yet the Lord set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today” (Deut. 10:15).
“For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity” (Isa. 61:8).
“In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them” (Isa. 63:9).
“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness’ ” (Jer. 31:3).
“The LORD said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites’ ” (Hosea 3:1).
“I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them” (Hosea 11:4).
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).