Part 3. God's Justice

Part three in the series on The Theology of God.

  • A lot of people struggle with stories in the Old Testament of God’s judgement
    • Sometimes women and children are wiped out as well
    • How can a God of love do that?
    • Is the Old Testament God a different one, an angry God?
  • This attribute of God is revealed in stages in the Old Testament. The most important ones contained in Genesis are:
  1. The Fall: God responded with
    • Fairness—the punishment matched the crime
    • Consistency: they would die (immediately spiritually, and eventually physically)
    • But he provided for them both physically and spiritually
  2. Cain
    • God is amazingly merciful to this murderer
  1. The Flood
    • There is very little detail about the sin being punished “Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time” (Gen 6:5)
    • The main points are that:
    1. God’s judgement is universal
    2. He is committed to his original goal of a perfect creation
    3. This was a prophetic picture of a final universal judgement of fire
  2. Sodom and Gomorrah
    • I will argue that this is the most important because here God has revealed much more of the inner workings of his judicial process.
    • We are intended to reason as follows:
    1. When God reveals his judicial processes, they are scrupulously fair and just.
    2. So when he doesn’t reveal them to me, I can assume the same level of fairness and say with Abraham:
      “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Gen 18:25)

So when we come to later stories which might give us problems, such as the destruction of the Canaanites, we are intended to assume God is using the standard of judgement that he has already revealed to us in detail.