Recently, my wife Shannon and I were on a date and ended up chatting with our server. (I wonder what it says about our marriage that my wife often engages other people in conversation on our dates?) He finally asked me, “So, what do you do?” I told him, “I teach the Bible, mainly the Old Testament.” He responded, “In the Old Testament isn’t God always smiting people and destroying cities?” I replied, “Not exactly, but I get that question a lot because the God of the Old Testament has a bad reputation.
One of the most famous The Far Side cartoons is God at his computer. Once again, God is about to SMITE someone. And you know it’s the God of the OT, because he has long wavy gray hair (Jesus has long wavy brown hair). The God of the Old Testament has a bad reputation.
And as you read the OT, it just seems to get worse. Why does God smite Uzzah for trying to stablize the ark in 2 Samuel 6? Why does God command a woman to marry her rapist? Why does God command the Israelites to slaughter the Canaanites?
If these questions bother you, check out God Behaving Badly. For my first series of blogs, I’m going to discuss the book, and display the images that I couldn’t afford to include in the book.