Hi everyone, i have a friend we talk sometimes about God. He very like conspiracy. He don’t really believe in the bible. he asked some question about Jesus and Father in the old testament. His question was: would Jesus tell Abraham to kill his son? Would Jesus kill egyptians in the see when they cross the sea?
@Natamari_Smirnovab May God give you wisdom in reaching out to your friend with His love and truth! It is a common objection that the God of the New Testament is loving and kind while the God of the Old Testament is short tempered and wrathful. However, this claim is entirely false. God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). In John 10:30 Jesus says, “I and the Father are one” - the Father is the God of the OT - Jesus is God - this is the mystery of the Trinity - so of course they are the same!
Jesus came to earth to save the world, but one day He will judge the world - Matthew 25:31-32 - “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left.”
And the God of the Old Testament takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked - Ezekiel 33:11 - “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!” And is compassionate and gracious to forgive all who come - Exodus 34:6-7 - “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”
So we see that both in the OT and in the NT, God is a God of justice and a God of mercy. God always intended to save Abraham’s son from death by providing another sacrifice - as an illustration of what His Son Jesus would do in the future and as an example of the faith of Abraham - the God of the OT abhors child sacrifice (Leviticus 20:2-5). And the Egyptians were under God’s judgment, just as Jesus will one day judge the world - all men are accountable for their actions to God - great or small.
Here are some resources that provide a more detailed answer to how God is the same in the OT and the NT. May the Lord grant you wisdom by His Spirit to understand as you grow in your walk with Him.
Do you have any questions in response? Are any of these ideas still unclear to you? Blessings.
That’s a good question. If you haven’t yet I recommend reading “Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God” by Paul Copan. He addresses a lot of great questions and objections.
As a Bible student myself I recommend not looking at one verse out of the Old Testament. When non believers object to the Old Testament I try to encourage them to understand the audience of the Old Testament in order to understand it.
Thank you for your answer God bless
Thank you for answer i will read this book in future.
Hello @Natamari_Smirnovab. I pray for your friendship that God may be exalted in it. Before anything else, I would just want to affirm @SarahMalcangi’s book recommendation is good. I’ve read Paul Copan’s book and it would help you immensely in many discussions you might get from skeptics about the Old Testament.
I want to affirm what @SeanO said as well that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The God of the Old Testament is the same with the God of the New Testament. So the verses he shared about God could be said to describe Jesus as well.
Going back to your friend’s question, I’m not sure about his motives, so I’m not sure really how I would advise you in approaching him, but assuming he’s genuine in his questions, you could go with him through Genesis 21:1-18 to understand the context of God’s test to Abraham. It’s a good opportunity to open the Bible together!
I’m not sure about your friend’s worldview, but if he’s secularized in any form, then he would agree that human life is important. That’s the reason why human sacrifice for them would be taken as an atrocity. We agree, and God agrees as well. In Jeremiah 19:5, we can read, “They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal–something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.” This means that God does not approve of this practice.
Since God does not contradict Himself, we could see this in light of speech-act theory, that God did not really meant Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but used what happened in the narrative to show Abraham’s faith as genuine, and also used it to show a foreshadowing of His plan to save mankind from their sins through Christ.
Another take we can see here, for the sake of argument that if God did mean that Abraham sacrifice Isaac is in light of divine command theory. We can make an argument that there are some things that are done that would be sinful, unless a divine command is given (like the alleged Canaanite genocide).
In the alleged Canaanite genocide, if the Israelites had driven them out without God’s command, then we are reasonable to say that the Israelites driven out innocent people away from their lands, which makes them culpable. Since God commanded them to drive them out, we can see it as a form of capital punishment, since God revealed to Israel why the Canaanites are being driven out (it is not based on arbitrary will).
This means that if for the sake of argument that God really meant in his command with Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, then it is still not equivalent with human sacrifices in the Old Testament, since unlike the other sacrifices, this was made with God’s command, which we see shows Abraham’s faith, since he believed that God keeps His Word, and will raise Isaac from the dead.
Regarding the passage about Egyptians being killed, one aspect you can talk about is God-hood and His holiness. Like if someone is a God, does that mean He has rights to do anything with His creation? Does He have right to take and give life? So when I said God-hood, it’s about His sovereignty or prerogatives. Then you can talk about Him being set apart, being all-righteous, like is a judge good if he lets a criminal get away? If sin is rebellion against God, and if the punishment for treason is death, is God not good if He makes sure that evil doers get what they deserve? You can ask him as well why is God good if He lets evil-doers get away? I believe this will help address the underlying assumptions your friend has with his questions.
So to get better at this, I recommend you read resources that talk about the attributes of God, aside from the passages in question themselves. Aside from you being able to help in shedding light to your friend, personally you’ll have a higher view of God, which will help you in falling more in love with Him in your daily life. Perhaps what I could recommend for you is The Attributes of God by A.W. Tozer. It has 2 volumes and it has helped me immensely in my walk. The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul can help you as well.
I hope that helps!
Others here have already given far more eloquent and scholarly responses, but what I always encourage people who accuse God of being immoral and bloodthirsty in the OT to do is to look at it through the lens of that time period.
Even though some of the old Mosaic Law seems strange and even barbaric at times to us in the 21st century, at that time in that part of the world it was absolutely revolutionary. As I’ve heard it said; no other ancient near-eastern laws even came close to that level of absolute justice and equality.
Hi Thank you for your answer it helpfull. I wil read thous books you imension