The Bible tells us that “the wrath of God fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah because they transgressed” (Genesis 19:4). But this verse does not give us the legal standing of this wrath, how far it can reach, or the punishment it can impose. It has nothing to do with how much or how little someone can drink. It has nothing to do any more with how God or his church judges that someone else has transgressed or not transgressed. The book of Leviticus is a legal code, a way to distinguish between righteous and sinning. We don’t call God’s judgment “wickedness”; we call it “justice”.
It’s not an act of vengeance; it’s an act of kindness.
A Christian is an objector to evil. An angry god is angry at you because you want to stand for sin and against God’s will. A thirsty god is angry at you because you want to drink.
In our culture, when we read stories about gods, or the people of the Bible, or the people of the Old Testament, we often see the actions of men. In our society, they are gods. And we think it’s acceptable to condemn them, with God’s wrath against them, because they are men.
But when the stories, the stories of the Old Testament are told again and again in modern literature, we see, not women or men, but things that seem more like animals than people. We see people with strange hair and scales, with horns and hooves, who do strange things to each other. We see people who can create gods in the form of trees and snakes and plants. We see people who are more animal than human.
The fact that, in the Old Testament, there are animals makes it harder for the Bible to be understood. We understand in the Bible that the Israelites were given certain specific tasks to do, and the New Testament has clear prescriptions for how people are meant to behave with their God.
This is an example of the difference between the Old and the New Testaments. When the New Testament uses God as a metaphor, God behaves like the sort of fellow you’d imagine a man like Noah to behave like. The people of the Old Testament do so in ways that are more like people – they speak the language, they eat meat – and we have clear instructions on how people are to behave with their God.
And when we look at the
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