Is God evil for destroying entire nations in the Old Testament?


by Brent Cunningham

I recently heard from somebody who said that he could never believe in a God who would command the destruction of an entire group of people—an act of genocide!  Genocide is murdering a group of people because of a hatred of who they are.  And after all, why would God destroy a group of people for being who they are (ethnically) if God made everyone in the first place?  So, obviously the God described in the Old Testament, who did such things, cannot be the true God who made all people.

Have you ever heard or thought of this sort of moral objection to the biblical God?  I think it’s a fair question.  However, I also think that there are misconceptions about God’s actions in the Old Testament (OT).  Further, I believe that if we think carefully about this, taking into consideration all the facts, we’ll see that God was not only justified in all His actions in the OT, but also, through His actions, shown to be good.

One solution that I’ve heard proposed is that the actions of violence in question are those of the God of the OT.  Almost as though there is a completely different God in the New Testament (NT).  What I think they mean is that while God is angry and wrathful in the OT, He is simply more forgiving and full of grace in the NT.  There are at least two reasons why this “solution” is problematic and should be rejected…


          Is God evil for destroying entire nations in the Old Testament? | Brent Cunningham