God is kind, merciful, and good.
“6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;
7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; …”

Exodus 34:6  NASB (and 22 instances)

God is cruel, unmerciful, and evil. 
“7 … yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” 
Exodus 34:7  NASB (and 13 instances)


SAB Contradiction 310


Lack of understanding
The critic fails to understand the subject he is criticizing. God is a loving Father for those who love him; and He is also a righteous Judge for those who act outrageously against Him and man (Romans 11:22).


God as Judge
As a righteous judge God warned(s) people; however they often fail(ed) to see his signals. His judgements were/are of different nature:
(1) Sometimes He delivered(s) the guilty ones to powers of Life, that pay back: rejection, pain, poverty, hunger, desolation, exile, etc. (Take note: it is not said here that who has such a problem is automatically punished by God. Every human being has known the struggle with these powers since the Fall of Man.)
(2) There were/are also human institutions, given by God, to judge: “Whoever sheds man’s blood; by man his blood shall be shed, …” (Genesis 9:6). This is generally seen as the institution of jurisdiction. In Old Israel strict requirements had to be met for capital punishment, with the consequence that these punishments were almost exceptions in Israel.     
(3) In cases of outrageous misbehavior. He could also turn his back to evil doers to give room to the evil one to start his destructive work to them within the limits God had(s) appointed by his judgements: natural catastrophes (famine, wars, inundations).


Unacceptables for the critic
“The Lord God … visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, …” (Exodus 34:6-7) It seems that God punishes innocent ones, the children of evil doers. However,  He does not visit them with his punishments, but with his warnings. (Read the article: Are we punished for the sins of others?)
No injustice of God

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the Lord, …’” (Numbers 25:4) These men had led many Israelites into an intersexual festival for Baal, the god of the Midianites. In the desert the Israelites ate daily the manna that God gave them. What if the gift of manna stopped? No food for even the children? The Israelites were brought by these men in the danger of complete extinction. Moses had no other choice than this judgement. (See the article: Was Moses meek?)
No injustice of Moses

“You shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will deliver to you; …” (Deuteronomy 7:16) For the wars of Joshua in Canaan see the article: Was Moses meek? (Rules of War). Only the cities that declared a war of aggression to the Israelites were beaten (Joshua 11:20).
No injustice of the Israelites entering Canaan
“He struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. He struck down of all the people, 50,070 men, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a great slaughter.” (NASB, 1 Samuel 6:19; Red is lacking; Green is interpretation) No doubt we have here a serious mistranslation of old. Word for word is: “He struck the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. And He struck the people: 70 men of 50,000 men, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a heavy blow.” (Blue: basic meanings; Pink: usual addition, e.g. ‘men of Israel’.)  A killing of about 50,000 men would correspond with the extinction of a great tribe in Israel. It’s not probable that this would have been reported in one single Bible verse. We have to reckon with a mass of people (50,000) flocked from all sides to admire the miracle of the returned ark and then a delegation (70) approached the ark to control the contents. Would the tables of the covenant be still in there? Not unreasonable at the first glance and so it was a heavy blow when they died, but these leaders had to realize that the most holy objects of the cult implied: Danger! Forbidden ground!
Nobody than the 70 could prevent the accident, not even God.

“Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Samuel 15:3) The war ban is formulated here. Each nation in the Middle East at that time followed this war ban. If Israel would not follow it, their enemies would have laughed for so much naivety. If hostile soldiers were imprisoned, fed by the Israelites and set free they would immediately regroup and attack their benefactors. The formula of the ban was serious, however one should not forget that cities of the enemy were often fortified cities from where women, children and cattle had been removed to camps in the field or even in other regions. It was not permitted for the Israelites to attack first these vulnerable groups. That was precisely what the Amalakites had done to Israel in the desert and by which they had brought the anger of Israel on themselves forever. In the beginning of Saul’s kingship he had to face many enemies to protect his borders. The aggressive Amalakites in the south were one of the many enemies Saul had to face already in the beginning of his reign.
No injustice action against Amalek

“The Lord has swallowed up; He has not spared
All the habitations of Jacob.”
(Lamentations 2:2)
In the year 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem and then ended the sovereignty of Israel as a nation embodied in the royal dynasty of David. From the retrospective views of the book Lamentations (2:17, 3:43) we learn that Jerusalem had experienced what had occurred ages before. The Canaanites had been kicked out the land for there religious transgressions, now this had happened with the Israelites for the same reason. God, as a judge, had decided to deliver his people to the powers of the surrounding nations, especially Babylon. Isaiah (59:2) had prophesied “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Yes, they had lost their divine protection as they had excluded God by their lawless life. Was it God’s cruelty? No, God couldn’t reach them anymore. This painful truth is also to be found in: Jeremiah 13:14,  16:3, 7,  Ezekiel 7:4, 9, 9:5-6, Micah 1:12.
No injustice of God


The critics of  New Atheism are confronted in the Bible with a God they don’t (want to) understand at all. By their aggressive attacks on the Bible they only expose their own shortcomings in sound knowledge and correct understanding.

No Bible Contradictions