Would this be a possible help to reconciling the violence of the OT with the Love of the NT. It seems like many people struggle with that.
What if we saw the violence of the Old Testament in context of the overarching plan to create and sustain a certain society whose preservation was of such importance to Gods plan for all that He from time to time had no choice but to wipe out masses of people the devil was trying to use to thwart that plan?
You had the flood where 99% of humanity had reached incorrigibility and it was soon to be no one good left if God did not do something.
Could Sodom and Gomorrah have been a potential Babylonian/Roman empire in the making whose wickedness and depravity could not be allowed to expand over the earth?
Then you had instances where within the people of God, existential threats arose that could have dissolved or divided the community were God to not authoritatively judge the source of the schism. The challenges to Moses for instance.
Whereas instead of seeing God as this angry capricious being whose ego is easily provoked to violence, shouldn’t we instead see a measured mastermind who guards his plan and resorts to destruction when only all else fails?
And if Universalism is true, which I believe it is, doesn’t that mitigate the seeming cruelty of God in as much as He knows he will reconcile all those who had to be killed to protect the master plan?
I realize there are likely weakness in this but maybe a place to start?
Maybe this should be in a separate post but…
Going back to the flood think about this. If God would have just waited and destroyed all after 100% loss of all goodness in the earth, and then started with a new Adam from the dust, what descendant could have been the Messiah for all those descendants of the first Adam trapped under the earth who died in the flood? Noah was the single link to the chain of humanity before and after the flood. Maybe thats why Peter refers to the souls in prison from the flood who Jesus went and preached to. A brand new race instead of the Noah race might have left them all down there with no redeemer.
Just exploring outside the box.