I read this funny article about the God of the Old Testament, and I thought how amazing it was that some Christians seemingly chose to ignore this brutal god of war, Yahweh, as though in the NT, he suddenly had a change of heart.
The deity is clearly a maniac with a bloodthirst. Here is the article:
A God in Man's Image
All cultures have anthropomorphized their gods into humanoid (if sometimes grotesque) form. Were the Jews the exception? Hardly. We know precisely what the Hebrew god looked like. We are, after all, fashioned in his own likeness. He was a man, no doubt looking remarkably like the bearded sage asking us to worship him. He has body parts: eyes and a face (‘they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes’ – Jeremiah 16.17); nose and a mouth (Psalms 18.8); lips, tongue and breath (Isaiah 30.27,33); loins (Ezekiel 1.27); even ‘back parts’ (Exodus 33.23). He also has several ‘human’ emotions, manly appetites, and a worrying disposition towards pathological violence.
Yahweh feels regret for his own evil (‘And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.’ - Jonah 3.10); and grief (at the wickedness of men) (‘and it grieved him at his heart’ - (Genesis 6.6). He actually gets down and wrestles with Jacob, dislocating his thigh (Genesis 32.24). He forgets (he goes on calling Jacob ‘Jacob’ even after re-naming him ‘Israel’ - Genesis 35.10, 46.2). He practises favouritism (choosing the Israelites ‘above all people’ - Exodus 19.5; but he just does not like Cain or Esau!). He holds grudges (‘I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation’ – Exodus 20.5).
For an omniscient god he is surprisingly unknowing (‘They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not.’ – Hosea 8.4). And for an omnipotent god he has his limitations (‘The Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had chariots of iron.’ - Judges 1.19).
And after his creation of the world, he even has to rest from his labour (‘And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work’ - Genesis 2.2) – to the endless bemusement of pagan critics, whose own gods didn’t need to rest!
The most disturbing aspect of Yahweh’s humanoid personality, however, is his blood-lust. The smell of burning flesh is a ‘sweet savour unto the lord’ – so sweet, in fact, that the phrase appears in the Old Testament no fewer than twenty-three times. The butchery demanded by god is truly monumental. Believers are required to sacrifice two lambs day-by-day continuously – and that’s just for starters! Just as well Yahweh had several thousand priests to help him trough through the banquet!
Livestock bears the brunt of god’s appetite but humans could so easily get the chop from the big guy. God kills Uzzah for simply steadying the tumbling Ark (1Chronicles 13.9,10). Poor Onan was zapped for using the withdrawal method of birth control (Genesis 38.10). But such isolated vindictiveness palls in comparison with the mass killings of the Lord. When the autocratic Moses faces a rebellion led by Korah, God uses an earthquake and fire to consume two hundred and fifty rebels. When indignant sympathizers protest at the injustice, God wipes out another fourteen thousand seven hundred with a plague (Numbers 16). What a guy!
What do you think?