"God's Love in the Old Testament" - Chapter 5



Chapter 5: "Questions of Love"




Chapter 5 – Questions of Love


“I will sing of the LORD 's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known

through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever” (Psa 89:1,2)




Chapter 5 Contents

5.1 Reviewing the Previous Chapter

5.2 The Love of God declared in the O.T

5.3 But what is love?

5.4 More Questions about God's Love

5.5 To Summarise


The Heart of Chapters 4 & 5: The Bible is uniform in declaring that God is a God of love. When we realise that we then need to look at all that happens in the Bible and see it in that light. As we look at the beginning and end of the world according to God's design, we see all the hallmarks of His love in it.



5.1 Reviewing the Previous Chapter


In Chapter 4 we introduced the concept of God being a God of love and then went on to lay out a Biblical world view and noted that:

  •  God designed and made the world and it was perfect.
  •  He gave free will to man and the first man and woman exercised that free will to ‘sin' – to reject God's instructions.
  •  This has effects so that the world no longer ‘works' properly and things go wrong.
  •  Yet God still reached out to individuals to make Himself known and to draw them into a relationship with Him, starting with Abram, Isaac and Jacob.
  •   Jacob (Israel) became a nation through whom God sought to reveal Himself to the world.
  •  Into this nation two thousand years ago, God brought His Son, Jesus Christ, who died to take the punishment for our sins so we can be reconciled to God.


This is the Biblical world view that shows that, though we reject God, He constantly seeks to reach out to us to draw us to Himself and back into a life of peace and harmony and goodness.


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5.2 The Love of God Declared in the O.T.


The previous chapter started by very briefly observing one reference in the Old Testament and one in the New that speak of God's love. We need to look at more.
Check out references!


Now we are aware the accusation might be made that these are just rare references and so we include the following which are just some of those references that point out that God is a God of love. What is interesting to note, is that they often give a reason why the writer is declaring this.


Ex 11:13 ,15 “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? …. "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.”

  •  i.e. His love for Israel has been revealed by the way He redeemed them from slavery in Egypt.


Ex 20:5,6   I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

  •  This is part of the 2nd of the Ten Commandments and this is God's declaration about Himself.
  •  Note that love is tough and He will punish or discipline those who hate and oppose Him but will always be there expressing His love positively to those who love and respond to Him.
  •  We will indeed look at this distinction in detail in a later chapter.
  •  It is reiterated in Ex 34:6,7, Deut 5:10, 7:9, Num 14:18,19


Deut 7:9  “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”

  •  From now on this love is connected with His ‘covenant'. This is the agreement that He has with Israel, established at Sinai, based on His love.
  • This reference to the 'covenant' is highly significant because a critic could say that all these references to God's love were wishful thinking, hollow desires proclaimed, but what we find is that they are linked with reasons why the writer makes the declaration. Here it is that there are visible expressions of God's covenant with Israel being worked out and these reveal His love for them. We will see this even more in this chapter.
  •  Although there is always balance in that there is mention of punishment for disobedience, the emphasis is on being loved and the goodness that comes with that love.

Deut 7:12,13   “If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers.”

  •  This ‘covenant' or agreement simply required Israel's obedience to the laws that God had given them to bring them back into the way of life that He had designed for mankind – to receive His goodness.
  •  Obviously if they didn't go with His leading, He could not bless them. It is like a doctor offering a treatment to a patient for cancer. To receive the goodness of the treatment and to receive healing, they must ‘obey' the doctor and take the treatment. We would not criticise the doctor if the patient was foolish enough to reject the treatment. This is how it was with God, Israel and the Law.
  •  Linking His love to His covenant also seen in 1 Kings 8:23, Neh 1:5, 9:32


Ezra 3:11   “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever."

  •  His love was at the heart of Israel's praise when they returned from the Exile.

Neh 9:17   “But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them”

  •  This was part of a declaration before the people how God had been so good to Israel despite their appalling responses to Him so many times.
  •  It was this familiar declaration that formed the backbone of it. (We will see this passage in more detail in the next chapter.)


Neh 13:22 “Remember me for this also, O my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.”

  •  Nehemiah's plea is based on God's love


Psa 6:4   “Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.”

  •  David prays on the basis of God's UNFAILING love.
  •  see also Psa 13:5, 17:7, 21:7 etc. etc. throughout the psalms. (Over 100 times!)
  •  see it also in the Prophets.


For the sake of space we have limited the number of references in the Old Testament to God's love. It is a constant and recurring theme. Of that there is no doubt.

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5.3 But what is love

a) Wrestling with the meaning

I have come this far in these two chapters about love and we have not yet defined what it is. It is a word that has been so bandied about in modern culture that it has probably lost any real meaning to many of us.
Check out meaning!


I have already quoted the apostle John declaring "God is love" (1 Jn 4:8,16). Now this doesn't mean that all love is God but it certainly does mean that everything about God IS love, so however He expresses Himself, through word or deed, it is an expression of love.


We may not understand it, but it is and that is why so much of the latter part of this book is spent trying to understand how certain things that happened in the Old Testament period ARE actually an expression of God's love.
A Key: Whatever God does IS love


I will also repeat this a number of times throughout this book because it is so crucial. (I have to warn you that I feel that I am only paddling on the edge of understanding of many of these things, but at least I hope that something of what I write may be helpful to you.)

Now some theologians suggest that love means different things. I would suggest that it always means the same thing in respect of God BUT the way it is expressed to different people and in different circumstances may vary.

Turn to an ordinary dictionary and you find much space given to 'love'. But what are the basics, what do we mean when we usually use this word in a proper way?

  'Love' - warm affection, attachment, liking, benevolence or strong benign feelings for.  


Now when that is applied to God in the Bible we find it is strengthened and so it may be expanded to 'loving kindness' emphasising quality, or 'steadfast love' emphasising its enduring nature. A broader definition of love might be:


  "selfless, sacrificial, unrestricted good will towards all others"  


b) Love expresses itself

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word, Hesed, has these senses together with the sense of mercy, faithfulness and goodness, again emphasing the 'enduring benevolence' found in the general definitions above.

In the New Testament the Greek words, agapao (verb) or agape (noun), usually have a strong sense of a deep and constant expression of wellbeing and goodness towards others.


It is both an attitude and an expression, in respect of God at least, that is unchanging. This last point is vital for the Bible emphasises in various ways that God does not change. Thus His love does not change or vary. It is always there - always!!!
God's love NEVER changes


Behind whatever way He expresses Himself is this deep sense of benevolent goodness. It IS always there and our task is to look for it and understand it.

c) Observing it in human parenting


Let's try and understand how love is there but may be expressed in different ways. Let's think about a loving human father. Some of us may be turned off because we haven't experienced a loving father, but stay with me if you will as we consider how a loving father might express his love for his child or children.
The way love is expressed DOES vary


Here are a variety of ways, and they are ALL expressions of love:

i) Sacrificial Earner

  • He works long hours to earn money to provide for the needs of the family. It often means he is not there for them -  but it is an expression of the strong love he has for them.

ii) Gentle listener and encourager

  • He sits with his children, reading to them and listening to them, and encouraging them. He is there for them and they feel secure with him there.

iii) Firm Limiter

  • When they ask for things that are harmful, he withholds them and gently says no. They don't understand and think him mean, but it is an expression of his caring concern for their protection and wellbeing that makes him say no.

iv) Strong Corrector

  • From time to time he brings necessary correction for he can see destructive traits growing in his child and so he brings correction to try to encourage them to not go in that direction. Sometimes that correction appears hard and painful, but he only brings it when it has become obvious that his wilful child will respond to no other correction.

v) Shadows Watcher

  • Sometimes he stands back and simply watches his child from a distance. He has conveyed his wisdom but his child needs to learn it for himself or herself, sometimes by the hard way of failure. Yet he is always there in the shadows watching them, ready to come the moment he is called and always there for them.

d) Observing it in God 

Similarly we may see God doing things that perplex us, but we must realise that they will always be expressions of His love.

  • Sometimes He provides, and sometimes He seems to be there for us and encourages us, and those times seem good to us.
  • But then sometimes we ask for things and He either says no or remains silent, for He knows that either now is not the right time or there is something better He wants for us.
  • Sometimes bad things seem to come into our lives and for a time we can see no good reason for them. Yet in the fullness of time we see how they benefited us,  or what God was able to bring about and achieve through them.
  • Sometimes God seems distant and we wonder why, and it is only later that we come to realise that He was teaching us to stand on our own two feet, or to appreciate Him more.


Yes, in the fullness of time we come to realise that God's love is expressed in many different ways -  but it is always ultimately for good. It may be for an instant good, or it may be a long-term good.
The way God's love is expressed varies


It may be the good of one person, or it may be for the good of many. Yes, these are some of the things we would do well to learn and to remember as we work our way through the latter part of this book. Please do go back over this section if you are unclear about these things, and then remember them as you read on. It will make it so much easier!

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5.4 More Questions about God's Love


The main premise of this book, is that God is a God of love. We have just reminded ourselves of this by means of the many verses in the Old Testament that declare this and of a brief consideration of what love means. Now, by the use of questions and answers, and referring to the structure or ‘world view' set out in the previous chapter, we will seek to emphasise some of the indicators of God's love that appear in that cursory overview. Our purpose here is to take the general declarations that we have just been considering, and see how that ‘worldview' we laid out in the previous chapter matches that declaration:

Question 1: What indicators are at the very beginning that God is a God of love?


The earliest chapters of the Bible reveal God creating the world that we know (before the Fall) as a place of abundant provision for mankind. Now one of the facets of love, we have said, is that it always desires good for others. In fact love and goodness are tightly wrapped up together. Real love always desires the best for another.


[As an aside, we need to state that we are NOT stating HOW God created the world – He could have created it over millions of years of gradual evolution, or He could have created it in a much shorter period. The distinction that we obviously make from that of atheists, is that the world did not happen by chance, but was made at God's direction.]


In the book of Proverbs, Solomon, with a burst of revelation, personifies wisdom (which may refer to the Son of God) and has wisdom declaring:


Prov 8:30,31  “Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.”


There is within that a sense of goodness that confirms the declaration of Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” This was not an unfriendly world; this was a world of utter goodness, of abundant provision and of peace and harmony. When God brought it into being it was a good experience and He delighted in mankind as they originally were.


Later in the Bible there is a glimpse of an age to come:


Isa 11:6-9  The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”


Whatever else it says, it says that there will come a time of peace and harmony that will result from everyone and everything knowing God, i.e. the knowledge of Lord brings peace and harmony. It may be a picture that is so far from what know and experience today that we find it difficult to accept, but it is, nevertheless, the claim of prophetic Scripture – this IS how it will be one day, because God is working through mankind to make it so!


Similarly, in the very last chapter of the Bible, near the end of the incredible vision of John in the Revelation, we find:


Rev 21:1-4  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."


Again we find a picture of complete peace and harmony in the presence of God, where there are no tears and there is no death, mourning, crying or pain. Whereas these are all characteristics of the present time, they are obviously not God's desire for they were not there at the beginning and they will not be there at the end.


Question 2: But why do you maintain that these are signs of a loving God?



Perhaps an answer might be to suggest that we consider the alternative to such a world – at the beginning and the end. The description that we have observed so far of the world as God originally made it, has been one of a world that is “very good”, that has abundant provision, and is completely free of any form of upset or pain or illness or anything that we might describe as 'unpleasant'.

It is far from what it is now, but we have explained the past that has brought it to what it is today. In a later chapter we'll examine the development of our past in more detail. As to the future, how God will bring about that level of peace and harmony is more a matter of speculation and so I'd rather not even make suggestions, simply to note that the Bible says the future will be restored to what it was originally.


Now if there is a personal God, then any characteristic that might be contrary to love, would not create such a world, or be working to bring about such a world again. If God had been impersonal and indifferent to the human creatures that eventually appeared on this world, then He would not bother with such extravagant and abundant provision that brings so much pleasure.


Imagine a human race that sees only shades of grey, is tone deaf, has only very basic taste buds, has only a very basic sense of touch and procreates like an amoeba. How staggeringly different from the incredibly rich variety of experience that we know.


If God had been spiteful then He could have made us so that all we ever felt was fear, tension, and upset, where the laws of nature were volatile and entirely unpredictable and we all lived with constant pain, illness or dysfunction so that we never developed, and thus lived with constant frustration.


All of these negative things described in these last paragraphs are entirely missing from the Biblical pictures of the very beginning and the very end in God's plan of things. Indeed, the struggles of atheism in the twenty first century are a desperate endeavour to try to convince us that the logical outcome of a world with no God does NOT end up like this! The writings of such people as Richard Dawkins cannot help but expose the horror of a world without meaning or purpose, that is purely mechanistic and devoid of the God of love who is revealed through the Bible.


Question 3: But why would a loving God give free will to the human race if He knew that it would turn from Him with all the consequences that you speak of?



  The answer has to be twofold.


a) What's the alternative?

The first answer has to be, what alternative is there? Twice in discussions I have heard people asking why God couldn't have made us so that we just couldn't do wrong and thus Eve and Adam couldn't have succumbed to Satan's temptation. However the moment you say that you deny the very concept of free will. You either have complete freedom to choose or you don't!


So what, I hear someone saying, is so important about free will? The question suggests that you have never thought about this before, because our entire lives are based upon choice. When I first encountered Economics I was taught that the fundamental economic problem is that of limited resources and so economics is all about making choices. From the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we go to bed at night, we are making choices. That is true of every aspect of our lives.


Now from God's point of view, I suspect that the most important choice we can make, is either to ignore Him or enter into a loving relationship with Him. Near the end of the Bile, the apostle John makes the astute observation that “We love because he first loved us.” (1 Jn 4:19) meaning that Christians are those who have come to love God because they have come to see how much He loves them.


The starting place for that is perhaps the most famous verses in the New Testament: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (Jn 3:16,17) Christians are those who have learned what this means and who have responded positively to it.


To put all this another way, if I was God I would find it most unsatisfactory if all the creatures on the world I made HAD to respond to me just as I wished. So, if I wanted some people to become my children and to love me, I just commanded them, “Turn to me, surrender to me and love me” – and they did! That would be utterly meaningless because love is a freewill choice.

If you are loved you know it is a wonderful thing, and it is utterly different from the experience of people submitting to you because you are their superior (e.g. a teacher or an employer). Love flows out of relationship and the more we understand of the Bible, the more we realize it is all about relationships. Robots, who have no free will, cannot enter into relationships and, more importantly, the owner of the robots cannot experience the robots loving them.


b) An Alternative Outworking

The second answer to the question, why would a loving God give free will to the human race if He knew that it would turn from Him with many negative consequences, is to do with the process and eventual outworking that we see in practice, as a result of what we have just been considering.

Put in its simplest form, we might say that God deemed the risk of us exercising our free will and choosing to go away from Him worth while when He saw the possibilities of us being sinners and yet choosing to turn back to Him – which is exactly what happens when a person becomes a Christian. The end product of God's plan is redeemed sinners.


If God has simply allowed free will and then left us to live with the horror that follows, that would have been terrible (the onus of guilt would still have been upon us however!) but that is not what happened. The Bible is clear in its teaching that appears again and again, that before God made anything, He knew what the future would become and planned for His Son, Jesus Christ, to come into our time-space history two thousand years ago.

More than that though (and Christians are often slow to realize this), God had been working throughout history to restrain sin and to reveal Himself through the nation of Israel. He did not just abandon us to our sinful ways; He worked to bring us back to Himself.


Question 4: But why didn't this loving God make Himself more obvious to us, so that we could realize His love more easily and turn back to Him as you say?



There are at least six answers that ought to be considered here:


a) The Existence of God as Spirit

The first one is that the Bible says that God is spirit and spirit cannot be seen. My own definition of ‘spirit' is ‘energy with personality'. I may be completely wrong but that is my answer to satisfy the materialists among us. He is energy with personality, i.e. living, purposeful energy, if you like. It is the nature of His personality that raises the questions in us, and which this book seeks to address. The first answer, therefore, acknowledges the impossibility of Him being visible simply because He is spirit. Yet we are about to see that He has made us in such a way that there are ‘signposts' within us and around us, that act as strong guides when we want to see.


b) Human Yearnings for Meaning

The second answer is that there is something in us – is it our spirit? – that reaches out and says there is more to life that mere meaningless materialistic existence. Why is it that generations of students have sat around speculating on ‘the meaning of life'? It is so well known, this speculation, that it became a feature in Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy with the eventual answer enigmatically being, “42!”

But this is an observable feature of humanity which Solomon spoke about when he wrote, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Eccles 3:11). So, the second answer suggests that we have been made by Him with an inner yearning to reach out for Him. The very existence of that yearning should speak to us.


c) Human Yearnings for Right

A third answer appears as another common human expression or experience. When the apostle, Paul, was writing to the church at Rome, he spoke about those who have not heard about Jesus Christ:

Rom 2:6-10    God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”


Now that should not be taken out of context because he goes on later to explain about Jesus Christ, but for the moment he was saying that, essentially, where people have not been able to hear about Jesus Christ, there is another measuring stick – their inner desire to reach out for good. Now possibly Paul is subtly undermining our self-confidence through these verses, because many an honest person might wonder if anyone ever genuinely “does good” and seeks “glory, honour and immortality”.

However it is a possibility and behind his words must come the implication that there are people who do seek to be utterly good, and that then raises questions within us why mere material beings should be like this. There is the school of philosophy that maintains that no one does anything for purely altruistic reasons. However, a third answer suggests that we human beings struggle with these issues, issues of right and wrong, good and bad, which point towards an ultimate absolute which has to be a Lawgiver, the ultimate Lawgiver.


d) A World for those with Eyes to see

A fourth answer can be observed when we see the apostle Paul when he was in Athens, speaking to the Greeks there about how God had made the world. He wrote, “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27). His suggestion was that the very nature of the world should raise questions in any thinking person who would seek after the Creator.

This is a comment that is made a number of times in the Bible. When the apostle Paul, spoke about how people condemn themselves, he said:

Rom 1:19,20  “what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

i.e. William Paley's watchmaker example may not be an ultimate proof but it certainly confirms what the Bible says – for those with eyes to see, the world is so complex and so wonderful that is must suggest a designer. A fourth answer thus suggests that for those who have eyes to see, Creation points towards God.


e) The Biblical Witness

A fifth, overarching answer is seen when we see Jesus telling a parable about life after death. In his parable he has two men who go to the afterlife. One of them is a beggar named Lazarus and the other is a rich man who has been rich and self-centred in this world. The beggar is accepted into heaven by heaven's gatekeeper, Abraham (the man of faith!), and the rich man is rejected. The rich man asks God to go and tell his family what they might be missing so that at least he could convey something of use to them. As he concludes the story we find the following dialogue starting with the gatekeeper, Abraham:


Lk 16:29-31    “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' `No, father Abraham,' he said, `but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' "He said to him, `If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."


Within the subtly of the parable Jesus declares there are three things that God has given to point us to Him. The first thing is the Law given by Moses (when Moses is mentioned like this it is usually shorthand for a reference to the Law), then there are the prophets who spoke God's word, and finally there will be coming Jesus' resurrection from the dead. In other words, says Jesus, if anyone has eyes to see, then in these three ways they will see. If they have a closed mind, then none of these things will help - but they are there as witness against them.


f) Response to Jesus

A sixth answer is in the fact of Jesus himself being a measure of our hearts. At one point Jesus said,

Jn 3:17,18   God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.”


William Barclay's commentary on this passage is worth repeating:

“It is quite possible to offer a man an experience in nothing but love, and for that experience to turn out a judgment. It is quite possible to offer a man an experience which is meant to do nothing but to bring joy and bliss to a man, and yet for that experience to turn out a judgment and a condemnation.

Suppose we love great music; suppose we get nearer to God in the midst of the surge and thunder of a great symphony than anywhere else. Suppose we have a friend who does not know anything about such music. Suppose we wish to introduce this friend of ours to this great experience; we wish to share it with him; we wish to give him this contact with the invisible beauty which we ourselves enjoy. We have no aim other than to give this friend the happiness of a great new experience. We take him to a symphony concert; in a very short time he is fidgeting and gazing around the hall, obviously completely uninterested and clearly bored. That friend has passed a judgment on himself; he has no music in his soul. The experience which was designed to bring him a new happiness has become a judgment.

This always happens when we confront a man with greatness. We may take a man to see some great masterpiece of art; we may take him to listen to someone who is a prince of preachers; we may give him some soul-nourishing book to read; we may take him to gaze upon some beauty. His reaction is a judgment. If he finds no beauty and no thrill we know that he has a blind spot in his soul. It is told that a visitor was being shown round an art gallery by one of the attendants. In that gallery there were certain masterpieces beyond all price, possessions of eternal beauty and unquestioned genius. At the end of the tour the visitor said: "Well, I don't think much of your old pictures." The attendant answered quietly: "Sir, I would remind you that these pictures are no longer on trial, but those who look at them are." All that the man's reaction had done was to show his own pitiable blindness.

This is so with Jesus. If, when a man is confronted with Jesus, his soul goes out in a thrill to that wonder and beauty, that man is on the way to salvation. But if, when he is confronted with Jesus, a man sees nothing lovely then he stands condemned.”


This sixth answer declares that God's love is easily seen in the person of Jesus Christ – if we have eyes to see – and if we don't then that is a condemnation of us and not God!


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5.5 To Summarise


In this second chapter about love we considered:



5.1 Reviewing the Previous Chapter 

  • what we had seen in the previous chapter

5.2 The Love of God declared in the O.T.

  • we looked at a number of the declarations of God's love in the O.T.

5.3 But what is love?

  • we thought about what love actually means

5.4 More Questions about God's Love

  • four questions about God's love to help explain it.


We then considered those following questions in respect of the worldview we previously laid out:

  •  indicators at the beginning that God is a God of love
  •  why maintain that these are signs of a loving God?
  •  would a loving God give free will?
  •  why didn't God make Himself more obvious?    

It might be useful to expand here on those questions and the answers given:

    •  Indicators that God is a God of love?
      •  God's initial provision of a very good world,
      •  His plans at the beginning and at the end of time for a world of peace & harmony
      •  His wonderful provision on the earth for us
    •  Why we maintain that these are signs of a loving God?
      •  any characteristic other than love would not have produced these things
      •  a spiteful God would not have provided such a provision
    •  Would a loving God give free will with its inherent risks?
      •  what alternative is there – only robots
      •  the alternative possibility of redeemed sinners made the risk worthwhile
    •  Why didn't God make Himself more obvious?
      •  the fact of God being spirit makes this difficult – but not impossible,
      •  the human yearning for eternity is a signpost towards Him,
      •  human awareness of right and wrong suggests a Lawgiver, again a signpost towards Him,
      •  the wonder of the world suggests design and design suggests a designer,
      •  the presence of the Bible & its content is a clear signpost towards Him,
      •  the person of Jesus Christ is a clear signpost to God for any with eyes to see,

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