Merriam-Webster‘s definition of paradigm is this: “a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind”
The ending of the definition is the easy way to understand paradigm: “a philosophical or theoretical framework.”
In the last little while I’ve been personally struggling with the thought of the God of the Old Testament. Specifically the parts where He wipes out entire civilizations. Yes, these parts of the Bible make for some great reading; but if the only point to the Bible was “great reading,” why would there be books like Numbers and Leviticus in it? The Old Testament is a beautiful compilation of Law, history, poetry, prophecy… but the best part of the Old Testament is the revelation of God’s character.
Our God is a loving God, but why on Earth is there so much death in the OT? God is a loving God, but he is also a jealous God. Really, He’s the only one with the right to be jealous. He created everything; the universe, the sun, the world, the plants, the water, the bugs, the animals, and us. Of all His creations, He see’s us as something especially special. All creation cry’s out praise to God, all except man.
There’s the issue, and the issue that I am having grasping with this. We are told to love our neighbor, not to judge unless we will be judged, help and pray for even those who hate us. Why? Are they hating us or are they hating God? Both. But here’s the deal, once we are saved we are property of God the Father, wearing Christ the Son, with the Holy Spirit inside of us. Property isn’t a good way to say that, we are son’s of God with full inheritance. When someone sin’s agains a Christian, they are ultimately sinning against Christ, against God.
God is the one who has the only right to judge that action, since the action was against Him. In the distant past, God did some amazing things to show man His authority. He did things to shape man’s mind into seeing Him for who He really is. He even did so much as to flood the entire Earth saving only a few. He parted a sea allowing for an escape for His followers. He fed His people food that came from nothing and nowhere, kept a few alive inside a fire that was so hot that a man literally died getting close to it. All to ultimately show His glory and power.
That’s it, it’s His glory. We show His glory by loving others because of how He has loved us. He has shown the world His power and majesty in major ways in the past. He continues to do so, but these actions are His. As the body of Christ, our job is to love, share the Gospel, and allow God to manage the rest. This includes all of humanity.
While it’s still difficult to grasp why God has done the things that He has; it’s merely my being human and not God that makes it that seem off. Because I have been given guidelines for me to follow how to live and treat humans, it’s easy to assume that’s also how God should treat humans. But humans are God’s creation and His to do with as he pleases. This is because of God’s sovereignty. His will isn’t always our will. His way isn’t always our way. It’s our duty to praise and worship God even when we don’t understand what or why He’s done what it is that He’s done. Remember “We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19