In response to this post, pNielsen writes, "I guess I don't have a problem with a God whose perfect character executes both grace and justice.", and Sleeping Beastly later agrees.
To clarify, I certainly have no problem with God's justice, either. How will the pot accuse the potter?
This does pose a problem for more than a few people, though (God ordering the destruction of whole cities in the Old Testament). I have to confess, if I were told by an angel right now to go into a city (even a very evil city) and kill every living thing - women and children, included - I couldn't do it.
I might conclude that the angel was really a demon, or if I was somehow absolutely convinced that this was the command of God, I fear my mind would break under the psychic strain before I could lay hands on a child to kill (I don't believe He would now ask such a thing of us, though).
This is what the warriors of Israel did do. What I wonder - what I suspect - is that they endured no such intolerable level of psychic tension over their actions. It may have seemed to them to be par for the course - just what one would expect... you do abominable things before God and you pay the consequences (even your children).
I feel, then, that we must be really different from them in some important ways, and it may be the Gospel that has made us (modern man) different. The power of the *idea* of the Gospel is such that it may change to some extent even those who reject it.