Did We Get Our Bad Qualities From God?

Q. My question is: If we were made in God’s image and likeness, then are our bad qualities also from Him? I don’t mean to be disrespectful, I love the LORD, yet the Bible tells of many instances where GOD has wrath, and leads the army of Israel to victory against the other armies. And many are killed. Please help me to understand this side of GOD.

A. You’ve really asked two questions here. First, as to being created in God’s image a careful reading of Genesis shows that Adam and Eve were created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). There’s no mention of this regarding Cain and Abel. But after repeating that Adam and Eve were created in the image and likeness of God in Genesis 5:1-2, the Bible then tells us that their subsequent children were born in Adam’s (fallen) likeness (Genesis 5:3). Scholars have taken this to mean they were born with a sin nature, and not only them but every human since. This is where our bad qualities come from.

Second, careful studies will also confirm that God never judges people impulsively or arbitrarily. He is patient and long suffering, only resorting to judgment after man has made it abundantly clear that he is not interested in reconciliation. He waited for 1656 years to bring the flood, and then only did so after repeated warnings. He gave Pharoah 9 chances to relent telling him in advance what would happen if he didn’t. And when He brought the Israelites into the promised land it was after giving the local residents 400 years to turn back to Him.

After that He only loosed the Israelites against other nations in self defense, in an effort to discourage them from attacking His people. He sent prophet after prophet to Israel to warn His people that they too were being disobedient. The Northern and Southern kingdoms each got 150 years advance notice before being judged for their idolatry. The Southern Kingdom had the additional advantage of seeing what had happened to the North, and even when they didn’t learn He only gave them a 70 year penalty knowing that after He brought them back they would just rebel against Him again. Where we’re concerned He’s been waiting 2000 years to see if we’ll learn the lessons from history, knowing we won’t.

God is our creator. He is absolutely just and righteous. No human has ever received undeserved punishment from Him. This is something no man can claim for himself. So the answer to your question is no. We didn’t inherit our bad qualities from Him, because He doesn’t have any.

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