The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
CHORUS: More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart:
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever:
the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
From my college days through my final years in the church, that song was one of my favorites. Its lyrics are taken from Psalm 19 and, to me, expressed the perfection and utility of God’s Word, the Bible.
Paul Copan’s book, Is God a Moral Monster: Making Sense of the Old Testament God, is the best apologia I have read for the disturbing actions and characteristics of the God of the Bible. I had read a lot on this subject and did not expect to find anything new, but I was surprised to find exactly that.
For example, he defends the Canaanite genocide by arguing that passages such as Deuteronomy 7 and Deuteronomy 20, which command the Hebrews to “completely destroy” the occupants of the Promised Land and not to “leave alive anything that breathes” don’t literally mean that. Rather, they are indulging in the same sort of hyperbole we use about sporting events: “our team totally annihilated them.” I’m not sure if I buy this, but it’s an argument I had not heard during 40 years in the evangelical church.