In my human mind, I don't dare think I can possibly grasp the full nature of my God. While reading the Old Testament I am often shaken by the harshness of God. Did He really need to destroy the entire earth with a flood? Did He really need to kill all the firstborn sons of Egypt? When I read of these incidents, it's hard to think of Him as loving.
Then, I remember that God provided a way out. He told Noah how to build the perfect vessel to house his family while they waited out the storm. He gave the Israelites instructions to mark their doorposts with blood so that the angel of death would pass over their homes. He was indeed harsh, but he saved those that would listen and obey.
Often, unbelievers they will insist that if God were loving then he would never send anyone to hell.Yet, once again, he provides an escape. He gave us Jesus and in return he only requires that we honor the gift.
Today, I am thankful that my God is both strong and loving. His anger is for a moment and His mercy never fails. I pray that I never take that for granted.