Some people have the idea that God was a mean bully -- a bad guy -- during the Old Testament, but has changed in the New Testament period to being a nice guy.
But Scripture reveals clearly that God never changes. What God was in the past, He is now, and He will be in the future.
MALACHI 3:6 NKJ 6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
HEBREWS 13:8 NKJ 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
"Then why are there verses in the Old Testament that seem to ascribe evil to God?"
This question is not easily or quickly answered. There are many reasons, and we can only touch on some briefly in this article. Here are a few key points.
The Bible is progressive revelation. We know more about God and His ways now than we did in the past.
JOHN 1:17 NKJ 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In the NT (New Testament) God is dealing with people differently than in the OT (Old Testament). We have a new covenant. Until the death and resurrection of Jesus the most important goal for God was to preserve the Jewish people and get Jesus here to be our Substitute. Some things had to be done to protect the people of God so that could happen. Compare it to a surgeon who amputates an arm or a leg so that the person's life may be spared. It is not an act of hatred, but of love. No one would condemn the surgeon as being guilty of anything bad.
Now under the new covenant, God is able to fully display His grace. Jesus has already arose victorious. The battle for man has been won, and Jesus is Lord!
Another problem is our Bible translations. None are perfect. Some verses are wrongly translated in a causative sense instead of the correct sense of allowing something to happen. The truth is that God did not cause bad things to happen. The people and the devil were responsible. But sometimes our translations make it sound like God was at fault, when He was only allowing it.
Also, the devil and demons are almost NEVER mentioned in the OT. Yet when Jesus began His ministry we see them everywhere. Did they just show up then? No! Demons were present in OT times also. It is just that God did not yet reveal all that was going on. Maybe the reason God did not reveal more was to prevent people from worshiping the devil. So God just kept quiet. (The one exception to this is the book of Job, which makes it clear that all the calamity was the result of the devil's actions, not God's actions.)
Another key point is that Jesus Christ perfectly revealed God to us. Look at His life. Jesus never harmed anyone.
ACTS 10:38 NKJ 38 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
JOHN 1:18 NLT 18 No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father's heart. He has revealed God to us.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 PHILLIPS 9 Yet it is in him that God gives a full and complete expression of himself in bodily form.
JOHN 12:45 NKJ 45 "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:4 NLT 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
SAY THIS: God never has been a bad guy.