Getting into the OT would probably kill this conversation. Still, if you ask my opinion, I’ll tell you what I’ve seen from my reading so far.
I learned first of all, that God is kind. He created a whole beautiful world, created a man and a woman and told them “This is yours. Inhabit it, use it, fill it with lots of people”. But his people did more than that. They abused his gifts and kindness, killed each other, dishonored him, and committed the injustice of giving what rightly belongs to him to someone else.
Given all that, he could have killed them all. That’s where I learned the second- God is patient. Centuries of people passed through the earth, committing the same evils as their parents. instead of getting rid of everyone once and for all, he would warn them. Promise them wonderful things if they changed their ways, threaten to punish them if they continued down that path. He waited and waited. He didn’t destroy the people of Canaan for 400 years. He waited even longer with Israel and Judah. He sent prophets and whatever was available to get their attention.
In the end, he punished those who never turned – the people of Israel, Judah, Canaan, Sodom with their cruelty, child sacrifice and all round evil.
He is merciful. The people of Niniveh, an example of those who were intelligent enough to heed wornings, he spared. Still humans in general have not learned. We might no longer have alters on which we burn infants, the evil has not disappeared.
So, what does he do then? Wipe us out? No. He sends his son. Those who wish to turn from their evil ways can turn to him. He will take their guilt and and save them. That is love. And it’s love of the most overwhelming kind. It’s not killed by repeated rejections. It reaches out even to those who would hit and spit on him and nail him on a cross to die.
We’re reading the same Bible, but we’re obviously not seeing the same thing. When I read it, I see a story of one who keeps calling to those he loves even though they have repeatedly abandoning him, doing whatever he can to provide them with the gifts that will satisfy them.