How can God be so destructive and still be called a God of love?
It can be difficult to understand the many facets of God's character. We know that He is a God of love and peace; yet, so many times He has employed methods of destruction as He worked out His plans. The event surrounding the Flood (Genesis 6), Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19), the parting of the Red Sea and the subsequent destruction of the Egyptian army (Exodus 14), and the coming tribulation (Revelation) are just a few.
If you look closely, though, each one of these events was for the purpose of either protecting God's people or drawing men to God. The Flood was representative of the final judgment the unsaved will face. But, in the face of that judgment, He protected the righteous from His wrath, much like Christians will be protected from the coming wrath of God. The events at the parting of Red Sea were obviously God's way of protecting the Israelites. Remember, in the form of plague-type warnings, God tried many times to reach the Egyptians. Sounds a lot like the warnings this world is receiving almost daily regarding the judgments to come.
Some faith is necessary to understand God's character. Scripture tells us that He is loving and merciful, but it also says that He is holy and just. "The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Pet. 3:9). He is constantly reaching His hand out to unbelievers, in whatever way He deems necessary.
God cannot tolerate sin, but neither does He want us to suffer the penalty of our sins. Look how far He went to make a way out for us! We can never understand the fullness of God's ways. We must simply have enough faith to believe that, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).