Love is the glue that holds the universe together. This is reflected in our hymnology, "Christ the word, the wisdom and the power of God that creates and sustains all things." We can assimilate such a concept as the basis of our spiritual life, and rise above the fundamentalist and literalist understanding of Scripture.
The alternative is to engage in monumental flights of the most irrational fantasy in vain attempts to reconcile the concepts of God revealed in Christ Jesus with a literalist understanding that God Himself actually commanded the ancient Hebrews to commit the most unspeakable acts of war crimes and crimes against humanity ever recorded in history. In our own eon, those same acts would have landed their perpetrators, not in the Hague, but in Nuremburg. Yet those same literalists will ascert that God is loving, caring for mankind, just and willing to sacrifice His own son for love of mankind. And they do this in the vain hope that more civilised generations will accept their senseless attempts to justify those monstrous actions. Nor can they explain why the miracles of modern medicine that heal and save the lives of millions of people outstrip the notion of the few, if any at all, actual healings take place through their ministrations. Perhaps this is why medicine in a very modern sense, was a ministry of the Orthodox Church from the time of Apostle Paul until the fall of the Byzantine Empire, why in the Orthodox world, medicine was hospital based, the unmercinary physicians are among the most venerated of saints, and the foundations of Arab medcine were laid in Jundeshapur by Nestorian Christians exiled from the Byzantine Empire.
The perverse notion of linking the concept of justice to "punishment," rather than its original concept of putting in balance and setting matters aright, is inexcusable. God is love, and therefore the balance and adhesive of the universe is love. There is no other meaning to life than to love and be loved, and the highest manifestation of that is co-suffering love, the cosudffering love of God with humanity in Christ Jesus. But at every level, sincere love, unselfish love, is the essence of all meaning to life.