I hope I can get at least one clear, well-thought-out, honest answer to this.
In the book of Samuel, Doeg kills 85 priests of the Lord on orders from king Saul as a way to show the evilness of the King, according to the Life Application Study Bible. Not only does Doeg kill the priests, he also slaughters their families, including women and children of them.
In the footnotes of the passage, the words "sometimes God allows evil to develop to teach us not to let evil flourish," appear as an explanation to why he allowed 85 priests to die. Yet, it doesn't even acknowledge the senseless killing of their families.
If you take the Bible as infallible, this story actually happened and the same loving, personal, forgiving God of the New Testament is this same monster that allows murdering of children in the Old Testament.
Picture a young child playing in her garden at home, picking flowers, sun glistening off her blonde hair. Now imagine a crazy zealot plunging a sword into her, punishing her for something some blind-faith following priest did two towns over.
And now imagine reading this story 4000 years later, with notes JUSTIFYING this act as a way to prevent further evil from developing.
If you are a clear-thinking follower of God, how do you cope with this?
This obviously is not a new discussion, but I've yet to hear an honest answer that isn't met with yelling, screaming, and irrationality.