Those who experienced physical death were not punished spiritually.
How does that forgive the deed? How does that make the act of killing a child any less evil? I've said this before and I'll say it again if a child murderer used this defense in court I think it would rightfully get him a longer sentence.
Being a first born does not imply youth. Many senior citizens are first born.
I'm aware that not all the first born were children. Some of them were. The punishment was meant as revenge for what Pharaoh did the Hebrew first born, a genocide that Moses managed to escape, as I'm sure you are aware, by being sent down the Nile in a basket. God's deed strikes me as an act of cold vengeance. The fact that the Hebrews had indeed be wronged does not, however, give anyone, God or not, the right to kill the innocent. If it was wrong when Pharaoh did it than it should be equally wrong when a God does it and is made only worse when the followers of said God say he is righteous and Holy despite his evil deed in the story.
Have you seen the movie The Dark Knight? The newest batman. If you have good. There's a part in the movie where a previously good man, Harvey Dent, becomes a villain. His family (namely his bride to be) is killed. He feels everything has been taken from him. At the end of the movie, rather than punish the men he deems responsible (Commissioner Gordon) for the death of his lover he decides to kill Gordon's son. He is punishing the child for the sins of the Father. Even if Gordon is responsible for the death of Dent's girlfriend Dent does not become justified in committing murder especially when it is the murder of Gordon's innocent son. God's actions aren't different in the Exodus story. He is punishing the children for the sins of the parents. Yet we're supposed to believe God is the hero of the story.
Neither were Jobs children young. Each had his own house, implying they were all adults.
Fair enough but they were still Job's CHILDREN. He loved them enough to offer God sacrifices on their behalf just in case they had turned away. Put yourself in Job's shoes for only a moment and you will understand why God's actions are disgustingly unjust. He allows Satan, for no reason, to kill Job's kids.
You can doubt the Book all you want, but modern newspapers can't keep up with the pace of prophecy fulfillment contained within it's pages.
Most Biblical prophecy is exceedingly vague and makes heavy use of infinitely re-interpretable imagery, just as most prophecy in general does. This leaves it open to interpretation. I noticed this back when I was a Christian, every headline that talked about disaster was lined up beside scriptures and prophecies and stretched to make it fit. When a new disaster or hardship came along believers would stretch many of the SAME prophecies to fit DIFFERENT headlines. This is what allows people like Pat Robertson to claim the world is going to end in the early 80s and claim the Bible supports him. Prophecies about dragons with ten heads, vaguely described nations and kings, a giant Beast rising in the ocean, etc, all unimpressive. In the end Bible prophecy is no more valid than Nostradamus or the morning horoscope.
Now of course there's Messianic prophecy but even the Jews don't think that Jesus fulfilled those, I tend to agree with them in that regard.