Even an implication that God is a judge and has superiority over people is problematic for many. In polytheistic societies Gods may be assumed to have limited powers and wisdom, and as such may be judged by alternative standards. Under the assumption of an all-wise and powerful God, the perspective of the observer is important.
One of the early examples of justice through punishment in the Bible is the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18. According to the Bible, this event occurred at about 2000BC, during the life of the man Abraham. Abraham's nephew, Lot, chose to live near the city of Sodom, and at that time, the men of Sodom were described as being wicked. In Genesis 18, God started taking action against the people of Sodom. Given the statement in Genesis 13, it appears that the wickedness of Sodom had been a long-running state. In chapter 18, some angels came to Abraham, and God gave a message to him. He chose to reveal to Abraham His plans to enact justice on the cities.
When I look at this passage I notice that the people of Sodom have already seen God at work. For instance they have been delivered miraculously back in Genesis 14. The king of Sodom is there when "Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High ... blessed Abram with this blessing: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.'" He hears about who God is, even if he didn't know before. But that's not enough.
Romans 1:18-20 says "God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature. So they have NO EXCUSE FOR NOT KNOWING GOD."
In Genesis 18:23 Abraham says to God, "Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked?" He presumes that God will sweep away the wicked, but will He also sweep away those who believe? Abraham recognises that God is just. WHEN YOU KNOW GOD, YOU KNOW HIS WAYS.