Is it right because God said it? Or did God say it because it is right?
The way the second question, “Did God say it because it is right?”, is phrased could be understood to presume a standard of right and wrong that exists independently of God – something is right because it is intrinsically right, and God, who is perfectly wise, recognizes its intrinsic rightness and says it.
If that is what is meant, it is inconsistent with what the Bible says. The biblical view of God is one of absolute and uncompromising sovereignty. Anything that exists has as its ultimate source God himself. Something is right or wrong because of its consistency or lack thereof with God’s will and character.
If anyone has a problem with the first question, “Is it right because God said it?”, it might be because it sounds like God arbitrarily determines what is right and wrong. But that’s incorrect, too. Right and wrong are determined by God’s loving and unchanging character, not by God’s capricious whim.
So, if we understand properly the relationship between God’s character and truth or morality, both questions are accurate: because God is perfect and perfectly loving, God’s speech and his character are always in line, meaning that if and when God says something it is by definition right.