Many operate under the assumption…There’s the Old Testament God who commanded holy war and swallowed up the disobedient with fire and earthquakes. And then there’s the God of the New Testament, a God of love, mercy, and grace. David Platt — Radical
The above statement made me curious and to be honest, a bit nervous. I’ve never thought of the God of the Old Testament as different than the God of the New Testament. I knew situations and people were different in the two Testaments, but my understanding has always been that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. To think the God I love could change was very unsettling for me. I had to investigate this possibility further.
For I the Lord do not change; (Malachi 3:6, NIV)
Fact №1 — The immutability of God
We can’t fit God into any kind of container. That would mean confining or shaping Him into something, and that’s impossible. God is immutable, unchanging over time and unable to be changed!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17, ESV)
How I see God
The best way to describe how I see God is with the analogy of an iceberg. What I see is the tip only! I’ll never be able to comprehend what sits under the surface until I meet Him face-to-face. I don’t need all the threads of the Bible to come together into a completed tapestry while I’m here on earth. My primary understanding of God is that He loves me as He loves every single person on this planet and He wants only the best for each and every one of us.
Love is alive when it’s shared with others.
Fact №2 — God is love and He commands us to love each other
If I had to define or confine God in any way I would say, He is Love. He made us for love and relationship. He wants to share Himself with us, to have us connect and commune with Him. His sole purpose in creating us was just that, to love us and encourage us to accept His love so we can help others accept it as well.
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19, NIV)
But God had to get our attention
Our intimate connection with God was broken however when Eve bit into the apple. Since then, God has been seeking our souls so He can rescue us from our selfish ways. He wants to recapture what was lost after the fall. Because of this separation, He’s allowed many things to happen in hopes of getting our attention: floods, exile, slavery, wars, you name it. He knows it’s our nature to seek Him only in times of trouble, hardship, pain, or fear.
Fact №3 — Jesus is an undeniable historical certainty
It took Jesus, an actual person, to finally win us over (well some of us anyway). Jesus’ birth, life, and death cannot be refuted, no matter how hard we try. God sent Jesus to bridge the gap created by Eve’s sin. Jesus left us a legacy for redemption through the Holy Spirit. He showed us precisely how to love each other while He was here.
God was determined to win every heart back to Him, and Jesus was the solution.
In summary, God never changed, our perception of Him changed
We lost our connection with God after the fall. Throughout Old Testament times, God offered us ways to reconnect with Him through ritual and ceremony, but we messed that up too. So, He gave us Jesus. Because of Jesus, we were able once again to connect with Him and experience His wholeness, His Holiness. That’s why God seems different in the Old Testament when compared to the New Testament. He never changed, instead, He gave us a lens with which to see Him more clearly, Jesus!