The God Of The Old Testament
Many Christians have undoubtedly come across atheists and other critics of the Bible who are quick to make judgments concerning the God revealed in the Old Testament. These unbelievers will try to label God as a mean, vindictive, and harsh Being that demands unwavering worship and obedience. If we are to be honest, I’m sure most would admit that there are certain Old Testaments passages that, on the surface, seem difficult to harmonize with a loving and compassionate God. Instead of hastily passing judgment, let’s take sometime to examine this very important issue and list some responses to these false accusations.
- Not All Actions Are Sanctioned By God
It’s important to realize that the Old Testament Scriptures contain a great deal of history. The inclusion of a story in the Bible doesn’t necessarily mean that God has endorsed all aspects of the account. It would be fallacious to assume that God approved of Noah’s drunkenness, Lot’s incest, or Jacob’s lie to Isaac.
- Sometimes The Focus Is On A Right Intent Or Virtue
While reading God’s Word, if it appears that God is favorable to a particular report, let’s not automatically conclude that God is supporting every action that takes place. Our focus should be on Rahab’s faith, Phinehas’ zealousness, Jael’s patriotism and not necessarily on other elements of these respective stories.
- Old Testament Revelation Is Different Than The New Testament
It is awe-inspiring to realize that God has revealed Himself to man. God has an impressive list of attributes and one must realize that God’s revelation of Himself is progressive. The Old Testament focus is on promoting and unveiling God’s holiness, justice, and strength. In the New Testament, we see an emphasis on the presenting of God’s mercy, grace, and longsuffering.
- Gradual Developing System Of Morality
The Bible is the Christian’s code of conduct, call to arms, and standard for living. Just like God’s attributes, there is a progressive teaching and understanding of morals and values. This unfolding was completed in Christ. One should not look to the Old Testament Scriptures alone to find the standards for modern conduct.
Join us next time as we finish our examination of the God of the Old Testament.