As a Christian I believe Jesus is God, as part of the trinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Though it seems to many that the Christian God and the God of the Old Testament are different. God seems to go from being an all consuming fire, mighty protector and fierce deliverer, to being a gentle lovable man who died for everyone. How can this be?
Well firstly I want to say God never changed. He never has and never will. Numbers 23:19 and James 1:17 tell us this. This means that it’s the same God we worship today that led Israel out of slavery. ‘But my God would never bring curses on anyone, Jesus didn’t curse a single person!’. Let us remember quickly somethings about Egypt at this time. Exodus 12:40 tells us they had Israel in slavery for 430 years. That’s a lot of years to have slaves. The king of Egypt (the Pharaoh) had commanded all the baby boys to be killed (Exodus 1:16) and they worked the Israelite ruthlessly (Exodus 1:13).
Deuteronomy 32:35 tells us (and we are reminded in Romans 12:19) that vengeance belongs to the Lord. If God is good and just, if he is morally perfect, then he must be the best judge. Would a judge be good if he did not sentence the guilty? ‘Yeah okay, so God is a fair judge, but now Jesus died for everyone’s sins so he is different’. Well let’s take a look at some of Jesus’ sayings:
- “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
- “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son…” (John 5:22)
- “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).
This isn’t the Jesus we often hear preached about at our nice Sunday services, nevertheless, these are all sayings of Jesus. God does not change, he loved relentlessly throughout the Old Testament as he does today, God is good to those who hope in him (Isaiah 49:23). Exodus 33:19 and Romans 9:15 tells us that God is merciful and compassionate, this has never changed. In the Old Testament God saves prostitutes (look at Rahab who is spared in Joshua 6), and in John 8 Jesus forgives an adulteress (John 8:1-11).
Our God is one who accepts those who put their hope in him, he is loving, compassionate and understanding. Our God is also a judge, he always has been and always will be. He is also our father, and he loves his children; what father wouldn’t protect their child? Now there are other things we could go into, which I hope to do in a future post, but the purpose of this is to show that God never changes.
God bless you and keep you always.