Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trying to Make Sense of the God of the Old Testament

I'm making bigger strides than ever in my quest to read the Bible in a year. It's August and I'm still current. I can't believe it myself. Woo hoo. Praise the Lord.

But right now I'm reading the prophetic books and BABY is it tough to hear over and over and over about how God's people disappointed Him, how evil they were, how disrespectful and vile God saw them. The announcements of their punishment tempt me to look over my shoulder to see if my every move is watched. When will the hammer come down on me? I can't help but wonder what horrible thing I've done to prostitute my love to an idol (Don't kid yourself, folks. We all do this!). I'm certain I deserve the wrath of God every bit as much as the chosen people of Israel and Judah.

Except that I have Jesus, whose blood covered my sin. How do you reconcile the God who seems so harsh in the Old Testament in a post Christ era? Does the Father view me differently because of His Son's sacrifice? Does He see the nail-scarred hands instead of my filth? Does He look at us through the lens of the Ultimate Sacrifice? Can He only see His Beloved?

Are we freed from the wrath of God when we're freed from our sin by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ?

We're still held accountable for our actions. We're still instructed to obey. But have we been spared His fury if we claim Jesus as our Savior?

Hmmm . . . this one has me puzzled. Any ideas?



Shelley said...

Hello friend! ((HUGS)) I hope others here have more wisdom than I do - but I'll tell you what I think.

The OT talks about the absolute Holiness of God. A God who because of His Holiness demanded perfection and a total seperation from sin - in all apsects in the life of His creation. A perfection that could never be lived up to by us - and as a result God displayed His judgement and power towards those who rebelled in the OT which seems mean and cruel BUT all the while he actions were founded on a deep deep desire that He would have a people that would know and love Him as He loved them.

IN CHRIST his demand for Holiness has been SATISFIED. Christ died so that we no longer have to suffer the consquence of our Sins -which is the wrath of God. God sees you IN CHRIST - cloaked in the sacrifice of His Son. A lost and unrepentant nation will see His wrath one day - He is a HOLY GOD. BUT we ARE SAVED from His wrath because of Jesus - HE LOVES YOU!

Our responsibility is to pray - it is the Spirit who will draw those who are choosing to 'do what is right in their own eyes'

Yes we suffer the consquence of our sin BUT because we are IN CHRIST - if WE confess our sin - HE is FAITHFUL & JUST and will CLEANSE us of all UNRIGHTEOUSNESS 1 Jn 1:9 ... GLORY!!! :)

I love your honesty!!

Shelley said...

lol I should also mention that 1 Jn 1:9 says he will also FORGIVE US OUR SIN and cleanse us from all unrighteouness .... I was typing too fast lol

Tami Boesiger said...

Thanks Shelley! You said it better than I!

Linda said...

My study thik week included these verses. I was totally struck that God called his restored Israel virgin. Virgin! After all Israel did. All it's unfaithfulness and rebellion. All we do that makes us undeserving of his perfect love and grace.

Jeremiah 31:2-4
2 This is what the LORD says: “The people who survive the sword will find FAVOR in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.” 3 The LORD appeared to us in the past,saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. 4 I will build you up again, and you, VIRGIN Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.

Tami Boesiger said...

Good and restoring verse Linda. Thanks.

Brenda Poley said...

Hi, Tami

I know what you mean exactly. I have always struggled with trying to see God with both- complete justice & holiness, as well as grace & mercy. There are verses in the NT that make me get that nervous feeling about my lack of righteousness too. I keep taking it before Him and asking Him to keep doing a work in me to make me more yielded to His Spirit living in me and to know Him more. I ask to have a healthy fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom, but also to understand a perfect love that drives out fear. He has brought me a long way in this. But, I have so much to learn still! Thanks for opening up about your real feelings. In Romans it says to consider both the kindness & the sternness of God.(Romans 11:22), so I guess we grow as we do that. Let me know if you get new insight about it.

-Brenda Poley

Tami Boesiger said...

Brenda--If God does not change, then isn't He the same now as in the Old Testament? What has changed is how He views us. Through the lens of Jesus. That's how I'm looking at it, I guess. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Brenda Poley said...

Tami-What you said makes me think of the new Third Day song. It's called "I Trust in Jesus". Have you heard it? I wish I could say I always do, but I'm learning & growing, right? Thanks for your reply.

Tami Boesiger said...

Brenda--Oh yes, I know that song. I'm a work in progress myself. Why is it so tough?