“Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
I have heard many women say that they don’t read the Old Testament because the God of the Old Testament is so different from Jesus and seems so angry. They are very uncomfortable with that God and wouldn’t want to bump into Him in a dark alley at midnight, whereas they like Jesus and wouldn’t mind meeting Him. Jesus seems safe and non-threatening. He never set anyone on fire or created a drought or brought an enemy army against anyone. In the Bad Cop/Good Cop scenario, Jesus was definitely the Good Cop.
But there was a time in my spiritual journey when I despised even Jesus. He was supposed to be the ambassador for God, representing Him here on Earth—God with us. But in my anger and pain, I saw a God I hated in the Old Testament and decided that whenever Jesus was being nice, He was lying, try to suck me in to God’s side by being the Front Man who acts nice but really isn’t. Thank God for His mercy on my life and that I lived to know the truth!
What does the Bible say? “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3). “He is the image of the invisible God… for God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him” (Colossians 1:15,19). Whatever characteristic Jesus has, God has. Whatever I see in Jesus on the pages of the New Testament was there in God in the Old.
I did not understand the Old Testament very well. Then I bought The One Year Chronological Bible published by Tyndale House Publishers, and God opened my eyes. This Bible arranges the NIV Bible in chronological order according to when the events occurred. When I read through this whole Bible, I saw something I had never seen before, and God used it to give me a better view of His character. The passages of Scripture that I thought were angry, evil, vindictive, and punishing (“I’m going to blast you… I’m going to kill your wives and rip them open…”) were actually earnest, pleading warnings to the split kingdoms of Israel and Judah who were killing their own children in superstitious rites, ruining homes by adultery and divorces, selling their children into slavery, buying their neighbors as slaves, delaying justice for the poor and oppressed, and taking advantage of women and children in every way possible instead of protecting them. And God wanted it to stop. He kept warning them to stop, that enemy armies would come against them and win. For hundreds of years, God delayed His threats, giving Israel and Judah time to repent. He sent many prophets to them to warm them, but the nations never listened. They consistently rebelled until those things that God warned them about happened. Even in this, God was merciful, for He allowed Judah to return from Babylon after seventy years were up. Oh, the mercy of God, that He would warn and warn and warn!
Studying Jesus’ life really will show you God’s mercy and compassion for us. Reading the Old Testament in a new way will also show you God’s true character, for He longs for us to know the truth about Him. I challenge you to read both testaments and learn for yourself God’s true nature. He is not hiding.
This a page from the book When God Roared. Each page will be published, one per day, on this website. We pray that God uses it mightily in your life to swaddle you in His love and heal your precious heart.