As we read through the 5 books of Moses we can’t escape the haunting questions about why Almighty God, the Eternal One, or whatever Name you like best to describe Him, would have entire populations of men, women, and children killed, to erase that people group from the Earth.
It doesn’t seem to square with the concept of a loving and merciful and forgiving God. We want to believe that everyone is redeemable, everyone can be saved, and find a way for that to happen. This is what WE want, the kind of a deity WE want.
We also believe in a ‘just’ God; One who does the right thing. But what is ‘right’? And who gets to say so? Let me tell you, this is the subject of great theological debate in every Seminary in the land. Certainly a ‘just’ God requires ‘justice.’ So what is the ‘justice’ for someone who firmly and repeatedly rejects the very One Who is offering to save them?
The Old Testament is story after story of how God dealt with people. He didn’t hide what He wanted from them. He explained Himself over and over. He told them what He was going to ask of them, then He told them what He wanted, and then He told them what He had previously told them! The entire concept of God’s “Blessing” is based upon His righteousness, yes, but also upon our obedience. In the Old Testament, failure to obey could be deadly.
I know this short piece won’t answer all the questions. It cannot. You are too good at trying to phrase a question to God that you think, as in a debate with the Almighty somehow, He has to answer your way. Me too. So let’s at least give Him thanks for the NEW TESTAMENT, and the available salvation to any through Jesus Christ. After all, it’s Easter-time, and we should focus on what He has done for us. Talk about mercy, grace, forgiveness, AND justice!
Does this New Covenant in Jesus Christ speak to you? Does it answer ANY questions about what God Almighty wants? If you’re having trouble reconciling the God of the Old Testament with Jesus Christ, God of the new Testament, can you at least make a decision about Him? Is Jesus Christ God? Is the Bible account of His life accurate, or myth? Is your faith in Him, or in man’s interpretations? How can you know? Is there a Spirit at work in YOUR life to help you? Is the Lord absent from your life, or have you shut Him out in spite of His repeated attempts to help you? Are we so selfish in our attempts to get what WE want that we completely forget that He wants to Bless us, if we would simply follow Him?
This New Covenant asks us to follow Jesus Christ. And it too is deadly. But this time it’s our old nature that dies; that old self caring only about self. Let that thing die, and put on the new nature Jesus has for you. It is complete; it is full; it is exciting; it is amazingly wonder-filled; it is “Christ IN you, the hope of Glory,” now living a new life through you. Yes, you.