Many Christians today, and especially those in the reformed camps, are essentially Marcionites. That is, they pretty much ignore the Old Testament and get almost all their theology from Paul’s letters. They believe that the Old Testament God cannot be taken at face value; he was accommodating those who were not able to understand who he truly is.
I’ve been guilty of this same error in the past, but no longer. Without the Old Testament the New Testament makes little sense. Without the Old Testament picture of God the New Testament picture of Jesus is out of focus.
Read the Old Testament and you will discover that:
- God sometimes changes his mind and sometimes it is because a human being asked him to change his mind.
- God is truly interested to see how people will respond to situations. He doesn’t know how they will respond. Sometimes he is actually testing them.
- God cares about Israel in a special way. He also cares about Assyrian, Babylon, Egypt, and the other nations.
- God doesn’t need perfection in his followers. If he did, this thing would have been over way before our time.
- God puts up with a lot of sin from his people, but serving other gods he won’t put up with. If you think this doesn’t apply to you, think again.
- God allowed his people to alter the plans as they went along. God adjusted to the changing plans. He didn’t zap the people.
- It takes quite a bit to make God angry, but if he gets angry you might spend forty years in the wilderness. He still will not abandon you.
I could make this list much longer. So could you if you would spend some time reading the Old Testament.