Some people think God is only a God a wrath in the Old Testament, but that characterization is unfair. Let me show you why from the very beginning of the Old Testament. God has always been gracious and loving to His people from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 says, “ For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight.’ God’s love is eternal. And we know God will not stop loving us because “God is love”(1 John 4:8) and in Him “there is no variation or shadow due to change”(James 1:17). God is immutable, unchanging so he cannot suddenly stop loving, “He is simply being himself”(Tozer- Knowledge of the Holy pg.16). Once that decision to eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden occurred and sin entered the world, God could have obliterated every living thing, for God is also a just God. It would have been just of God to destroy his creation, because it rebelled against Him. But He loves His people and so has a plan to redeem His people. An interesting anecdote to add here is God chose humans to save rather than angels. He could have left the human race alone to die and weep in their sins and instead have chosen to save the fallen angels. Hebrews 2:5 says, “Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking…” God gave dominion of the earth and its wildlife to mankind, to rule over it and take care of it. In my opinion, angels are in all ways better. They are beautiful, exceptionally powerful, and can fly! Angels in some standard seem the better fit to take care of the earth and rule over it and “deserve” redemption from God. But God in His mercy and love chose us, the weak and utterly helpless. Tell me that’s not fair but a supreme act of God’s grace.
A further testament to God’s grace is in the closing verses of Genesis 3: “The Lord God said, ‘Since man has become like one of US, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, take from the tree of life, eat, and live forever.’ So the Lord God sent him away from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove man out and stationed the cherubim and the flaming, whirling sword east of the garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life”(v.22-24). If man were allowed by God to eat of the tree of life, humanity would have been stuck in a state of sin forever. God was acting graciously, when he banished Adam and Eve from the garden, so that we would not have to live with the horrid, depressing effects of sin all our lives. Immediately after this in Genesis 4:1-2, Eve is blessed by God with two children and later in verse 25 gives birth to another son, Seth. And this just after she sinned! God blesses Abraham and Jacob with many descendants as well, despite their own sin of taking multiple wives (Genesis 25:1-4, 30:3-13, 35:17). These examples prove that even in the midst of our sin, which is deserving of wrath and judgment, God shows His grace.
Girls and Guys….do not be downcast after you sin. But look to God who loves you despite your shortcomings. Satan would love for you to feel ashamed, condemned, and worthless. But guess what you don’t find your worth in yourself, your worth comes from God. How valuable you are depends on the lengths after which you are sought. Gold is rare and everyone wants it, cherishes it, thus it is valuable. But God found you so valuable, He laid down His life for you. He went to the greatest length, paid the most immense cost to establish a relationship with you. Jesus has given up everything for you, so he could become your everything. Look to Jesus, rest in Him, find joy in Him, because He wanted you more than anything else.
I will do some further posts of God’s grace revealed in the Old Testament. Stay tuned!