“I am the Lord, I change not.”
Often when people explain their problem with believing the Bible, they reference the “genocidal, maniacal, murderous God of the Old Testament.” They say things like, “How could a loving God have ordered the senseless murder of so many people?” Their main problem isn’t in admitting that God slaughtered men, women, and even babies; their main problem is that God sent men to do the slaughtering. It becomes to them a moral dilemma, when men are ruthlessly killing in the name of God. They then make the comparison with the God of the New Testament, Who, to them, is painfully nice and forgiving. Who instead of telling His followers to kill their enemies, tells them to love their enemies and pray for them. So why does God change? Well, God doesn’t change. How God is working through men, has changed. In the Old Testament, God ruled directly in a theocracy, where His punishment for the sins of people groups was doled out on those who had obtained “full wrath” status. For the Amalekites, this took about four-hundred years. In a true theocracy, God used the people of Israel to act out His judgment on the sinful and rebellious nations. However, those who were not sinful and rebellious, had nothing to fear from the just and merciful God. (Lev. 19:34), rather, it seems He had their best interests in mind. In the New Testament, God relates to the people of the world through His church. This is not the same as a theocracy, so there is no call by God for the church to execute the judgment of God. He has delegated that authority to human government. (Rom.13:1-5) Rather, the church has the duty to draw men to God by extending His grace to them and telling of the redemption that can be found in the gospel of Jesus. As for the question of God changing, God’s wrath didn’t end at the close of the Old Testament. The same sin-punishing God reveals Himself again in the last few pages of the New Testament in Rev. 6-20. God is God, and He never changes.
Food for Thought: Is God different between the two Testaments? Why then do people get a different perspective of God in the two?